Today (June 2), two legends Mani Ratnam and Ilaiyaraaja are celebrating their 60th and 73rd birthday respectively. Not just birthdays, together both the legendary director and music composer have given many classic films to Kollywood.
We rate the top five films that came under the combination of Ilaiyaraaja and Mani Ratnam.
Undoubtedly Nayagan is the best among all Ilaiyaraaja and Mani Ratnam combination. Ilaiyaraaja’s background score for Nayagan has got phenomenal response and even now the ‘Thenpandi Chemmayile’ is lingering in the minds of all the Tamil music lovers.
Nayagan is considered to be India’s answer to God Father and in 2005, the film was listed as all time 100 Best Films in Time Magazine.
As far as film is concerned Nayagan is the best from Mani Ratnam and Ilaiyaraaja combination but musically Thalapathi stands out. Ironically, Thalapathi became the last film of Ilaiyaraaja and Mani Ratnam combination.
If Nayagan was listed as best 100 films by TIME magazine, the Rakkama Kaiyathattu song in Thalapathi was listed in BBC’s world top ten music poll.
Mounaragam was the first commercial hit for Mani Ratnam. Though Mani Ratnam’s debut film Pallavi Anupallavi got huge critical acclaim, Mounaragam got him the much needed commercial recognition.
All the songs in Mounaragam were big hits, regular radio listeners would have known that the FM stations used to broadcast the ‘Nilavee Va’ or ‘Mandram Vandha Thendralukku’ at least once in a day . Sadly Raja has recently got a stay order against the FM stations to air his songs without paying loyalty and now the FM stations can’t broadcast his songs.
Agni Natchathiram is Mani Ratnam’s first commercial film with peppy music numbers and flashy visuals which grabbed the attention of youngsters of 1980s.
The ‘Raja Raja’ number became a rage in Kollywood while the melody ‘Ninnu Kori Varanam’ was also a chartbuster.
Ilaiyaraaja’s background score for Agni Natchathiram was a trendsetter that many music composers started following his style of BGM in their films.
Anjali is not an easy film to compose as most of the songs had scope for children but Raja’s music attracted the young audiences of that time.
The ’Mottai Madi’ and ‘Anjali… Anjali’ numbers are famous among current music listeners as well. Also, the film had splendid background score from Ilaiyaraaja , especially the climax background score would moist our eyes for sure.
By S Rajasekar