Mani Ratnam Shares Filmmaking Secrets at Mumbai Film Festival

The renowned Tamil director, Mani Ratnam, unveiled golden nuggets from his sparkling 40-year journey in the world of cinema at the Mumbai Film Festival. The session, packed with eager fans, was steered by Bollywood director Imtiaz Ali, a staunch Ratnam admirer.

Back in the day, Ratnam’s life took a dramatic turn from management consulting to filmmaking. The stellar works of directors like Akira Kurosawa and Guru Dutt played muse to his aspirations. Ratnam candidly revealed how he jumped into directing without waiting to learn the ropes traditionally. His passion led him to write, direct, and pretend to know everything about filmmaking!

Delving deeper, Ratnam spoke about his early films from the ’80s. He shared a memorable meeting with Tamil cinema giant Kamal Haasan, who imparted valuable advice – to make films that connect with the masses.

Throughout the ’80s, Ratnam’s films, from romance to politics, revolutionized Tamil cinema. He reminisced about the audience’s reactions to his iconic movie, Mouna Ragam, shedding light on society’s perspectives and his role as a filmmaker.

Mani Ratnam’s movies are renowned for their detailed characters. While discussing this, Ali pointed out that Ratnam’s female protagonists often appear more complex than their male counterparts. Ratnam believes that mirroring the real-world intelligence of women on screen makes for a more authentic portrayal.

The conversation also shone a spotlight on Ratnam’s collaboration with the music maestro A.R. Rahman. He fondly recalled the first time he heard Rahman’s music in a small studio, marking the onset of their legendary partnership that produced masterpieces like Bombay and Dil Se..

Ratnam’s stint with Hindi cinema and his recent successes, Ponniyin Selvan: 1 and Ponniyin Selvan: 2, also got a mention, wrapping up a captivating session that was a true treat for cinema lovers.

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