Monday, February 21, 2011

A few observations about Mani Ratnam's movies

Yesterday, I was watching Mani Ratnam's "Guru" after so many times, that I was mostly sleep-walking through it. But at one sequence, I observed something that is probably a less observed uniqueness to his movies.

In this sequence, a bunch of officers visit the paralyzed Guru in the hospital to serve a supreme court summon for the irregularities in his company. That actor who played that role impressed with a silent, sharp and subtle show of confidence and attitude which made the scene more lively than otherwise. Thinking about it, I find that this has been one of the silent differentiators of Mani's movies from others. These actors usually don't have the underlying "I don't play an important role in this movie" attitude, but rather stand up and make their acting be accounted for.

The lady doctor in "Alaipayuthe" who leads Madhavan from the hospital's reception to the ICU, the CBI officer who raids Priety's home after the foiled republic day bombing and Manisha's "brothers" in Dil Se are other examples for this.

Another observation (by someone else) is that all the amazing locations that we get to see in his movies ("pachai nirame" song, any random scene in "Roja") are shot in India. All of them! None outside the country. I thought about it myself, and put this point to my friend who is much more of a movie critic than myself. Both of couldn't place one single scene that we can say "that was shot outside India!". It is quite amazing! But can you think of any?