Friday, May 14, 2010

Mani’s magnificent show

The first look of Mani Ratnam’s Raavanan was simply magnificent.

It was one of the best held Kollywood functions and was different in all aspects. The arrangement at the Lady Aandal School auditorium at Chetpet in Chennai where the promo launch was held was prim and proper. There was no overcrowding, unwanted speeches or huge cut-out’s. The best part was that the function started on time and was over in 52 minutes.

The stage itself at the function was made to look like a forest, with occasional lightning and thunder sounds giving it the feel of the film and its milieu. Mani Ratnam himself was at the console supervising the whole event which gave it a theatrical look with outstanding background settings, stage synchronization and brilliant lighting. It was visually stunning and appealing like a typical Mani Ratnam film.

The host and hostess of the evening was actor Karthik and Priyamani, stars who feature in the film. First the awesome theatre trailer of the film was screened. Later Singer Karthik rendered the melodious hit number from the film Usire Pogudhe.., a clipping of the song from the film followed. Actor Karthik really livened up the show and said that it was his third film with Mani Ratnam after Mouna Ragam and Agninakshtram and this one would be even better. His banter with Prabhu was a scream.

The sari clad Priyamani looking simple yet beautiful chatted up with Prithviraj, wearing a beige suit and looking absolutely smashing. Prithviraj spoke at length about how he got up at 3.30 in the morning and trekked miles to be at the location of the film. “Mani sir has a distinctive style and he led us by example, when we were grappling with freezing cold and struggling to trek through rocky surfaces, he was cool and led from the front.” As Priya mentoned “Prithvi is still living in a dream land as he was smitten by being paired with Aishwarya Rai.” Pritviraj-Aishwarya song Kalvare.. was screened.

The hero of the film Vikram made a sensational and dramatic entry looking like Veera, the tough mud-smeared look he is having for the film. He performed live the song Kodu Poatta… on stage. Later when Karthik interviewed him, Vikram said: “ I think Raavanan is a metaphor. Mani sir was always there to guide me to do this difficult role. I discussed every scene with Mani sir and did my homework.” Vikram got a thunderous ovation from the select audiences who went ga-ga over his stage performance.

Finally the ‘hero’ of the evening AR Rahman made an appearance on stage with Vairamuthu.. As the poet Vairamuthu read out the lyrics Varuven Naane Meendum Varuven…, Rahman sang them. The song looks like the background song in the climax scene of the film. Please note the particular song is not part of the audio CD.

We salute Mani sir for making the function sweet, short and memorable. The man himself refused to talk as he was all smiles as finally he got on the stage for the final group photo with his incredible team. The entire cast and crew – Vikram, Prithviraj, Priyamani, Prabhu, Karthik, cinematographer Santosh Sivan, Editor Sreekar Prasad and choreographer Brinda were present . Mani may not talk at a public function, but his Raavanan is sure to talk as it has hit written all over it.

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