Mani Ratnam Top 10 - Part 1


Shane Warne is a true inspiration. Millions have taken to spin bowling following his exploits. I have taMRken to listing my list of favorites following his most recent exploit - that of listing his favorite cricketers. I am going to dabble with the man himself - Mani Ratnam.

Let me quickly list the Ratnam creations that I haven't seen or don't remember seeing and the ones that did not make it to the top ten:



Idhaya Kovil (1985)

I vaguely remember some contrived story about Mohan losing both his women to similar circumstances at different stages and singing his way through the pain. The songs were staple 'tea-kadai' fare - not to be misunderstood - if a song plays in a Madurai tea kadai it is a genuine hit. Those guys had amazing taste and Keeshduganam located in the Madurai Bus Stand was a pioneer of mixed tapes. Wonder what they are up to now? Selling iPods?


Pagal Nilavu (1985)

Features main stream actors like Sathyaraj, Koundamani and Murali who are not generally associated with the cross over cerebral directors like Ratnam. I guess Ratnam was not that cerebral at that time. I remember nothing about the movie though.

Unaroo (1984)

Kelviyin Nayagan (2000)

Huh? Didn't know these movies even existed - but I find these two listed under Ratnam at IMDB.

Pallavi Anu Pallavi (1983)
... aka Priya O Priya (India: Tamil title)

It had Anil Kapoor, Balu Mahendra, Ilaiyraraja and of course Ratnam in the mix. I know nothing more about this movie than the pedigree involved.

Gitanjali (1989)

... aka Geethanjali (India: Malayalam title: alternative transliteration)
... aka Idhayathai Thirudathe (India: Tamil title)

I did see "Idhayaththai Thirudaadhe" but not in a cinema hall. The VHS version was grainy, the movie required us to really squint amidst the hill station fog plus it had a wafer thin plot even for a Ratnam movie.

Guru (2007)
... aka Gurukant (India: Telugu title)
... aka Mani Ratnam's Guru (India: English title: complete title)

Did see this movie. It was good story telling - such a rarity to see bio pics. Did not make it to the top ten for a couple of reasons. I hate Ratnam for breaking his own record of not shooting on foreign locales. I didn't quite like any of the characterizations other than Gurukant Desai.

Yuva (2004)

Just didn't have to see this. Saw the Thamizh version.

Dil Se

I have only seen the Thamizh version - Uyire. That somehow spoiled it for me.

Check out the top ten round up

Part 2


Part 3


  1. Wow, I could not resist myself from commenting on this post :)

    Idhaya Koyil:
    It had a typical Mohan number in "Paatu Thalaivan". But more importantly, there was this song - "oororama athuppakam" - which was like the unsuccessful predecessor to "raja.. rajathi raja" in showcasing mani sir's interest in modern song picturisation, keeping up with the 80s rock n roll and pop trends (watch "Eye of the tiger" by Survivor and "Raja". You'd know what I am talking about)

    More later!

  2. Ypu remembered koundmani in Pagal Nilavu and forgot Revathy? Usual brother-is-a-cop-sister-falls-for-a-rowdy story. But I thought it was much better than Idhaya Kovil.

    I thought Guru was blaahhhhh....

    Unaroo??! Kelviyin Nayagan??? Have never heard abot them?

    Now, I have to pick a fight with you about Yuva aka Ayutha Ezuththu. I don'tcare about the top ten, but just a generic line about the movie? Coem on, deserves more. I thought that name 'AE' was very poetic - three discrete circles/dot come together to form a letter, cannot exist by them selves, can never be combined or touch one another - just like the three characters in the movie. The three characters are as unique as they can be, they form our society...well you get the drift. This was THE most poetic title and I think Mani deserves a spl mention just for coming up with this name for the movie. I saw Yuva too, but wasn't all that pleased with Vivek Oberai for Surya's role.

  3. have heard of pagal nilavu and idhaya kovil. Clueless abt unaroo and kelviyin Nayagan....will try to find out abt it.

    @vicky:"eye of the tiger" is an awesome example

    @utbtkids:agree with u on AE.just a small correction though,i think ajay devagan played the role of surya and vivek played the role of siddarth

  4. Vicky,
    Wasn't 'Eye of the Tiger' part of the Rocky sound track? Did it have a video of its own?

    I was trying to slot the actors you don't expect to see in Mani Ratnam movies. Revathy isn't part of that group for sure.
    I tried to differentiate AE and Yuva. AE does find a spot in my top ten. :)

    My research tells me that Unaroo is an outright Mallu movie with Mohanlal in the lead.
    Kelviyin Nayagan continues to be a puzzle. Maybe they dubbed/re-released one of his mediocre works with a new name following Nayagan's success.

  5. I am also yet to watch Idhaya Kovil, Unaru and Pallavi Anupallavi. I haven't heard about Kelviyin Nayagan either.

    Didn't find anything great in Pagal nilavu. Idhayatthai Thirudathe was good but again it won't feature in my favourites by Mani list. As for Yuva, well it is boring when compared to Aayitha Ezhuthu. The choice of actors (except Rani and Abhishek) is the biggest weak point in that.

    Well, the characetrizations in Guru, it's true that only Guru's was the strongest. But, since the whole movie revolved around him, I didn't mind the other characters not leaving so strong an impact on you