Mani Ratnam begins new film, a Tamil-Malayalam bilingual

  • Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Oct 10, 2014 19:44 IST

Mani Ratnam, one of the better known Indian directors from Tamil Nadu, has just started shooting his bilingual film in Tamil and Malayalam. The movie will come after an 18-month break, and in what is a typical Ratnam style, the whole project was kept under wraps till the other day.

The film, to be set in Mumbai and Chennai, is yet to be titled. But we know that the ace cinematographer, PC Sreeram, will lens the movie, and his association with Ratnam comes after 14 years – when the two worked in the Shalini-Madhavan starrer, Alaipayuthey, in 2000. AR Rahman will set the score.

To be produced by Ratnam’s own production house, Madras Talkie’s, the helmer’s latest work will have Dulquer Salmaan (Mammootty’s son) and Nitya Menen playing the leads with Prakash Raj essaying an important part.

Salmaan-Menen jodi has been a hot pair, and were seen in Anwar Rasheed’s Ustad Hotel. We also saw them in Anjali Menon’s Bangalore Days, though they played cousins there.

Dulquer Salmaan (bottom first, clockwise) will be the male lead in Mani ratnam's next

Ratnam has not had much of a success in recent years. His bilingual Raavan/Raavanan in Hindi and Tamil, bombed at the box office, despite its promos being screened at the Cannes Film Festival, and the movies themselves being screened at the Venice Film Festival, the world’s two most prestigious festivals.

His 2013 Kadal also sank.

Ratnam’s strength has always been city-centric plots. I have always felt that his early movies like Mouna Raagam (with Revathi and Mohan), Nayagan (with Kamal Haasan) and, of course, Alaipayuthey were his best. These were extremely intimate films that told us very personal stories set in huge, often unfeeling metros.

Ratnam has made 22 movies in a 31-year career, and has been largely responsible in making stars out Rahman, Madhavan and Aishwarya Rai among others.

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