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Mani Ratnam

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Mani Ratnam Bio


Mani Ratnam is an Indian filmmaker, screenwriter and producer based in the Tamil film industry of Chennai, India. Born into a Tamil Brahmin family in Madurai, Ratnam worked as a management consultant before entering into the film industry.

 

He made his directorial debut with the Kannada film Pallavi Anu Pallavi in 1983, and followed this with the Malayalam film Unaru and the Tamil film Pagal Nilavu, none of which were successful at the box office.

 

Ratnam came into prominence after Mouna Ragam (1986), a film about the friction between a newly–wed couple. He made his Telugu language debut with the National Film Award winning Geethanjali, which was critically acclaimed and a major commercial success.

 

Ratnam is also well known for his "Terrorism trilogy" consisting of Roja (1992), Bombay (1995) and Dil Se.. (1998). He is widely regarded as one of the leading directors in Indian cinema.[2][3] Ratnam is widely credited with having revolutionised the Tamil film industry and altering the profile of Indian cinema.

 

Ratnam's Nayagan (1987) and Anjali (1990) were submitted by India for the Academy Award consideration in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.His Tamil film Nayagan along with Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy and Guru Dutt's Pyaasa are the only Indian films to have appeared in Time magazine's All-Time 100 Greatest Movies.

 

Ratnam is married to actress Suhasini. In 2002 he was honoured with the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award given by the Government of India.

 

Ratnam was introduced to film direction with the help of his brother, producer G. Venkateswaran, who later produced many of Ratnam's films, including Mouna Ragam, Nayagan, Agni Natchathiram, Thalapathi, and Anjali.

 

Venkateswaran committed suicide in 2003, reportedly because of financial problems.[8] Unlike many film-makers, Ratnam neither assisted in film-making nor worked as a cinematographer before making a name for himself in the industry.

 

Mani Ratnam made his directorial debut in 1983 with the Kannada film Pallavi Anu Pallavi, which starred Anil Kapoor and Lakshmi.

Though it did not perform well at the box office, the film's score by Ilaiyaraaja became hugely popular and Ratnam's screenplay won a Karnataka State Film Award for Best Screenplay.

 

His second film was a Malayalam production titled Unaru, that explored trade union problems in Kerala.His next film, Pagal Nilavu, had to settle for quiet obscurity, and marked his directional debut in Tamil cinema.

 

The same year he directed Idaya Kovil, a romantic tragedy that was a major box-office success.All of Ratnam's first four films had music scores by Ilaiyaraaja.

 

Ratnam is particularly known for his attention to technical detail in the art of film-making, having worked with and introduced some of the best music directors, cinematographers, art directors, dialogue writers and editors in India.

 

Several international papers and books have been published on his critically acclaimed work. Ratnam often makes movies inspired by real-life events and famous epics — Nayagan was loosely based on Varadarajan Mudaliar, an underworld Don in Mumbai.

 

Bombay was based on the ethnic divisions between Hindus and Muslims that prevailed in Mumbai. Iruvar, released in 1997, was based on Tamil Nadu political and cinematic icons — M. G. Ramachandran and Karunanidhi.

 

His 2002 Kannathil Muthamittal was based on the Sri Lankan Civil War and Aayutha Ezhuthu (2004) focussed on student politics. Guru (2007), released in 2007, was loosely based on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani.

 

Thalapathi was based on the Hindu epic Mahabarata, and Raavanan is said to be inspired by another Hindu epic, Ramayana. His movies are notable for staccato dialogues, and they often portray strong friendships.

 

Examples are seen in Thalapathi, Aaytha Ezhuthu, Thiruda Thiruda, Iruvar and Nayagan among others. He revels in creating onscreen relationship tangles in many of his films such as Thalapathi, Mouna Raagam, Agni Natchathiram, Kannathil Muthamittal and Raavan.

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