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Maniratnam birthday special - The maker par excellence!

Sunday, June 2, 2019 • Tamil Comments

Being born in a film family, he was a child who was not allowed to watch films, which were considered a waste of time by elders in the family. But little did they knew that this MBA graduate who worked as a management consultant would go on to become one of the best directors of Indian cinema, and that is none other than Maniratnam. His film career began with assisting his friend Ravishankar, in a film that was ultimately shelved, and despite the failed beginning, he went on to gain inspiration from movies like 16 Vayathiniley, Apoorva Ragangal etc and pursued his goals. It was his uncle, who came forward to produce his maiden directorial venture -Pallavi Anu Pallavi, a Kannada flick which was the debut of Anil Kapoor, with the unconventional theme of love between a youngster and an older woman.

Pallavi Anu Pallavi failed, and his next, a Malayalam flick with Mohanlal - Unaru also failed, and as he failed with offbeat themes, he tried to turn commercial, with compromises made in his initial Tamil flicks Pagal Nilavu and Idhaya Kovil, with the latter's success giving him the much-needed breakthrough. And then the romantic classic Mouna Ragam happened, winning a national award and recognition, and then it was no stopping Maniratnam, as he went on to direct unique movies working with top actors like Kamal Haasan( Nayagan), Nagarjuna( Geethanjali) and Superstar Rajnikanth(Thalapathy), all becoming big commercial hits as well, establishing the brand Maniratnam.

The 90s saw the maker venture into a whole new arena, as he excelled with his terror trilogy - Roja, Bombay and Dilse, and also touched various areas, as he helmed the semi-biopic Iruvar, which is revered to as a cult classic today, though it was a failure then, he touched on the Sri Lankan refugees lives in Kannathil Muthamittaal, and romance in Alaipayuthey, politics in Aaytha Ezhuthu, and extended the brand Maniratnam to a whole new level with his quality products and vision. Despite a fall with movies like Ravanan and Kadal, he came back stronger, updating himself to the current generation trends and delivered the classy romantic entertainer Oh Kadhal Kanmani, and recently delivered the multitstarrer Chekka chivantha Vaanam, both appealing to the current gen youth, proving that he can stay relevant to the times.

Times may change, the class is permanent they say, and that is what defines Maniratnam, who makes sure he constantly learns, unlearns, updates and strives for perfection, making a mark with each of his outings, and delivers quality cinematic experiences for the audience. And next, he's all set to restart his longtime dream project Ponniyin Selvan with a massive star cast as well, and it would be a feather in his cap if he achieves this one, which was left untouched as it was believed to be a tough one to be made as a film. Here's wishing the legendary maker with a vision and penchant for quality and aesthetics, a very happy birthday and all success for Ponniyin Selvan!

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