10 Oct 2012 - 09 02 AM
Wednesday winner - iruvar

It is not easy for a film maker to depict the real life characters on screen, that too if thecharacters are famous personalities. It is a very tricky and tedious work for a director. But Mani Ratnam, being a master story-teller and director, did not find it tough to satiate both the film buffs and the real life people. He came up with Nayagan, based on the real life underworld don, Varadharaja Mudhaliar, which became a cult classic and garnered world-wide attention.Iruvar was a similar attempt. Making a film like Iruvar needs more guts and determination, since the plot is loosely based on the semi-god of Tamilnadu aka MGR and his relationship with two chief ministers, M Karunanithi and J Jayalalitha.

When Mani Ratnam initially announced the project, it was titled as Ananthan. There were rumours and reports in newspapers that the film is all about LTTE leader Prabhakaran and Aishwarya Rai was playing the character of Indira Gandhi. However, Mani Ratnam denied all the reports and he changed the name to “Iruvar”.

The film is a depiction of the early struggle of MGR in film industry, his entry to politics. The friendship between MGR and Karunanithi was showcased in a novel way and it brought to light the strong bond as well as the ego clashes between the two. However, the characterisation of Aishwarya Rai lacked clarity in the film.

Mani Ratnam is a believer that if one is able to cast apt actors for the characters, 50% of the job is done. Casting in Mani Ratnam’s films are always apt and top class. Mani Ratnam was  able to pull it off with Mohanlal reprising MGR and Aishwarya Rai for Jayalalitha but he struggled a lot to cast someone for Karunanidhi’s role. Mani Ratnam approached Mammooty, Kamal Hassan, Nana Patekar and Sathyaraj, but all of them were reluctant to reprise such a sensitive character. Mani Ratnam even thought of using Madhavan for the role, but as the role needed someone who looked mature,  the role eventually went to Prakash Raj.

Later, Prakash Raj revealed that it took 25 takes for him to get a nod from Mani Ratnam for the first shot in the film and the particular shot alone lasted for more than six hours.  This particular incident itself is a proof of Mani Ratnam’s penchant for perfection. Mani Ratnam felt that Mohanlal is such a perfect actor who can bring so much reality in a

Movie. The only thing he found difficult with Iruvar was the actor’s language and pronunciation. Mani Ratnam even made Prakash Raj to dub in his own for the first time in his career. The famous Udal Mannukku" and "Unnodu Naan Irundha" were sung by actor Aravind Swamy and the pure Tamil portions were written by Vairamuthu. The dialogues were by Suhasini Maniratnam. The film was highly acclaimed for its dialogues.

With the film depicting three influential personalities of Tamilnadu, it was not a cake walk for  Mani Ratnam to release the film. Censor board initially denied to certify the film,  since they thought the film may kindle controversy and riot. Later a revised committee awarded U/A certificate with major cuts. Mani Ratnam got threats from some political parties too, but later, the determinant Mani Ratnam, released it successfully. Though the film was not a commercial success, the film got critical acclaim. Mani Ratnam himself considers that “Iruvar” is his best work till date.

 Laurels won by Iruvar:

  • In 2012, Iruvar was included by critic Rachel Dwyer in 2012 British Film Institute of Sight and Sound among the 1000 greatest films of all time which is considered to be one of the most respected film polls all over the world.
  • The film was showcased in the Masters section at the Toronto International film festival.
  • The film won the Best film award at the Belgrade International film festival.
  • The film won two national awards - Prakash Raj won the BestSupporting Actor award and Santhosh Sivan won the Best Cinematographer Award.

By : Rajasekar S source:wiki pedia

Tag :Iruvar- Mohanlal- Maniratnam- Praksh Raj- AR Rahman- Santhosh Sivan