This book has been on my radar for quite sometime now. There is just one reason as to why. Of course, Mani Ratnam. The author says, ‘The man who made Nayakan!’ For me, it would be, ‘How can I not read about him? He’s the man who made Mouna Raagam!’ And, Anjali. And, Agni Natchatram. And, Roja. And, Bombay. And, Alai Payuthey. And, Geetanjali. And, Thalapathi. And, Ayutha Ezhuthu. And, Iruvar. Sorry for this. But that is the truth.
Every movie of his has a trademark which will make you fall in love with it. A place. A character. A dialogue. A house. Something. I fell in love with Delhi ‘cos of Mouna Raagam. I fell in love with a low-seat dining table ‘cos of Anjali. I fell in love with Madras ‘cos of Agni Natchathram. I fell in love with violins ‘cos of Rakkama Kaiya Thattu in Thalapathi. I fell in love with Bombay ‘cos of Nayakan. I fell in love with the words ‘pattikaadu’ ‘cos of Roja. I fell in love with electric trains ‘cos of Alaipayuthe. Apart from this, I fell in love with Karthik, Prabhu, **gulp** Mohan, Revathi, Amala, Shalini, Shobana, Arvind Swamy, Thalaivar, Saranya and Madhavan instantly ‘cos of Mani Ratnam.
So, when such a film maker decides to speak about every movie of his, how can I not read it! How is the book, you ask. If you love Mani Ratnam’s movies (who doesn’t?), this book will work. The book is in a Question and Answer format where Mani sir talks about every move of his in every movie of his. How his life began with Pallavi Anu Pallavi, how Idhaya Kovil is his worst ever film, how he came on his own with Mouna Raagam, how Kamal gave him less work, how he learnt from his bad movies, how Iruvar is his best movie till date, how he loved to experiment with Agni, how he couldn’t see Shamili as a mentally disabled child and so on. And on.
This book is also a huge resource for budding filmmakers on how to make films.
If you are film lover, you cannot miss this book. If you are Mani Ratnam film lover, you absolutely can’t.