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5 Mani Ratnam Films You Ought To Watch Before ‘Ponniyin Selvan: I’

By Mohana Soman 27 September, 2022 2 min read
5 Mani Ratnam Films You Ought To Watch Before ‘Ponniyin Selvan: I’

As we gear up for the release of ‘Ponniyin Selvan: I‘, having a movie marathon of the director’s best films feels like a given. Before you catch ‘PS: I’ in theatres this Friday, September 30, catch up on Ratnam’s iconic films, from ‘Roja’ to ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’.

1. ‘Nayakan’ (1987)

Loosely based on the life and times of a real Mumbai mob boss and ‘The Godfather’, ‘Nayakan’ traces the rise of an ordinary man, as he gains power and respect as a feared gangster. The film has a legendary status in Kollywood and it is also included in TIME Magazine’s All-Time 100 Best Films list. Only two other Indian films – Guru Dutt’s ‘Pyaasa’ and Satyajit Ray’s ‘The Apu Trilogy’ – are a part of this list.
Director: Mani Ratnam
Cast: Kamal Haasan, Saranya, Nassar
Language: Tamil
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

2. ‘Roja’ (1992)

In this riveting romantic drama, a newly-married woman, Roja (Madhoo) sets off on a mission to save her husband (Arvind Swamy), after he gets kidnapped by separatist forces in ’90s Kashmir. ‘Roja’ was a critical and commercial success, and was dubbed in multiple languages. The film also marked Ratnam’s first collaboration with music director A. R. Rahman.
Director: Mani Ratnam
Cast: Arvind Swamy, Madhoo, Pankaj Kapur
Language: Tamil
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

3. ‘Bombay’ (1995)

Set against the backdrop of Bombay’s communal tension of the early ’90s, a Hindu-Muslim couple struggle to keep their love and family alive, as forces try to tear them apart. ‘Bombay’ won many awards for its sensitive depiction of inter-faith relationships and was one of the highest-grossing films of the year.
Director: Mani Ratnam
Cast: Arvind Swamy, Manisha Koirala
Language: Tamil
Streaming on: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

4. ‘Guru’ (2007)

‘Guru’ follows the meteoric rise of a man who ends up becoming one of the most successful men in the country in the course of his career. Ratnam was praised for his moving screenplay and Abhishek Bachchan was lauded for his performance.
Director: Mani Ratnam
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, R. Madhavan, Vidya Balan, Mithun Chakraborty
Language: Hindi
Streaming on: Netflix

5. ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’ (2015)

A game developer and a budding architect begin a casual relationship that eventually blossoms into something deeper. Ratnam’s feel-good romance featuring Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menen was critically acclaimed and became a blockbuster during its run. Ratnam was praised for portraying modern India’s view on relationships, while staying true to the old-school idea of romance.
Director: Mani Ratnam
Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Nithya Menen, Prakash Raj, Leela Samson
Language: Tamil
Streaming on: Netflix

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Tags: #Bombay#Mani Ratnam#Ponniyin Selvan - I#Roja
Written by
Mohana Soman
Drinks chai, writes stuff. Always shorter than you thought in person.

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