Mani Ratnam (Director) Biography, Wiki, Age, Career, Wife, Net Worth | Who is Mani Ratnam? Bio, Wiki

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Who is Mani Ratnam?

Gopala Ratnam Subramaniam (born 2 June 1956), known professionally as Mani Ratnam, is an Indian film director, screenwriter, and producer who predominantly works in Tamil cinema.

Ratnam has won six National Film Awards, four Filmfare Awards, six Filmfare Awards South, and numerous awards at various film festivals across the world. In 2002, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri, acknowledging his contributions to film.

Director Mani Ratnam hospitalised in Chennai after feeling unwell

Director Mani Ratnam hospitalised in Chennai after feeling unwell
Director Mani Ratnam hospitalised in Chennai after feeling unwell

FIlmmaker Mani Ratnam was admitted to a private hospital in Chennai on Tuesday, July 19. Speaking to TNM, the director’s publicist confirmed that the director was checked for coronavirus but has tested negative.

Speaking to TNM, the director’s publicist confirmed that the director was checked for coronavirus but has tested negative. An official statement pertaining to the health of the filmmaker is awaited from the hospital.

The 66-year-old director had recently attended the funeral of actor and filmmaker Pratap Pothen, who died on July 15. Mani Ratnam had also taken part in the teaser launch of his upcoming period drama Ponniyin Selvan I, which was held on July 8 in the city.

Speaking at the teaser launch about his magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan, which is based on writer Kalki’s historical novel of the same title, the filmmaker said, “Makkal Thilagam MGR sir was supposed to do the film after Naadodi Mannan. I have tried working on this project thrice – in the 1980s, in 2000 and then in 2010, but it did not fall into place,” while adding that he understands the responsibility that comes with the film since the Ponniyin Selvan novel is well-liked by Tamil readers.

Bankrolled by Lyca Productions, the film is set to release on September 30. The cast of the much-anticipated period drama includes Vikram, Aishwarya Rai, Trisha, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Jayaram, Parthiban, Lal, and Prabhu, Vikram Prabhu, and Prakash Raj. It is reportedly one of the most expensive projects ever undertaken in the country.

Mani Ratnam Biography, Wiki

Mani Ratnam, originally Gopala Ratnam Subramaniam, (born June 2, 1956, Madura [now Madurai], Tamil Nadu, India), Indian filmmaker noted for his popular films in both Tamil and Hindi cinema.

Ratnam was the son of film producer Ratnam Iyer. He obtained a management degree at the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies at the University of Bombay (now the University of Mumbai) before foraying into filmmaking in the early 1980s.

He made his first movie Pallavi anu pallavi in 1983. The success of Mouna ragam (1986; “A Silent Symphony”) established him as a talented director in Tamil-language cinema.

After graduating with a degree in Commerce from Vivekananda College, University of Madras and an MBA from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, he embarked on a career as a management consultant before becoming a filmmaker.

He got into film direction with the help of his late brother, film producer G. Venkateswaran. Ratnam married actress Suhasini in 1988. They have a son by the name of Nandhan Mani Ratnam. Ratnam lives in Alwarpet, Chennai, where he runs his production company Madras Talkies.

Directing landmark films such as Mouna Raagam (1986), Nayagan (1987), Anjali (1990), Thalapathi (1991), Iruvar (1997), Kannathil Muthamittal (2002), Yuva (2004), Guru (2007), and his “terrorism trilogy” consisting of Roja (1992), Bombay (1995) and Dil Se (1998), Ratnam is widely attributed with having revolutionised the Chennai film industry and altering the profile of Indian cinema.

Mani Ratnam Biography, Wikipedia
Mani Ratnam
NameMani Ratnam
Other NamesGopala Ratnam Subramaniam
Date of Birth02 June 1956
Birth PlaceMadurai, Tamil Nadu, India
HometownMadurai, Tamil Nadu, India
ResidenceChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Age66 Years
Height1.70 m (5′ 7″)
Weight (Approx.)75 kg
Nationality (Country)India
HobbiesReading and Writing

Mani Ratnam Career

Ratnam is particularly known for his eye for technical detail in the art of film making, having worked with and also introduced some of the best music directors, cinematographers, art directors, dialogue writers and editors in India. Several international papers and books have been published on his critically acclaimed movies.


Mani Ratnam’s directorial debut was in 1983, through the Anil Kapoor starring Kannada film Pallavi Anu Pallavi. Mani Ratnam made significant headways in his first film, and also managing to persuade acclaimed director and cinematographer Balu Mahendra to serve as his cinematographer. The film boldly explored the nature of a relationship between a young man and an elderly woman.

Mani’s career after that remained on a low as he failed to attain box office success. His following efforts were the Malayalam film Unaru (1984), which starred Mohanlal and then two Tamil films, the first being Pagal Nilavu followed by Idaya Kovil.

Finally, in 1986, Mani attained commercial success in Tamil Nadu through the Tamil language romantic drama Mouna Ragam with Revathi and Mohan. The film told the story of friction between a newly-wed couple, and remains famous to date as a relevant and realistic portrayal of romance among urban Tamils. Its score by Ilaiyaraaja became a huge success after its release.

Mani’s status was elevated further a year later after writing Nayagan and directing an already versatile actor of Tamil cinema, Kamal Hassan for the film, which went on to become a legendary success in the industry.

The film, which tells the story of an orphaned slum dweller and his rise to the top of the Mumbai underworld hierarchy, was included in TIME Magazine’s All-Time 100 Greatest Movies.The story was inspired by the real life story of underworld king Varadarajan Mudaliar.

Early 1990s

With commercial success coming back to back, Ratnam wrote and directed Agni Natchathiram. The film was notable for the use of new techniques in terms of camera framework, especially during the shoot of songs in the film.

The film had a successful run at the box office. Mani later returned to familiar territory of winning critical acclaim through his next film made in Telugu, named Geethanjali. The film which starred Nagarjuna in the lead role told the story of an ill-fated couple who are both suffering from terminal diseases.

Ratnam maintained a momentum of making emotional stories of handicapped people. In Anjali in 1990, he told the story of an autistic child and how she changed the lives of people in the colony.

Mani later made another underworld-themed Tamil film with Thalapathi in 1991 starring Rajnikanth and Mammooty. With a theme of friendship between a local don and a slum king, Thalapathi earned both critical acclaim and commercial success upon its release.

Thalapathi is unique in the sense that it is one of the rare films with 2 climaxes. The Tamil and Telugu versions end with Mamooty’s death where Rajinikanth is considered a matinee-idol. The Malayalam version ends with Rajini’s death where Mamootty is based.

With Thalapathi, Mani ended his association with music director Ilaiyaraaja, bringing in debutant music director A. R. Rahman to score for his Tamil epic Roja. It turned out to be Mani’s greatest findings as Rahman went on to become a musical legend on his own right in the annals of Indian cinema.

Roja, a romantic film, tackled themes of terrorism in the regions of Kashmir. The film – starring Arvind Swamy and Madhoo – was released in 1992 and nominated for the Golden St. George Award at the Moscow International Film Festival and became so popular that it was dubbed into other languages and met similar success in other regions.

Mani then took a more light-hearted approach with his next film – Thiruda Thiruda. Scripted by Ram Gopal Varma, the film saw the exploration of comedy action, a departure from the norm for Ratnam, and fared less well at the box office. In 1994, a retrospective of his Tamil films was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival.

In 1995, Ratnam returned to Tamil language drama. Bombay starring Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala told the story of a Hindu-Muslim couple in the midst of the 1993 religious Bombay riots and bombings. The film was met with controversy and censorship upon release.

However, Bombay was financially very successful and well appreciated by the critics. It won the Special Award from the Political Film Society, the Wim Van Leer In Spirit of Freedom Award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival and the Gala Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Late 1990s

Again in 1995, Ratnam co-wrote and co-produced his wife Suhasini Mani Ratnam’s directorial debut Indira. The film is a woman-centralized story, with Suhasini’s cousin Anu Haasan playing the lead role. But it failed to succeed at the box office.

Ratnam returned to direction the following year with Iruvar, starring Mohanlal & Prakash Raj, a film that Ratnam himself considers to be his finest effort to date.

Inspired by the real life story of iconic Tamil film star and politician MG Ramachandran and also current Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, it was hailed critically as a fine effort in film-making, winning Best Film at the Festival of the Auteur Films in Belgrade.

Ratnam decided to charter new territories in with his next film, making his debut in Hindi language films with Dil Se. The film starred the Mumbai star Shahrukh Khan with Manisha Koirala.

Ratnam used the conflict in the north eastern states as a backdrop to tell a love story between an Indian journalist and a north eastern woman. The film was particularly famous for the song Chaiyya Chaiyya which was shot atop a moving train.

Ratnam returned to Tamil films after that and directed the romance drama Alaipayuthey (which has been remade in Hindi as “Saathiya”) in 2000, starring R. Madhavan and Shalini.

Alaipayuthey was a huge success both commercially and critically, as it explored post-marital problems between a young Chennai couple who married against their parents’ consent, and also established Ratnam’s position as a great director.


Ratnam’s following effort, Kannathil Muthamittal saw him tackling adoption through the eyes of a Tamil refugee from Sri Lanka searching for her biological mother. The film was a critically lauded commercial success, winning six National Film Awards, Ratnam’s second Filmfare Award in the South for directing, his second In Spirit for Freedom Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival and an award at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.

In 2004, Mani made his second Hindi language effort with Yuva. The film, which tells the story of three different youths and how one incident sends their three lives on a collision course, received positive reviews and was a hit at the box office.

Ratnam also made the film simultaneously in Tamil as Aayutha Ezhuthu. The film was an average at the Tamil box office, but critics favoured the Tamil version to the Hindi version. Ratnam also had his first heart attack during the shooting of Yuva.

2007 saw Ratnam direct the Madras Talkies production Guru starring Abhishek Bachchan. It became one of 2007’s biggest hits. Then Ratnam worked on a bilingual magnum opus film being made in both Tamil and Hindi. The film was titled Raavanan in Tamil and Raavan in Hindi and was released on June 18, 2010.

The film is loosely based on the Hindu epic “Ramayana” and happened over a period of 14 days where the character Beera kidnaps the wife of a cop to avenge his sister’s death. The Tamil version received better reviews than the Hindi version, based mainly on the lead’s performance.

The Hindi version of the film received mostly negative reviews and was a failure at the box office. Reviewer Taran Adarsh said, ‘On the whole, RAAVAN is a king-sized disappointment, in terms of content’. Rajiv Masand said, ‘…is a crushing bore of a film, a disappointment on virtually every count’. While another reviewer Raja Sen commented, ‘It’s profoundly sad to see a filmmaker of Ratnam’s calibre reduced to this’.

The Tamil version did a reasonable business. Despite the box office performance, some reviewers (National Award Winning Baradwaj Rangan) found this to be Mani’s best work thus far.

Mani Ratnam Awards

Ratnam has won five Filmfare Awards – South, four Filmfare Awards – Hindi, and twelve international film festival awards.

His Tamil movie Nayagan and Satyajit Ray’s Apu trilogy are the only Indian films to have appeared in TIME Magazine’s All -Time 100 Greatest Movies. His film Roja was the only Indian film to feature in TIME Magazine’s “10 Best Soundtracks” of all time.

Mani Ratnam FAQ’s

Who is Mani Ratnam?

Gopala Ratnam Subramaniam (born 2 June 1956), known professionally as Mani Ratnam, is an Indian film director, screenwriter, and producer who predominantly works in Tamil cinema.

How old is Mani Ratnam?

Mani Ratnam is currently 66 years old.

What happened to Mani Ratnam?

FIlmmaker Mani Ratnam was admitted to a private hospital in Chennai on Tuesday, July 19. Speaking to TNM, the director’s publicist confirmed that the director was checked for coronavirus but has tested negative.

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