Will Mani Ratnam live up to his name?

Will Mani Ratnam live up to his name?

By Karthik Ramakrishnan isn't responsible for the views expressed by the visitor in this column. The visitor claims that this column is his/her own. If the column infringes any copyrights that you hold, please email us at

As the addictive tunes of ‘Mental Manadhil’ still percolate in the subconscious terrains of our entities, opinions are somewhat divided as to whether or not Mani Ratnam will deliver with his latest offering, O Kadhal Kanmani.


The trailer and the single were well received: with brimming expectation, great reception and approval-disappointment in significant measure.


That, for me, encapsulated in brief what Mani Ratnam’s foray into films has been all about.


He is not that brand of filmmaker who goes about trying to please every serious and casual viewer out there. He has his niche audience; he knows whom he caters to and is sensitive to those tastes and expectations.


He knows what will work.


The trailer brought about cries that the director is trying to recreate a bower of love that he first did with Alaipayuthey. Many have opined that his attempt to rekindle something that he successfully brewed at the beginning of last decade, is nothing but an attempt in futility.


Honestly, those connections that have been made to Alaipayuthey hold as much water as Karthik’s (Madhavan’s) father’s words did in his visor. Such frame-by-frame comparisons could probably be etched out for any two films.


That is his style, his way of taking films. That is his signature. Mani Ratnam, over the years, has created a cinematic image for himself, based on how he wants his films to pan out and also significantly based on what his viewers think and expect of him.


Even if O Kadhal Kanmani turns out to be a reboot of Alaipayuthey, albeit with a different flavor, it is hard to imagine it not being believable, interesting and Ratnam-esque.


A more important point would be to mull over Tamil Cinema’s progress- or the lack of it- since the release of Alaipayuthey. At this juncture, with Tamil Cinema in the bosom of change and grappling with the indecision of choosing its trajectory for the future, this film, this Mani Ratnam film, could help define the course of the present scenario.


The audience may not be ready or tuned in enough to receive such a film, but the influx of such a film, from such a reputed filmmaker, could spell out things a little bit differently.


This film will open us up to yet another breezy, enjoyable, fascinating romance; this film will be something that will, once again prove the gravity of magic that this filmmaker believes.


With Rahman’s music carrying the young, fresh leading duo, this film can, in my opinion, do the trick at the box office.


It is an almighty yes: of course Mani Ratnam will deliver!


His talent to furnish charming, engaging and not-so-over-the-board love stories, that could probably happen in any of our lives; his irrepressible urge to dish out stories, in a way that has seldom been utilized before; his urgent need to stick to his principles, his ideas, his notions, to bring out cinema that he can be proud of; these point quietly but strongly that Mani Ratnam will, yet again, offer us a movie that will take us through a sea of emotions, all the while marvel at his way of storytelling.


Karthik Ramakrishnan

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