Mani Ratnam has
introduced several artists and technicians to the film industry. Some of
Esha Deol (in Tamil)
J Suchitra (in films)
Star (Susi Ganesan)
Star (Susi Ganesan)
Star (Susi Ganesan)
Rai (in Tamil)
Koirala (in Tamil)
Kapoor (in Kannada)
Pallavi Anu Pallavi
these people are faring really well now. Lets hope he gives us many more
talented artists and technicians to the film world.
"It's only fair to say that I am as good an actor as my dad permits me I don't think I have contributed single handedly to a film. I just do what the direction expects me to do. In some films the contribution is larger than the others. I think in Mani's film the contribution is maximum. I have the liberty to what I want and how I want to do it. And interacting with Mani in over the 3 and half years and continuously acting in three of his films and most importantly completely in three different characters has been a lifetime challenge for me. It is certainly a great award for an actor like me; he is the best director the country has seen for a long time. And to continuously act in three of his films at a stretch, it is a big compliment for me. And I am aware of the responsibility as well. When he cast me he expects a certain level of performance and certain level of commitment. I know that I am right up there in terms of commitment. I do my lines and do what ever is required for the role. For me its very relaxed at the same time taxing experience - relaxed - I don't have to worry about any other aspects like music, production cost, timing - nothing. Taxing because I have to act. And to act in Mani's film is a demanding
job". Even if Mani Ratnam's
film were in Egyptian instead of Tamil, I would still do it. Forget playing the
main lead, even playing a small role in a Mani Ratnam film would certify the
fact that you are an actor. I am happy I did three films under his direction and
one for his production, and hope to do more in the future". Interview
Madhavan, Actor, given a break by Mani Ratnam in the Tamil hit Alai
Nothing short of GREAT!
Mani, as we all know, is a highly acclaimed and respected director. It
was definitely my dream to work with him. I am happy I worked with him
early in my career. He is just brilliant. I do not have enough words to
explain the experience of working with someone like Mani. It is a great
honour to be in his film. Apart from what he does in films, he is also a
Bachchan, Actor, worked with Mani Sir in Yuva.
The film was very clear
in Mani Sir's head. He knows exactly what he wants. He is a slavedriver
[smiles]. He made me do so many drafts even after having so much
clarity, which made me learn so much from him.
He had come down
looking for a writer. I think Ram Gopal Varma recommended my name.
Mani Sir saw Paanch as well. I was doing my own film [at the
time]. I had written a film [Sangam Mail] for Shaad Ali. Shaad also told
Mani Sir [about me].
I write very fast. And
Mani Sir wanted someone who could do it [the Yuva script] very
fast. I went down to Chennai for 20 days. I stayed in a hotel and did
the drafts. I came back and started doing my own film. After that, he
called me whenever he needed changes.
The experience of working with Mani Ratnam was extremely rewarding. He pushes you to the limit and beyond. When I write for myself, I do a draft. I know where things are wrong. I formulate it in my head and make changes on the spot. I don't spend a lot of time on paper.
Mani Sir's working style is very different from everybody else's. He wants to design everything on paper. There is also a lot in his head that we don't know about till the final product comes out.
There is one spontaneous option: He says this is what is not working.
So I say spontaneously, this is how we can do it.
And he will say, "No, what if we do this?" He keeps pushing you.
There are as many as eight options he brings out of you; you end up being surprised with yourself. The thing is that you never realise that Mani Sir slowly manipulates you towards getting the best out of you.
He also makes you realise, "Don't think you are not capable of doing this."
Before working with him, I never thought I could work on light-hearted stuff. Everybody used to treat me as somebody very serious. He brought all these elements out of me. I realised I am as vulnerable and emotional as many other people.
He is a man of very few words. Mani Sir doesn't gossip. That's the best thing about him. There is no frivolous talk. There is always work. He is always the first one to reach the office. The man wakes up at 5 am, reads the paper, and goes for a one-hour walk and still has that passion for cinema after so many films. He lives and breathes films.
Work with Mani Ratnam again? Anytime. I will go down on bended knee [to do so]. I have all of Mani Sir's films on DVD.
Mani Sir constantly attempts to go into an area [subject] where no one has gone before. My expectations are very high.
Kashyap, Dialogue Writer for Yuva.
"Mani Ratnam is so
organized. Read the script and you won’t need any further
explanations. I sometimes am surprised by the zest that these filmmakers
Actress, worked with Mani Ratnam in Kannathil Muthamittal.
Payuthey this film, I got to know a lot of good people. Mani sir,
despite his achievements, has no air about him. We share a good rapport.
I still remember the first day of the shoot which was at Express
Estates. Mani sir, P C Sreeram and Shekhar Kapoor were sitting behind
the camera and watching me. They kept cracking jokes and winking at me.
I felt like running away but somehow I held my cool and did my scene".
Actress, worked with Mani Ratnam in Alai
Swamy, another actor introduced by Mani Ratnam in the mega hit, Dalapathi,
which was totally a Rajinikanth movie, but he shot to fame with Mani Ratnam's Roja and Bombay. Aravind even did Suhasini Mani
Ratnam's Indhira and even played a cameo role in the super hit Alai
Aravind Swamy, Actor, given a break by Mani
Ratnam in the Tamil
Sir is an institution."
Miss World. Aishwarya Rai,
Actress, given a break by Mani Ratnam in Iruvar.
I performed a scene well, Mani uncle would pick me up and give me a big
hug", "When shooting was
completed, Mani uncle carried me on his shoulders and asked me who
the heroine of Kannathil Muthamittal was? I said Simran aunty. He
nodded his head and told me to guess again.
Mani uncle always has a question as soon as you give him
an answer!, when I finished dubbing, Mani uncle asked me what I wanted.
I told him I wanted to join him as an
assistant director. He said OK!"
P S Keerthana,
Child Artist, given a break by Mani Ratnam in the Tamil
hit Kannathil Muthamittal.
both wanted to create a new entity with Five Star, we approached
Mani Sir with a few samples and the director Susi Ganesan selected
us" says Sriram Parasuram, who are the first music director couple
in the country. Five Star is a Mani Ratnam production, directed
by Susi Ganesan, a Mani Ratnam assistant.
Music composers duo, given a break by Mani Ratnam's Production in Five Star,
directed by Susi Ganesan.
Usually, Mani Ratnam repeats his actors in his movies; R Madhavan in Alai Payuthey,
Kannathil Muthamittal and Aayitha Ezhuthu, Mohan in Idaya Kovil and Mouna Ragam,
Karthik in Mouna Ragam and Agni Nakshatiram, Prabhu in Agni
Nakshatiram and Anjali, Aravind Swamy in Roja, Bombay, Dalapathi and Alai Payuthey (cameo role), Revathi in Pagal
Nilavu, Mouna Ragam, Anjali, Iruvar, Madhu in Roja and Iruvar,
Manisha Koirala in Bombay and Dil Se.., Mohanlal in Unaru
and Iruvar, Prakash Raj in Bombay, Iruvar and Kannathil
Muthamittal and many more artists
have had the golden opportunity to work with the great director more
than just once and there are many more of them still awaiting their
of the technicians like Cinematographers; P C Sreeram
and Santosh Sivan, Ravi K Chandran, Ramachandra Babu; Editors; B Lenin, V T Vijayan, Sreekar Prasad, Suresh Urs, Choreographers;
like Farah Khan, Sundaram, have also worked with Mani more than once.
enthusiasm is infectious".
Cinematographer of Pallavi Anu Pallavi.
Mani Ratnam's long
time friend and cameraman, P C Sreeram for his films; Mouna Ragam,
Nayagan, Agni Nakshatiram, Geetanjali, Thiruda
Thiruda and Alai Payuthey. Their combination has worked wonders in the
industry. P C Sreeram's work was applauded in Mani Ratnam's films, as he
always had the freedom to experiment.
P C Sreeram,
Santosh Sivan, one of
the greatest cinematographers of the country has worked with Mani Ratnam, in Dalapathi, Roja, Iruvar and Dil Se..
"I enjoyed working with
him in Bombay. Mani Ratnam is a perfectionist. He will not stop until he is
satisfied with his work. He is one of the very few directors in India
who never compromises on details".
Cinematographer for Bombay
"Mani Sir is the
fastest, among the directors, I have worked with." The good
thing about Mani Ratnam is that he gives you the full concentration
and energy required to shoot.
Ravi K Chandran,
Cinematographer for Kannathil Muthamittal, Aayidha Ezhuthu
Manikandan shot the
mammoth song sequence Yakkai Thiri ... " for Aayidha
Ezhuthu and also some of the Ajay Devgan scenes for Yuva.
Describing the experience of working with Mani Ratnam as
"ultimate" the cameraman says, "Mani would be on the sets
at 5 in the morning, and would work through the day. We would have a
30-minute break for breakfast and lunch and that's it. None would leave
the sets and neither would he. The shooting was down South in Pollachi
and Theni. Ajay Devgan would tell us that he had never seen sunrise till
he began shooting for Yuva. But that's how Mani Ratnam
Mani Ratnam initially had the music maestro Ilayaraaja for music and they
worked together to give real hits like Pallavi Anu
Pallavi, Unaru, Pagal Nilavu, Idaya
Mouna Ragam, Nayagan, Agni Nakshatiram, Geetanjali,
year was 1991. Mani Ratnam was on the lookout for a new composer to
give music for his films. One day, at an awards function for excellence
in the field of advertising, Mani Ratnam chanced upon a young man who
received the award for the best ad jingle which he had composed for the
popular Leo Coffee ad (directed by Rajiv Menon). At the celebrations
party that followed the awards presentation ceremony, Mani Ratnam was
introduced to the young composer by his cousin Sharada Trilok of Trish
Productions for whose company the young man had produced some
outstanding work. Sharada had words of high praise for the young
composer. Mani was curious and requested him for a sample of his wares.
The composer readily complied and invited the director over to his
studio. Mani Ratnam turned up at the studio only after six months,
where the 24 year old lad played out a tune that he had been pushed into
composing by his school friend G Bharat alias Bala when they both had
been greatly disturbed by the socio-political tensions in South India
over the Cauvery river waters issue. Listening to the tune that was
played, Mani was hooked instantly. Without a second thought he signed on
the composer to score the music for his next film. That film did not
work out but Mani signed him on for a new film which was to be produced
by the veteran Tamil director K Balachander for his respected Kavithalayaa
banner. That film was Roja. That tune would become the song Tamizha
Tamizha in Roja. The music of the film would be a phenomenal
success that would revolutionise modern day Indian film music. The name
of the 25-year old composer was A R
Rahman. And the rest, as they say,
is history. Rahman and Ratnam have worked together to give the sure
musicals, Roja, Thiruda Thiruda, Bombay, Iruvar,
Dil Se../Uyirae, Alai Payuthey and the latest Kannathil
Ram Gopal Varma (Telugu and Hindi film director), one of
the leading film directors in the country, shares a friendly relationship
with Mani Ratnam. His Telugu film Gaayam, was co-written by Mani Ratnam
and Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Thiruda Thiruda was co-written by Ram Gopal Varma. In a way, it can be said that both the directors have ventured into new wave
cinema with Company (Ram Gopal Varma) and Kannathil
Muthamittal (Mani Ratnam) in 2002. Mani Ratnam's Dil Se.. was co-produced by Ram Gopal Varma.
Mr. Varma tells that until he saw Mani's films, he never took song and
dances seriously. His inspiration for visuals comes from Mani.
I hated shooting song sequences. Then I saw Mani Ratnam’s Roja
and was fascinated by the visual impact of his music and choreography.
Mani has been a strong influence on my song picturisations." - Ram
(A film producer and distributer) "I worked as an
assistant for Mani Ratnam for films like Geetanjali and Gharshana
and I address him as 'Thalaiva' (Leader). With his inspiration, I bought
the remake rights of his latest film and released it as Amrutha.
Though the film failed at box office, it gave me immense feeling of
owning a film made by my most favorite director Mani Ratnam. He has got
terrific visual sense. Other directors can make equally visually rich
shots. But nobody can make them look good with minimal resources and
budget the way Mani Ratnam does. I still remember one shot in Geetanjali
film. The camera hovering over misty hills of Ooty shot was actually
taken on a miniature set erected on a table. When they shot that scene I
asked P C Sreeram about it, and he replied me to have a look at it when
projected on big screen. After sound mixing, the final effect is
terrific and unbelievable.
I started as a
distributor for Mani Ratnam's Bombay and I did distribute all his
films in Nizam since then.
are a few assistant directors of ace director, Mani Ratnam, who have made their
mark in the Film Industry. His assistant directors are all very well educated.
He surely knows how to select the right people.
(All set to debut in a movie jointly to be produced by Prakash Raj
and Ram Gopal Varma.)
MBA from Mumbai.
(Acted in Shankar's Boys, Ratnam's Aayitha Ezhuthu,
Rakyesh Om Prakash Mehra's Rang De Basanthi, Prabhu Deva's
Nuvostanante Nenodantanaa, Shivakumar's Chukkalo Chandrudu)
interesting aspect of Boys was the casting of the lead character. When
Shankar was looking for a young, fresh-faced lad, writer Sujatha Rangarajan recommended that he
check out Siddharth, a youngster who was then serving as assistant director to
Mani Ratnam (in, among other films, Kannathil Mutthamittal, which had
Madhavan in the lead).
Siddharth was born in Tanjavur. His father is the vice president of Nestle. He has a sister who had done her PhD from Singapore and is a research assistant there. Siddharth had studied in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. When he did his MBA, he had job offers from some very good companies. But, he was crazy about films, so he made his way to Chennai. He loved the stage even as a school kid. He had also written scripts. He had come here to become a director. When he was in Delhi, he had contacted
Mani Ratnam over emails. He had even spoken to the director over the phone. Mani interviewed him and made him his assistant director in the film
Kannathil Mutthamittal. But fate had other plans. Shankar
saw him and made him the hero of Boys.
Mani Ratnam followed suit with Aayitha Ezhuthu. Siddharth is 25 now. He had married his sweetheart, a Punjabi Chartered Accountant named
Meghna. Talk of strange twists of fate.
MS from USA.
(Acting in Ameer's Paruthiveeran)
Actor Surya's younger brother, Karthik
(son of actor Siva Kumar) who has completed his education (MS and also a course
in World Films) from the USA is also
said to be assisting Mr. Mani Ratnam in Aayitha Ezhuthu. He was also
asked by Ratnam to act in the film, but Karthik stuck to assisting the maestro.
Karthik, Sivakumar’s second
son and actor Surya’s brother is being launched as a hero by director Ameer.
Karthik is an assistant to
director Mani Ratnam and his dream was to direct a film. There were some rumours
that he will be debuting as a director with Surya as the hero but nothing came
out of it. Karthik was also managing Surya’s career.
Ameer who has made his debut
with Surya in Mounam Pesiyathe shares a great rapport with the Sivakumar
family. His latest film Raam won him a lot of accolades and now he was
waiting for Surya’s dates to start his new film with a very exciting script.
But unfortunately Surya’s
hands were full and could not accommodate him, so Ameer decided to launch
Karthik as the hero in this untitled film which he is also producing. An
official announcement is awaited today evening from Sivakumar’s residence.
Ms V Priya Bhushan
Film Institute DFT
(Kanda Naal Mudhal)
associate directors in the film are Ms. V Priya (directed serial, Anbulla
Sehidiyae and also associated with Revathi's Mitr - My Friend). S
It has been a long wait for
Priya to direct her first feature film, the Tamil movie Kanda Naal Mudal.
Till it happened, Priya occupied herself by writing the script of Revathy's
directorial debut Mitr- My friend, assisting Mani Ratnam in Iruvar, Dil
Se, Yuva and Aayitha Ezhuthu, and Ratnam's wife Suhasini in
her directorial debut Indira.
Priya has also directed
several television serials for Telephoto Films (owned by Suresh Menon and
Revathy) and Madras Talkies (Mani Ratnam's production house).
Even today, she is known as
Mani Ratnam's assistant and she has no qualms about it. "Yes, that is my
address; Mani Ratnam's Assistant, and I am proud of it."
Kanda Naal Mudal is
produced by National Award-winning actor Prakash Raj's production house, Duet
Movies. Its first production, a small film titled Azhagiya Theeyae
(starring Prasanna and Navya Nair) was a surprise hit at the Tamil box office.
Priya has known Prakash
Raj from the days when she assisted Mani Ratnam in Iruvar.
She does not claim Kanda
Naal Mudal is a 'different' film but assures that her characters are as
normal as "you and me." They behave like normal people, and that is
what makes them 'different,' she says.
This love story has Prasanna
and Laila in the lead, with Evam Karthik, the hero of P C Sreeram's Vaanam
Vassapadum, playing an important role.
Sreeram is the cinematographer
for Kanda Naal Mudal, Sreekar Prasad is the editor, Thotta Tharani is the
art director and Yuvan Shankar Raja is the music director. Priya
V's Interview at Rediff.com.
Another talented person, who is
yet to make his debut film.
pens story and screenplay for a Telugu film, directed by Shivakumar.
BSc. and a Gold Medalist from the Chennai Film Institute.
Dumm Dumm Dumm, Jhoot - Are you Ready)
"I assisted Mani
Sir, as an apprentice from Dalapathi to Iruvar. Frankly, I started liking the commercial aspect
of filmmaking only after I joined him. I enjoyed working with him. Those
were some of the most memorable days of my life. I feel that however
much you learn, what you need is creativity and it should be there
within you. The kind of films that you want to create, the kinds of
characters you want to create are within you. Working with Mani Sir and
watching all those international movies may help you shape well but
ultimately what matters is the creative element that you have. If you
don’t have creativity, no amount of learning can help you become a
good filmmaker. I tried to imbibe all the qualities that Mani Sir has.
Lots of things. He is so passionate about movies, I don’t think I can
achieve that level of passion and devotion. Besides, I also respect his
devotion to his profession. I follow the Mani Ratnam style. It will
take me many more movies to evolve my own style. But what is wrong in
imitating Mani Ratnam who has created his own style and is a
Perumal, Director, long standing assistant of many years to Mani Ratnam. He has directed Dumm dumm dumm, for Madras Talkies. Azhagam
Perumal's Interview at Rediff.com.
BSc. and B.Tech from the MIT, Chennai.
Five Star, Thiruttupayale)
During his engineering college days itself I was enamored of cinema. I once went to invite
Mani Ratnam for the college day. We never got across to him and some one else came instead. My stint as a journalist was yet another reason to come to films.
I was always focused from the very beginning. I did not want to join anybody else but only
Mani Ratnam. As a student of cinema I knew that he has given cinema a new dimension. I wanted to be a part of his kind of filmmaking. I went straight to his house and told him my intention. At that time he was final stage of
Thiruda Thiruda. He curtly told me to go to his office and get an appointment. I hung around his office for months together but the appointment never came. The office boy used to tell me that I should take up a good job instead. I then through art director Thotta
Tharani managed to get across to Mani Ratnam. At first he suggested that like him, I too should straight away get into direction and to find a producer. I persisted. He then asked me to write about a film I liked. I wrote about a film, which he did not direct because I did not want to get into any trouble with my comments. After all this he told me that he was about to finish his film and to come back later. It was again back to square one. Again when Mani started his film I got across to him with great difficulty. He told me to write out a story and give it to his office. I had one ready for him. When I went back to him he told me frankly that he was yet to read it. A week later when I met him he asked me to join. The story outline that I gave to him while joining was the subject of
He always believed spot improvisation was necessary. The locale or the natural surroundings gave him ideas to make the visual more appealing and make it a part of the story. He was the first person to show that visual beauty and technical enhancement was as important as story telling.
Art director, Mr. Thotta Tharani, recommended me to Mr. Mani Ratnam. I got an appointment with Mani Sir, but, 'it was a failure', as I couldn't convince the director that I wanted to be a filmmaker and not an automobile engineer. "Why do you want to waste your time when you are an engineer? If you really want to make films, write a script and meet some producers. An assistant director's job is the most idiotic job in the world. Why do you want to be an assistant? I never assisted anyone", was the director’s comment.
The problem was I did not know how films were made. I only wanted to make films.
It took me one-and-a-half years after graduation to start working as assistant. "It was the most difficult period of my life.
With the help of Mr. Thotta Tharani, I met Mani Sir again. This time, I convinced the director how serious
I was about films. I was asked to submit a script. What I submitted to Mani Ratnam
in 1994 has now come out as much acclaimed Five Star.
"Working as assistant to Mani Sir was like studying in a film institute". Full of excitement and
I showed the first print of my first film, Virumbugirean to Mani Sir, and the first reaction of
my guru was, "Well done! I never expected you to make a film like this". Within a week, to
my surprise, I was given an offer to direct a film for Mani Ratnam's production house, Madras Talkies. "The initial shock was there but soon I considered it a great honour. It was like joining the school where you studied as a teacher. I got the offer after the first copy was ready".
Unfortunately, Susi Ganesan's first film never got released. "It's my first baby. I feel very sad that it is still lying in the cans because of financial problems between the producer and director".
The biggest compliment Susi Ganesan got was from Ratnam: "He told me, 'I think the film is one step ahead of what was written in the script.' It is a great appreciation from a person like Mani Sir. I felt very happy and proud of myself".
"I am very grateful to
Mani Sir, it was nice working with him, like studying in big university it’s like
studying, he is always doing best films".
Ganesan, Director, long standing
assistant of many years to Mani Ratnam. He has directed Five Star,
for Madras Talkies. Susi
Ganesan's Interview at Rediff.com. Taking
time...but making it.
from Garhwal, Dhulia graduated from Allahabad University in 1986 before joining
the National School of Drama, New Delhi.
He then joined Ketan Mehta as
assistant art director for Sardar Patel (Paresh Rawal) and followed it up
with stints as chief assistant for Pradip Kishen's Electric Moon, casting
director and assistant for Shekhar Kapur's Bandit Queen (Seema Biswas)
and Dushmani (Sunny Deol, Manisha Koirala), dialogue writer for Mani
Ratnam's Dil Se.. (Shah Rukh Khan, Manisha, Preity Zinta) and Goldie
Behl's Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hai (Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukherji, Sushmita
Sen, Jackie Shroff) and screenplay and dialogue writer for Amitabh Bachchan
Corporation Limited's Tere Mere Sapne (Chandrachur Singh, Arshad Warsi,
Priya Gill, Simran).
In between, he continued
polishing his writing and directing skills with short films and serials for
television channels, including Krishna's Dream and Bombay Blue (Channel
Four), Film India (BBC World) and six episodes of Star BestSellers (Star
He also worked as casting
director for Peter Ustinov's Stiff Upper Lip, Asif Kapadia's The
Warrior and the Indo-Canadian production, Such A Long Journey. Tigmanshu
Dhulia's Interview at Rediff.com.
Mani Sir, more Sir - an interesting article from
BA. English Literature
"I worked with Mani Ratnam in all his projects from
Dil Se..to Alai Payuthey. It was a wonderful learning experience. I learnt a lot from Mani Sir and when I started making movies, I adapted this knowledge to my style of filmmaking. My movies have a mix of all elements with a strong vein of emotion.
Initially I entered the industry with a dream of becoming an actor. Along the way, I found myself on the director’s
(Saathiya, Bunty aur Babli)
over four years," says Shaad Ali, "Mani Sir has been like a
father to me. I was fortunate enough to work with him as associate
director of the Manisha Koirala-Shah Rukh Khan starrer Dil Se..".
"Mani Sir is an
institution. Film is his religion. There is no one better you can learn
from. He is undoubtedly, and I say this without batting an eyelid, the
best filmmaker the country has produced," states the 27-year-old.
was a project that Shaad Ali was closely associated with. "From the
initial scripting to the final post-production of the film, Alai
Payuthey was a complete hands-on project for me. After the film's
success Mani Sir had three options: remake the film himself in Hindi,
entrust it to someone else or he could give it to me. He chose the last.
I jumped at the offer. I could not have asked for a better break.
Director, long standing assistant of many years to Mani Ratnam. He has
directed Saathiya, the Hindi
remake of Mani Ratnam's Alai Payuthey. Shaad
Ali's Interview at Rediff.com. "Saathiya
is like an exam for me".
Nesam, 123, Shathiriyan, Sipahi)
Subhash is an erstwhile
assistant to Mani Ratnam and has directed a number of films with Prabhu,
Vijayakanth, Ajith and also 123 with the dancing brother, Prabhu Deva, Raju
Sundaram and Nagendra Prasad with Jothika for the female lead. he is now
(Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi,
Srinivas assisted Mani Ratnam
in films like Bombay and directed the Madhavan, Abbas, Prema starrer
Kannada film (which had P C Sreeram cranking the camera), Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi.
Mani Ratnam's Family
Suhasini Mani Ratnam (Click
here for Profile)
is the first true male friend I've had! Now I am not about to talk and
say great things about my husband Mani, simply because he doesn't have
great things to say about me. I will only say this - He is a friend! . I
call him my husband when I am very upset with him-- and when he treats
me like a wife when he is angry with me! The rest of the time we are
great pals! I don't miss most of my friends when I am with Mani! I don't
think I have met any man who is as incredible as him in my life . And I
hope, I do so not in the future!. Mani is one person who strongly feels
that I am cut out for direction. We are good friends and there is no ego in our
relationship. I'm the lazy one and Mani is the arrogant one. Some of his stories
are decided by me and mine by him. I don't like to get too involved with his
movies because I prefer to enjoy them as a regular viewer". - Mrs. Suhasini Mani
Mani Ratnam lives with his wife Suhasini (actress and director) and their son,
The jewel in her life..
He is quiet. She is friendly, vivacious and bursting with life. He is an acclaimed director and she is an acclaimed actress in South Indian films. Both have won innumerable awards. His might be the name on most cinegoers' lips, but she is far from wallowing in obscurity. Suhasini Mani Ratnam is definitely not living in husband Mani Ratnam 's shadow.
In a marriage of two such successful personalities, there could be a clash of egos. Not so, avers
Suhasini, "We are good friends and there is no ego in our relationship. I'm the lazy one and he is the arrogant one. Sometimes, he decides a story for me when I crib that I'm a homemaker and can't find time. Some of his stories are decided by me. For instance, I read the story idea for
Kannathil Muthammital in Time magazine and suggested it to him and he developed it into a film."
What does the cinematographer-actress-director think of her husband's films? She doesn't gush but her fondness for Mani 's films is evident. "I love his films. That's why I don't like getting too involved with his movies. I have been a part of most of his films and when the movie releases, there is no excitement. I prefer to watch his movies like the rest of the audience. I enjoyed
Alai Payuthey because I saw the finished product," she explains.
And it's not that she is not critical about his work. "We have absolutely no problems in criticising each other's work. If he points out a flaw in my work, then I take it as a learning experience and if I point out a mistake, he views it objectively. Mani is the only one who believes that I am cut out for direction," admits
"My heart lies in direction," she says. And the spark was more than evident in her critically acclaimed Tamil serial Penn , where she got prominent actresses from the Tamil film industry to act in each episode.
Indhira , her first feature film, didn't exactly create a stir, but it certainly proved her ability to direct. Talking about her next project, she says, "I have just completed a one hour tele-film for a channel, which features Revathy and me."
Suhasini is equally serious about her home and hearth, when she says, "I have an 11-year-old son Nandan and it is imperative that one of us stays at home. He is into science and history in a big way. He wants to become an archaeologist when he grows up."
Three different identities living under one roof. The Ratnams are one unique but fascinating family.
Mani Ratnam's Interview at
Music India Online.com