The veteran director turns 61 today
Today marks the birthday of one of the pioneers of Indian cinema in recent years, Mani Ratnam. The moment we say Mani Ratnam film, a string of hit films come to our minds, many of which are considered cult classics. But these films are significant, not just for the audience, but for the actors too. Many celebs in Indian cinema owe it to the ace director for some of the biggest hits of their career. Let us see who they are…
Kamal Haasan in Nayagan
One the best Kamal Haasan films of all time was undoubtedly Nayagan. This flick came out in 1987 and received tremendous critical acclaim. Based on the life of real underworld don Varadarajan Mudaliyar, the Ulaganayagan’s performance in the film was unparalleled. It was after seeing the success of Nayagan that it was remade in Hindi with Vinod Khanna as Dayavan.
Rajinikanth in Thalapathi
In his early years Mani Ratnam was famous for crime dramas than romances. Another film in the crime vein which was an instant hit was the Rajinikanth starrer Thalapathi. The entire acting brilliance and style of the Superstar was brought out perfectly in this film. Also his camaraderie with Malayalam superstar Mammootty in the film is talked about to this day.
Arvind Swamy in Roja and Bombay
Arvind Swamy owes pretty much his entire career to Mani Ratnam. If it had not been for Roja in 1992 and Bombay in 1995, the legacy of Arvind Swamy as the 90s heartthrob would have never happened. Both Roja and Bombay had very tense and political themes other than romance. Thanks to the diverse nature of his roles, Arvind managed to bring out his best as an emotional hero.
Manisha Koirala in Bombay and Dil Se
Bombay was undoubtedly the turning point in Manisha’s career. She was doing a string of films before that but it was excellent performance as Shaila Banu that earned her a lot of accolades and opened a lot of doors for her in Bollywood. Also the 1998 film Dil Se further helped her in rising to fame and becoming one of the biggest actresses in Bollywood.
Prakash Raj in Iruvar
Prakash was still struggling as an actor in the mid 90s when he starred in Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar. It was a really challenging role; the actor himself admitted this later. But it is also well known that if it was not for this film, Prakash Raj would have never risen to prominence. After constantly getting him to do retakes, Mani Ratnam brought out the master performer in Prakash.
Aishwarya Rai in Iruvar and Guru
The gorgeous Ash owes Mani Ratnam twice, once for launching her with Iruvar and then for giving her one of the biggest hits of her career with Guru. Iruvar gave Aishwarya an excellent platform to start her career from and we all know how amazing she was in Guru especially in the climax sequences. The Ash we all know and admire today is thanks to Mr Ratnam.
Madhavan in Alaipayuthey
Who brought mister chocolate boy to us all? Mani Ratnam of course! The sweet and charming Karthik Vardarajan won all our hearts in Alaipayuthey, a romantic drama that is still considered one of the best and realistic love stories of our time. Let’s face it Maddy and his lover boy image all came into being all thanks to this film and the director.
Vivek Oberoi in Saathiya
Vivek Oberoi’s acting career has been mostly a disaster. But there was a time when it looked really promising. This was the romantic film Saathiya came out in 2002. Even though it was not directed by Mani Ratnam, the ace director did handle the writing and screenplay. It was under Ratnam’s supervision that the Shaad Ali film became of the few rare hits in Vivek’s career.
Abhishek Bachchan in Yuva and Guru
Abhishek Bachchan too has faced a lot of challenges in his acting career. He was delivering flops after flops, and then along came Yuva in 2004. and this started getting due appreciation as an actor. But it doesn’t end there. Abhishek owes the biggest hit of his career to Mani Ratnam which was Guru. It was a blockbuster commercially and critically. Nobody could have portrayed the character of Gurukant Desai better than Abhishek. It is still the only film he talks about with pride to this day.
Dulquer Salmaan in O Kaadhal Kanmani
Dulquer has always had a good career in Mollywood thanks to films like Ustaad Hotel, Bangalore Days and many more. But the film that brought him to the limelight of national media was O Kaadhal Kanmani. His role of Aditya was smart, suave, charming and perfect for this modern day love story. It was after this film that he has become a national heartthrob of sorts, for girls simply adore him.
So that concludes the long and exhausting list of actors who owe a lot to the ace director, who gave them hits at the perfect time of their careers. So wish this amazing filmmaker a very happy birthday and hope that he will continue to make path breaking films for a long time.