Friday, December 4, 2009

The Maverick Director

The maverick director Maniratnam’s Ravana / Ashokavanam is today one of the most awaited movies. The film is being made as a bilingual. The hindi version has Vikram and Aishwarya as the lead pair and the tamil version has Prithviraj and Aishwarya as the lead pair. Though the director has been as usual secretive about his script, yet going by the cast and the title of the film, the film fraternity predicts that the film could be based on the epic “Ramayana” and the lead pair may represent Rama and Sita. Earlier Maniratnam made a film “Thalapathi” which was based on the Arjuna, Karna and Duryodhana angle of the epic, Mahabharata. “Ravana” may turn out to be a modern twist to the most revered mythology sounds interesting yet may also create controversy, as it has been the case with some of his other films.

Lets go back to his other films, which have been huge commercial hits, yet were followed by a voice of controversy.

“Bombay”, the love story between a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl against the backdrop of Mumbai riots in1993. This film ran into a big controversy and could be released only after getting a clearance from Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackaray and later the film was attacked for its anti-Muslim stand. But as usual a controversy always helps and “Bombay” was a huge success at the box office.

The other film “Iruvur” a tamil film was supposedly based on the story of MGR and Karunanidhi and hence there was no way it could escape the controversy. There was in the film Aishwarya Rai playing a role closely resembling that of Jayalalitha. So the film was watched more for its political connotations.

Maniratnam’s films tend to have a backdrop of certain political situation. Be it the Kashmir terrorists in Roja, the Bombay underworld scenario in Nayakan, Amrutha, the story of an orphan child who is born to a Srilankan refugee, Dilse, a love story between an All India Radio employee and a terrorist who has been trained to be a suicide bomber and so on. The backdrop of real life situations and larger concerns of the nation, render a passionate feel to Maniratnam movies.

Maniratnam has had his share of successes and failures. His latest movies “Yuva” and ‘Guru” had good reviews yet were not such great success in box office.

Coming back to his film in the making, “Ravana”, the film has a huge star cast and a massive canvas. The film is being shot in the jungles and Manirtanam has created suspense and intrigue in his audience, who can’t wait for the release of the film.

Submitted By: Pillalamarri from

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