A forgotten masterpiece of Mani Ratnam

A forgotten masterpiece of Mani Ratnam

By Ganesh Annamalai 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

“Ini oru ini oru vidhi seivom, vidhiyinai maatrum vidhi seivom”
This is the basic message what the director wants to convey to the audience. What makes this film stand apart is the execution of Mr. Mani Ratnam by bringing in the 3 diverse characters played by Madhavan, Suriya and Siddharth  into the narrative.
I still remember watching "Aayudha Ezhuthu" as a 10 year old kid on the first day of its release with my whole family. Halfway through the movie, I completely lost interest in it because I didn't understand a thing. I could sit through the film only because of A.R Rahman's music. I would have listened to the album at least a 100 times before the movie's release. My parents used to tell me that when I was about a year old, I would sleep only when I listen to his songs "Uyire" and "Kannaaalane" from the film "Bombay" (Bombay released in the year 1995 and I was born in 1994). Coming back, after watching the film, when I was asked whether I liked the film or not by one of my older cousins, my reply was an instant "NO".
But, when I watched it 3 or 4 years later, I was completely bowled over. WHAT A FILM it was!! It is one of the best films ever made by Mr. Ratnam with amazing cinematography, picture-perfect editing, mind blowing screenplay, amazing music and superb dialogues by the late Sujatha. Then, how can I forget to talk about the cast- Suriya, Madhavan, Siddharth, Meera Jasmine, Trisha and Esha Deol, Ratnam always gets his casting right and in this film, it was top-notch. The performances of these actors in this film are by far one of their best (Suriya of course had Nandha and Pithamagan). The master-act was casting Bharathiraja as Periyavar-Absolute brilliance! The backdrop against which the film was shot also deserves a mention such as places like The University of Madras, NIFT, Broken Bridge, Railway Station etc, probably the character designs of each character would have influenced the decisions regarding the backdrops. Finally, Ratnam should be credited to have brought the whole team together and for making such a fantastic film!
Yesterday, after a very long time, I watched the film again (probably my 7th or 8th watch) and the excitement in watching this film still hasn't died. It is still so young and fresh. At this moment I realized that a Mani Ratnam film is worth more than the tickets that we bought at a higher price. But it still irks me that it was not celebrated as much as how “Nayagan” and “Thalapathi” were celebrated. Of course Nayagan and Thalapathi are masterpieces, but so is Aayutha Ezhuthu. Aayutha Ezhuthu still continues to be my favorite film of Mani Ratnam.
Ganesh Annamalai

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