Rajeev Menon breaks the Guru 'suspense'

rajeev menon mani ratnam guru

Rajeev Menon is currently shooting Mani Ratnam’s Guru. We all know that. Seems to be too spirited these days. Working again with Mani Ratnam may be one of the reason. But he goes to the extent of even talking in a little detail about Guru’s premise. I’m surprised. This morning when Mani Ratnam sips his coffee and reads this Vikatan interview, he will be surprised too.

BTW, what’s with this Ambaani story and all. Starting from the day when the story started to sneak out, I was hanging out silently to get this confirmed. With this answer of Rajeev Menon it’s nearly confirmed. Nearly. Usually, when the screens light-up for a Mani Ratnam movie, I anxiously await to be over-powered by the images on the screen. This Ambaani matter is somehow hindering the expectations.

Who is GURU ?

Script ? No way !!

Mumbai Mirror has some news on Mani Ratnam’s next flick, Guru.

This is the first time that Mani Ratnam is finding it difficult to get a star for his next, Guru. He can’t find a hero opposite Vidya Balan in his film. Ratnam has signed Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai as the lead pair of his film, while Vidya Balan has been finalised as the second lead. But it seems that most of the Bollywood actors are giving this ace filmmaker grief as none of them seem to be interested in playing second lead to AB Jr.

While we go to press, we have been informed by our source that Mani Ratnam is disappointed with the attitude of Bollywood actors, and he wants to cast a fresh face opposite Vidya Balan. Mani sir will come to Mumbai to conduct screen tests and in all probability he might sign on a new face for the film, he informs.

I would love if Ratnam drops the entire plan and returns Chennai to shoot the movie in Tamil.

Niruthanum…Ellathayum Niruthanum !!


Filled with tight close-ups and trolley shots, the 5 minute sequence where Deva – Surya meet Arvind Swamy, is probably one of the best edited scenes in kollywood. The broad view of Arvind Swamy’s office is never shown until the conflict happens. Until then the camera just captures the emotions on the faces. As the trolley moves and the camera comes behind someone it cuts surprisingly to another face. May seem to be an old technique now but then it was so new.

A true team effort from the cast, Mani Ratnam, Suresh Urs and Santhosh Sivan. Illayaraja seems to have provided ample support with a perfect silence during the close-ups. Classy.

Guru !!

mani ratnam guru.jpg
[Source – Madras Talkies. Via – Brijesh]

There is this relatively old rumor[a month old] that Mani Ratnam‘s latest flick will be a Bollywood film with Aamir Khan.

Few days back, they let the cat more or less out of the bag that Mani is looking to direct another bollywood flick with Abhishek, Aish and ‘Parineeta’ Vidya Balan.

So what’s the movie name? GURU. Yeah, more or less[in Times of India tone], its Guru. Is that why my collar seems to be perpetually raised, since then ?

P.S – Its a surprise to see the image of Mani Ratnam on Madras Talkies site. Its probably the first time, I see Mani indulging in such a self-promotion. Either Yuva must be spotted in some recent film festival or, I’m guessing, some webmaster who is an ardent fan like Guru[yeah, this is me] put up Mani’s photo on the homepage.

Mr.Mani , If you are reading this, can you ask that webmaster to send me a bigger image with better resolution. I need an image like this to be hosted at maniratnamfilms.com.

Mani Ratnam on Personal Film-making

I think we are on the threshold of development. Today, a lot more films are made for an international audience. Technology will play a big role with the growth of the digital medium. Filmmaking will become a lot more personal. It will become like writing. Anybody will be able to make a film.

Those are words of Mani Ratnam in a short interview to Deccan Herald. Interesting observtion. Rest of the interview, has already appeared on print before, in some form or other.

With the way things are exponentially progressing, what Mani says will happen sooner than expected. Like blogging, anyone will be able to make a film. By then, most of us would be already standing with a Sony movie handycam and loads of ideas. Ofcourse, rehearsing the script within ourselves. mylazymovie.com !!

Nayakan on All-'Time' Top 100 Movies

Kamal as Velu Naicker

Bollywood is shorthand for Bombay Hollywood, seat of the largest Indian film industry. But it manufactures only about 200 of the thousand or so Indian feature films; a half-dozen regions boast production sites larger than most of the world?s national cinemas. Madras, capital of the Tamil state, is one such place, and its leader – arguably India’s top pop-film auteur – is Mani Ratnam. His movies, often dramatizing social unrest and political terrorism, churn with narrative tension and camera energy that would be the envy of Hollywood directors, if they were ever to see them. Nayakan, an early, defining work in his career, tells the Godfatherish tale of Velu, a boy who embraces a life of crime after his father is killed by the police. Velu (Kamal Hasan) has trouble juggling his family life with his life-and-death mob “family”; Ratnam has no such difficulty blending melodrama and music, violence and comedy, realism and delirium, into a two-and-a-half-hour demonstration that, when a gangster’s miseries are mounting, the most natural solution is to go singin’ in the rain. – Excerpt from Time Magazine.

Again, just like the Oscars for a tamil movie, I don’t think something is achieved when you have a Tamil movie featuring in the list of global all-time favorites. But it’s a feel good factor. One reason why I am personally happy is for Mani Ratnam’s Nayakan[needs subscription] making it to the Time’s Alltime Top 100 movies, is that despite being based on Mario Puzo’s God Father script, Nayakan had its own share of Mani Ratnam’s brilliance at throughout the movie. If you ask me to stick out a single favorite shot from the film, I may be dazzled.

Nayakan had a team that was one of the best during that decade. It had geniuses like Illayaraja, PC Sriram and the Nayakan himself.

I haven’t subscribed to Time and hence couldn’t read the entire article. Thanks Vilvanboy and Srivats for passing on the link, It made my day.

A Mani Ratnam scoop or a spoof

[Click the image for a bigger version]

A friend of mine, Karthi, did forward the above pic with a subject – Mani Ratnam’s New Film, Aalayam.

I probably wanted to verify the source and then post this. Am not posting this to make a scoop out of it or to bring in a speculation. Infact, going by previous instances this isn’t the way Mani Ratnam unleashes his new movie. Because I believe the movie shooting hasn’t started yet and many a time such teaser posters get released only when post-production works are in progress.

This could be true on one reason. K Sera Sera production house’s name is there on the list. Maybe K Sera Sera is co-producing the film alongwith Madras Talkies. But be it a spoof or a scoop, am posting it just because I am happy for the way the poster is designed. He/She must have been a Mani Ratnam fan. The font and the collage of pics at the background just makes it for a Mani Ratnam flick. Just couple of small mistakes, Mani Ratnam usually makes sure that he has the crew names written in tamil when its a poster for tamil movie. Also silly statements like With an International Cast never happen on a Mani Ratnam flick banners. I am sure.

Anyone with the details on the source of this so-called-Mani-Ratnam-poster gets a warm applause in the next post.

Update 1 – Koushik, got inspired by this poster above, created one more using the same poster. Check it out here.

A Peck on the Cheek – Reaching Out

[Pic: mybindi.com]

This is how Kansas City Star has rated Mani Ratnam‘s Kannathil Muthamittal [A Peck on the Cheek], which is being featured in this year’s Kansas Film Festival. Though with small mis-informations, this small preview, would make Kannathil Muthamittal get a warm welcome in the fest.

“A Peck on the Cheek”: This recent Bollywood hit from writer/director Mani Ratnam stars the adorable P.S. Keerthana as a young girl who, upon learning from her Indian parents that she was adopted, begins a journey to strife-torn Sri Lanka to find out who her biological parents are.

Part war film, part domestic tearjerker and part musical (if it doesn’t have singing and dancing, it isn’t Bollywood), this winning entry should provide local audiences with a fitting introduction to one of the most popular cinema styles in the world today.

Also read about the review of other films which are to be screened in the Kansas Film Festival 2004.

Here is another review of Kannathil Muthamittal made in the Toronto Film Festival 2002.

Give Yuva a chance. Don't pre-judge the film – Mani Ratnam

[Pic : Rediff]

Why do you assume anything has gone wrong? Nothing has gone against the film. Word-of-mouth is good. The film is good, so everything is okay.

It is also too early to analyse the film. If you ask a filmmaker to analyse his own film, it would take three or four years to do that, honestly. Because when you make a film, you have to be convinced about it. You are married to that film for a year.

I am very happy with the film. I am happy with the response I have got so far from the theatres.

I am glad that we can make bold films, different films within the commercial market and still do well.

This interview with Mani Ratnam explains all. Read it on here on Rediff.

P.S: Aptly said Anti/Viji. As Viji pointed out Kamal literally came out of Bollywood for these same reasons.

However, the reason that he isn’t tall enough for a bollywood hero was a humbug. Pity that Mani Ratnam is also pushed to the same state of affairs. But Mani Ratnam has always stood against such acts. Be it the censors or terrorist attacks, he had remained calm in the face of the media. His sudden press meet, I should say, is certainly because he is upset about the movie pundits too much.