Although several Mani Ratnam films are urban-centric and his characterizations have the western effect, the ace director has great penchant for Tamil literature. Anyone, who closely follow Mani Ratnam’s works can clearly understand that his inspiration doesn't come from western films but the mythological stories and real life incidents happened in our own country.
Films like Roja (Satyavan Savitri), Thalapathi (Mahabharatam), Raavanan (Ramayanam), Iruvar (MGR-Karunanithi), Guru (Dhirubhai Ambani) and Nayagan (Varadarajan Mudaliar) are few examples. Not just the core concepts, titles of Mani Ratnam’s films are in classic Tamil and in fact, he never opted for English titles.
The upcoming film of Mani Ratnam with Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari has been titled as Kaatru Veliyidai, which means ‘In breeze expanse’ and going by the poster, the story has war and love angle to it. Apparently, Kaatru Veliyidai is the opening phrase of a popular Bharathiyar song ‘Kaatru Veliyidai Kannama’.
Mani Ratnam’s another movie title Kannathil Muthamittal was also borrowed from ‘Chinnanchiru Killiye Kannama’, a classic song of Bharathiyar.