It can only be called serendipity. A journalist wants to write a book on Mani Ratnam. The filmmaker is famously reticent. So the critic decides to do a book on his films - "a mass of analysis and deconstruction" - for want of a better option. Imagine the delight of the writer then, when the subject of his book says, "You like cinema, I like cinema. Let's talk and see what happens.
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Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Conversations with Mani Ratnam by Baradwaj Rangan ,. Rahman Forward. This book, unique for Indian cinema, illuminates the genius of the man behind these and eighteen other masterly films.
For the first time ever, Mani Ratnam opens up here, to Baradwaj Rangan, about his art, as well as his life before films. In these freewheeling conversations, candid, witty, pensive, and sometimes combative, many aspects of his films are explored.
Mani elaborates in a personal vein on his choice of themes, from the knottiness in urban relationships Agni Natchatiram to the rents in the national fabric Bombay ; his directing of children Anjali ; his artful use of songs; his innovative use of lighting, as also his making films in Hindi and other languages. There are fond recollections of collaborations with stalwarts like Balu Mahendra, P.
Sreeram, Thotta Tharani, and Gulzar, among many others. And delectable behind-the-scenes stories—from the contrasting working styles of the legendary composer Ilayaraja and Rahman to the unexpected dimensions Kamal Haasan brought to the filming of Nayakan to what Raavan was like when originally conceived.
Get A Copy. Hardcover , 1st Edition , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Conversations with Mani Ratnam , please sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about Conversations with Mani Ratnam. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Conversations with Mani Ratnam. Oct 11, Archana Sivassubramanian rated it really liked it. While we were making a really so-called short film at college, it kind of struck me how difficult this process of filmmaking is, and how some directors have made filmmaking look so effortless and palatable.
I revisited this book two years after I had first read it, some quick thoughts on the book: Fancy what Mani Sir as he is known in the industry circle talks about his brilliant and equally outlandish 'Thiruda Thirudi'? I saw Thiruda Thirudi w While we were making a really so-called short film at college, it kind of struck me how difficult this process of filmmaking is, and how some directors have made filmmaking look so effortless and palatable.
I saw Thiruda Thirudi way back in , and wondered, whoa, what part of this stupendous film could be real. We all assume that filmmakers make films inspired by real life events and circumstances, but this film was so flippant and illogical that it mocked at every deified code in the manual of screenplay writing.
The music was loony and fresh with a mix of synth, swelling strings and acoustics. The Background Score IMO is among the best of ARR's compositions and I am underplaying my emotion here, also please listen to Thiruda Thiruda Chase Theme and talkme , PC had gone bonkers with colors and motifs, and the movie, like all the other great movies of our times, wasn't a commercial success. So this movie with all its deification does not have a plot, and this man Mani wanted it that way.
It was interesting to note that Mani Rathnam does not believe in giving a 'message' through his films. He says he likes to capture how we are today. I found this careless answer to a weighty question a little incomplete. He even justifies that Iruvar was a plot that we grew up with, and the movement that inspired the youth of the 70s in the South. True that. But how can one make impersonal films that one does not identify oneself with? Maybe that is how he is. Maybe that is what makes his craft stand apart, and speak.
He believes in ebbs and flows and movements and "having a gap between two emotional peaks because a valley is always required between two mountains", and sometimes likes to interpret too. Oh and one more thing: I also liked how he defended the extraordinarily boring Raavan.
I loved that chapter on Iruvar because it is one my most favorite films. One film that tried to combine cinema and politics and made art out of the mixture. Rangan hit some jackpot questions on the chapter that was on Iruvar Teaser: "You are saying that it's easier to fictionalize and dramatize the life of MGR when compared to the life of Sivaji" We all talk about filmmakers outside of us.
There is Godard and Micheaux from the other world. There is Linklater and Del Toro and the other awesome etcs. W read about them, and dissect their techniques. In all our fancy for cinema outside of us, maybe we are missing out on all the spice that is available inside of us.
This book throws a perspective on how groundbreaking it actually is in India to make the kind of films like the ones that Mani Sir has made. Superb book. And also one book that clarifies why you cannot reduce Mani Rathnam as just this upper class filmmaker who works with an upper class team to portray upper class living.
He definitely knows his art better than we do. View 1 comment. Nov 09, Archana Amaragandhi rated it it was amazing. Most often, we don't recognize legends during their making.
But when they are up there shining like brillant stars, we go back, revisit their work and say WOW. I said more wows reading about these movies from the creator's viewpoint than when I actually saw those.
Such insights. Such details. Mani Ratnam is indeed a legend. I am not sure if I am more in awe of Maniratnam for his earthly movies or the author Baradwaj Ranjan for bringing out the best from an otherwise reserved director, perfectly b Most often, we don't recognize legends during their making.
I am not sure if I am more in awe of Maniratnam for his earthly movies or the author Baradwaj Ranjan for bringing out the best from an otherwise reserved director, perfectly balancing between a fan and a critic. Oct 10, Santhosh rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. The equivalent of Harsha Bhogle talking to Ian Chappell at the end of day's play. Simply outstanding! Mar 31, Arun Divakar rated it liked it.
A bigger canvas of film making and a lot of color and vibrancy is what a lot of film-goers associate with a successful commercial movie in an Indian parlance. A little more than 10 years or so ago, a movie that ran across multiple cinema halls in the country for more than a days or so was deemed a blockbuster.
If we measure success of a filmmaker with such a yardstick, then Mani Ratnam has certainly made his mark in Indian cinema. There are two movies of his which are my personal favorites : A bigger canvas of film making and a lot of color and vibrancy is what a lot of film-goers associate with a successful commercial movie in an Indian parlance.
This book features chapter long interviews with the film maker on each of his movies from the first one up until Ravan an. There is a good sense of growth for Mani Ratnam as an individual as you read through these interviews in a chronological fashion.
In the interviews that cover the first films of his career, he appears to be hesitant and uncertain to a certain degree while talking of his choices as a director. Ratnam also rewinds some of the wrong choices he made in his movies which have from then on made him attain more maturity as a director.
His movie Anjali which explores the relationship of a mentally challenged child with the members of her family and her neighborhood was perhaps the first of its kind in Tamil cinema. The conversation centered around this movie forms the most interesting and enlightening part of the book.
The preparations they undertook in studying the subject at hand and also how the child actors got ready for their roles. My first impression and expectation out of this book was to gain an understanding of how the mind of such a famed director works. But at the end of the book, I hadn't progressed much from the starting point. It is not that Ratnam does not open up, but that the interviewer does not succeed in drawing him out except at a few places.
The answers Ratnam gives are equally evasive and does not add much to a person who reads the interview. A very average book. View 2 comments. May 04, Viju rated it liked it Shelves: read-in , betweenand-4 , owned.
Conversations with Mani Ratnam
A sumptuous treat for serious lovers of cinema as well as the casual moviegoer! This wonderful book is a tribute to his genius. Personalized foreword by a. The author is a national award winning film critic. This book, unique for indian cinema, illuminates the genius of the man behind these and eighteen other masterly films. For the first time ever, mani ratnam opens up here to baradwaj rangan, about his art, as well as his life before films.
Excerpt: Conversations With Mani Ratnam
In the end, for instance, the character does not die like Karna in the epic. In my mind, I kept telling myself that Mullum Malarum was the benchmark in terms of his performance. It is mainstream Tamil cinema, not parallel cinema. But it was very realistic, and performed very, very realistically. The dialogues were real. It probably was his best performance.