Cerebral Shangrila

Monday, September 05, 2005

Mouna Ragam -- Mani's Best ?

Vasantham Central (Singapore's local tamil channel) celebrates Maniratnam special this month. I happened to catch the movie "Mouna Ragam" by Mani on Saturday.

The movie, IMHO, is perhaps the best Maniratnam movie. The screenplay is nearly flawless (ignoring the cinematic ending), dialogues are sharp/witty , excellent characterisations of Mohan/Revathi/Karthik , wonderful performances, nice/decent humor,terrific direction and of course unforgetable music.

Maniratnam is at his best etching human complexities,relationships and bonding. This is what he does best and demonstrated it again in Alaipayuthe & Kannathil Muthamitaal. This is pure vintage mani -- no artifice,pretense ( I disliked his later movies such as Thiruda Thiruda,Aayudha Ezhuthu, Dil se -- they all lacked realism ).

The camerawork was excellent too capturing the best of Delhi & Agra, not to forget the great interiors of Mohan's aesthetic home.

Illayaraja's music score is a classic. All the songs were huge hits and the BGM (Background music) is a treat to movie fans and a lesson for other music directors who want to learn about background music.

What happened to that whiz kid maniratnam these days who is increasingly getting bogged down by the weight of his celebrity ?


  • Ya true, what a masterpiece and such amazing music.

    By Blogger Vasant, at 3:34 PM  

  • Saw bits and pieces of the movie on the telly...obviously didnt understand too much of it, but it is similar to Woh Saat Din? seemed like the 'girlmarriesboyofparentschoiceandhateshimbecauseofpreviousloverbutintheendreconciles' angle?
    quite liked the BGM..

    By Blogger Abhishek Chatterjee, at 4:48 PM  

  • I watched it too. Love the background score. Too good!

    By Blogger Dinesh, at 5:43 PM  

  • Abhisek,
    I think you would have watched the hindi version: Hum Dil de Chuke Sanam... ;-)
    just that the original is more subtle but hard hitting...

    By Blogger Neodawn, at 4:18 PM  

  • The background score rocked, baby! The music runs thru out the movie and it serves as a tool for story telling - which also happens to be Mani's niche. Take b'bay for eg, you have an entire 15 mins in the 2nd half during the rioting scenes without any dialogues but the story is carried on the shoulders of music alone. Dont know if u can give the credit to the music director or Mani, tho!

    By Blogger Chennai chatter, at 5:08 PM  

  • adula enna doubT??it is manis best

    By Blogger ada-paavi!!!!, at 7:00 PM  

  • Vasant,Dinesh,vatsan -- Absolutely

    Abhi -- The story of Mouna Ragam = HDDCS If salman had died in the movie ..

    arun - thanks for clarifying

    chennai chatter -- mani extracts the best music from his MD's

    By Blogger Cogito, at 11:09 AM  

  • I too watched.. definitely it is one of his best.. since he has churned different types of movies like roja, anjali, naayagan, we cannot choose any one as his best... all are good in different aspect.

    By Blogger Ram C, at 12:49 PM  

  • Maniratnam's best is yet to come! Mouna ragam along with idayathai Thirudathe are my personal favourites! Subtle emotions that make the movie that much special!

    By Blogger Yaaro, at 12:25 AM  

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