June 13, 2024

Mani Ratnam at MAMI: It’s a treat to be working with Kamal Haasan | Hindi Movie News

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Filmmaker Mani Ratnam on Saturday said working with superstar Kamal Haasan is not only a great collaborative process but also a learning experience. Ratnam and Haasan are reuniting after 35 years for the Tamil star’s 234th feature film. They earlier worked together on the 1987 critical hit “Nayakan”.
The ace filmmaker said it’s a delight to work with a good actor like Haasan as he elevates a performance.
“There are so many elements in the film that has been from him, like in terms of making a small gesture which will make it look real. When you work with an actor, who is really good you realise that you have to do less. Like, sometimes you think you have to set it up, add energy and things like that, but when I started working with him, and doing a scene I was trying to do it that way but then rehearsal I realised I don’t have to do any of that, I just have to follow him. There’s enough drama comes out of a good performance that you don’t have to try to add value. I learnt a lot because he has this amazing ability to get people around him act well and he makes them do things that will enhance the performance. It is fantastic. It is a treat to watch. He adds so many elements to the script, so it is a pleasure to act with a great actor,” Ratnam told ETimes at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2023.
On Friday, the “Ponniyin Selvan” director was honoured with the Excellence in Cinema Award for his outstanding contribution to the world of cinema. Haasan presented the honour to the filmmaker at the opening ceremony of the festival.
Ratnam’s filmography includes timeless socio-political dramas such as “Roja”, “Bombay”, “Iruvar”, “Dil Se…” and “Kannathil Muthamittal”, with the director often touching upon prevailing issues of the country.
When asked about the politics in his films, the 67-year-old filmmaker said he believes in staying true to the story.
“If you bring politics into your film which is good enough… if you go into it, you should be built for it and you should be able to go with it for passion. It is a lot more serious than films. Some politicians who hate films and they love politics. I had only one thought before I did something like that, whether I’m being honest to myself whether I believe in it or not, if this is the way I feel then I can express it. As long as you are real and as long as it is not a way to get a kind of film out but if you feel strongly about something you can go ahead and make it,” he said.

The director gave the example of his 1998 film “Dil Se”, which was set against the backdrop of insurgency in Assam.
He said his aim was to bring out the plight and anger of people through the film, which starred Shah Rukh Khan and Manisha Koirala in the lead.
“‘Dil Se’ was made during the time when India was celebrating 50 years of Independence, there was a sense of pride but there were still corners of India which were not as liberated as we are. The film was trying to say that we can be proud of what we have done but we have not done enough.
“For us to acknowledge that there’s hurt, anger and wounds, to me that was the culmination. He (Shah Rukh’s character) was an All India Radio reporter but he was the voice of every one of us. For him to realise that there’s hurt and damage that we are trying to ignore, we have blinkers to do it. That’s what the film wanted to say.”
At the same time, Ratnam didn’t make “Dil Se” with the aim to preach anything to the people.
“I’m ok if they see it at surface level (as a tragic romantic film) because I believe that somewhere beyond it would have seeped in. I don’t want them to see it as a social (commentary), it was not meant to preach or underline. It was meant to be a part of somebody’s life that you go across and still be exposed to something, the problems that are there,” he added.

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(With PTI Inputs)



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