Top 10 classics of Mani Ratnam & Ilaiyaraaja that won fans' hearts

On their birthday, check out the 10 films in which Ilaiyaraaja and Mani Ratnam have worked together
Top 10 classics of Mani Ratnam & Ilaiyaraaja that won fans' hearts
Legendary composer Ilaiyaraaja and Ace director Mani Ratnam File

CHENNAI: Two stalwarts of Tamil cinema share the same birthday. Mani Ratnam and Ilaiyaraaja have June 2 as their birthdays.

The pair, which is absolute perfection, has given scores of musical hits to cherish for a lifetime.

Check out the 10 films in which Ilaiyaraaja and Mani Ratnam have worked together:

Pallavi Anu Pallavi (1983): The first of their collaborations came in the form of a Kannada film. At this time, Mani Ratnam was a struggling filmmaker and Ilaiyaraaja had already achieved fame.

Unaru (1984, Malayalam): Mohanlal starrer Unaru happens to be Mani Ratnam's second film. The film dealt with trade union politics. Famous song from this film includes 'Deepame' and 'Theeram thedi olam padi'.

Pagal Nilavu (1985): Having worked with Ilaiyaraaja in two movies before this was his debut in the tamil cinema world. 'Poo Maalayae' sung by Ilaiyaraaja, Janaki and 'Vaidhegi Raman' sung by Janaki were a massive hit.

Idhaya Kovil (1985): The fourth collaboration of Mani Ratnam and Ilaiyaraaja went on to become huge hits. The song “Idhayam Oru Kovil” marks the debut of Ilaiyaraaja as a lyricist, who dedicates the song to his wife, Jeeva. The film did well at the box-office.

Mouna Ragam (1986): Initially, the film’s first draft was titled ‘Divya’. Production delay of Ratnam’s maiden directional venture Pallavi Anu Pallavi prompted him to develop the Divya script further and it eventually became what we see now. The story revolves around a woman who is forced into an arranged marriage by her family. The film is very much remembered till now for the Mani Ratnam’s trademark Staccato dialogues.

Nayakan (1987): The faithful adaptation of The Godfather, Nayakan marks composer Ilaiyaraaja’s 400th film. The successful collaboration of Mani Ratnam and Ilaiyaraaja continued to streak gold as all of the songs turned chartbusters. The song “Thenpandi Cheemaiyile” has become so viral that it becomes a pop-culture remark. A interesting trivia, the song “Nila Adhu Vaanathumele” was initially composed as a sad tune for another film.

Agni Natchathiram (1988): Interesting fact about the film is that Mani Ratnam shot the film partly during the break of Nayagan that wen on to become a commercial success. Shot by P.C Sreeram, the climax of the film sets a new standard for the use of lighting in a film. The romantic track “Ninnukori Varanam” composed by Ilaiyaraaja become a all-time hit of the album.

Geethanjali (1989): The success of Mouna Ragam (1985) prompted Nagarjuna to do a film on the lines of it. Shot in Telugu, the film won the National Award for Best Popular Film giving Wholesome Entertainment. The film had Vaali as a lyricist for all the songs composed by Ilaiyaraaja. The soundtrack “Oh Papa Laali” sung by Mano become a repeated number in the 90’s.

Anjali (1990): Winner of three National Awards and India’s official entry to the Oscars in 1991, the film’s story revolves around a trauma experienced by a family, by having a dying mentally disabled child. The critically acclaimed film marks Ilaiyaraaja’s 500th film. The chorus song “Anjali Anjali” hit the viewers emotional during the film and paves the way for the film’s success.

Thalapathi (1991): Adaptation of a character of Mahabharatha, the film marks the final collaboration between Ilaiyaraaja and Mani Ratnam, and songs of the film made the people craving more from the duo. From, “Rakkamma Kaiya Thattu” to “Chinna Thaayaval”, it’s hard to pick a favourite from the film’s soundtrack as numerous cover versions and remix has been done by the music lovers.

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