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Manirathnam and me

I always wanted to write about how this director influenced my taste of movies and lyrics. He has been pivotal in shaping a lot of my expectations towards men, women, relationships, marriage and of course the taste for good lyrics in a song.

It all started with going nuts over Alaipayuthae. This was during the pre-internet-boom times. So all I had was Vikatan to tell me who these people were and who this director was. This movie still tops the list of the best-rated movie from Vikatan and The Hindu. Though my curiosity about this movie increased, I was struck with the compulsion that, watching movies while you have your board exams coming was a sin. I was introduced to few songs from this movie through the famous - Neengal Keta Paadal and Top 10. I rejoiced at the fact that this movie was at the top of the charts for quite some time. My priced possession those days was a CD which had songs from Alaipayuthae and Kandukonden Kandukonden. Those days we used to get something called Paatu book(Songbook) which has lyrics to songs from the movie. This was the starting point of my love with words. I used to highlight my favorite lines from the songs and keep revisiting them every now and then. The way Pachai niramae related to moods of a person was something I kept falling in love with over and again.

My high school days were predominantly with books (academic, novels and literature). My high school life was filled with memories and lifetime friendships and was devoid of any academic interest. I started writing in both Tamil and English. When I started college, the hostel life helped in ramping up with the movies I always wanted to watch. That is when I saw - Roja, Bombay, Alaipayuthae, Mouna Raagam, Thalapathy, Kannathil Muthamital, Iruvar. Each of this movie had lyrics that personally relate to memories I want to revisit.

His heroines were sensible, elegant and carried them with poise and confidence. They had opinions and had the mettle to voice them. They were not exaggerated and glamorized.

His heroes were relatable, did not fight goons, did not say(scream) punch dialogues(not even superstar) and most of all sensible with emotions and relationships. They were everyday men we see in our neighborhood.

Mouna Ragam

  • The way Revathy takes the anklet and keeps it aside and then chooses the divorce papers. Such a candid way of expressing that she chose to hold on to her lost love.
  • Mr.Chandramouli
  • The way Mohan explains why he was cold with her parents.
  • 20 mins of Karthik
  • BGM


  • The way எவனோ ஒருவன் transcends to ஏன் இவளோ நேரம் ஆச்சு வரதுக்கு? scene
  • A decade passed by and is still termed as the best romantic movie
  • Karthik Kumar
  • பச்சை குழந்தையடி to அலைபாயுதே கண்ணா transition in Seemandham
  • The way she shuts his rant about missing file by kissing him
  • Aravind Samy and Kushboo - Epic touch
  • Swarnamalya - Another epic choice.

Kannathil Muthamittal

The title of this movie and the lead pair made us expect a perfect romantic movie from the maker. But what unfolded was something impeccable. This one influenced me a big deal - especially the adoption part.

  • அவளுக்காக தான் என்ன கல்யாணம் பண்ணிகிடீன்களா? moment
  • Nandhita Das and Prakash Raj
  • நான் தூக்கி வளர்த்த துயரம் நீ! - Inspired a whole lot of poems I wrote of people close to me!
  • The railway station scene after they find out that the kid wanted to go see her biological parents. Simran was brilliant in that scene.


Creative Biography on a subject that is so delicate and controversial. This movie is Tamil Nadu politics in its true form. Time and again he proves that his choice of cast is impeccable.

  • அன்புடை நெஞ்சில் கலந்ததென்ன?``` - Classic
  • Poo kodiyin punnagai! - Somehow this song always lingers for the whole day.
  • தாடிகள் எல்லாம் தாகூரா, மீசைகள் எல்லாம் பாரதியா
  • The climax scene in thirumalai nayakar mahal
  • Tabu, Revathy, Gowthami - Epic choices again

Ayutha Ezhuthu

Madhavan, Surya and Siddarth - Best of those times. Madhavan’s best role so far.

  • மூக்குத்தியின் பொன் கீது, ராத்திரிக்கு போதும் ! - Ultimate
  • I still remember playing Yaakai thiri in my new Philips Powerhouse and watch the glass in living room shake with the base.
  • லோகம் த்வைதம் காதல் அத்வைதம்


Another biography. Personally, this was the movie where I saw Jr Bachan as an actor.

  • Madhavan and Vidya Balan proposal scene
  • என் குறுந்தொகை தமிழை தேடுகிறாய் ,
    என் பாமர மொழியில் பாடாயோ!
    கண்கள் பார்த்தேன், கவியானேன்!
    என்னும் பார்த்தால், எங்கே போவேன்!
    உன்னாலே கம்பன் தாண்டினேன்.
    உன் இதழ் மேலே எழுதுவேன்!```


Modern Ramayana. I liked the way Raavan was made the hero of the story. Manirathnam and his interpretations of classic literature.

  • உறவே என் உறவே உடை கலைவீரோ உடல் அணிவீரோ - Subtle erotism
  • அக்கறை சீமையில் நீ இருந்தும் ஐவிரல் தீண்டித நேனைகுதடி
  • உச்சந்தல வகுடுவழி ஒத்த மனம் அலையுதடி Though not a box office hit, this movie was special.


Loosely based on Sathyavan Savithri. Yet to watch this movie.

மரங்கள் நடுங்கும் மார்கழி இருக்க,
ரதம் உரையும் குளிரும் இருக்க,
உஷ்ணம் யாசிக்கும் உடலும் இருக்க,
ஒத்த போர்வையில இருவரும் இருக்க.

Again subtle erotism.

OK Kanmani

The trailer was screaming that it was Alaipayuthae - Sequel.

  • மலர்கள் கேட்டேன் Eternal Love
  • Ganapathy uncle and Bhavani Aunty = Relationship goals
  • Blame my inclination to Carnatic music, I just loved this movie’s BGM.
  • Nithya Menon - Respect, Dulquer - Drools!
  • பறந்து செல்லவா - Whatte interior for a remote lodge!

Even today, my Saturday nights are predominantly filled with revisiting my favorite scenes from these movies. This man is a phenomenon and an artist with an exquisite taste for music, love, and lyrics.