The teaser for Mani Ratnam's Kaatru Veliyidai is already a rage. Released on Republic Day, it has garnered over 12,50,000 views on YouTube.
The visuals bring back a sense of nostalgia for vintage Mani Ratnam romances, the wild beauty of the landscape and raw human emotions rolled into one.
Here are our favourite romance scenes from Mani Ratnam's films:
Mouli, Chandramouli! from Mouna Raagam
Anyone named 'Chandramouli' in Tamil Nadu would have been called "Mister Chandramouli!" in the same tone that Karthik employs in this scene at least once in their lifetime. Long before dating and coffee shops became common or acceptable, this scene between the impish Manohar (Karthik) and the spirited Divya (Revathi) found its way to a Mani Ratnam film. Manohar's glib tongue and Divya's reactions to his outrageous behaviour will put a smile on anyone face. Ra.Sankaran as the clueless father adds to the humour.
Yen purushan, naan kattipen! from Anjali
A sensitively told story about a child with a mental disability, Anjali was special for how it portrayed an Indian family. Was it perhaps for the first time when a husband and wife hugged in front of their children in a Tamil film? With the children acknowledging this "konjals" happily? Shekhar (Raghuvaran) and Chitra (Revathi) have a misunderstanding and when it gets resolved, a relieved Chitra hugs him, with their daughter watching and ragging them for it. Anjali had many such precious moments between the couple.
Yei pondatti! from Alaipayuthey
Nobody does urban romances as well as Mani Ratnam. Alaipayuthey was an ordinary story about an ordinary couple told extraordinarily. The earthy Shalini as Shakti and the handsome Madhavan as Karthik made for an amazing couple. This was one of the few times when a filmmaker didn't end the movie with a "kettemelam" and chose to go further and tell us what happens after a lovelorn couple weds. The casual "yei pondatti" which Karthik throws at Shakti as he gets into the bus after their "thiruttu" marriage must have slain the heart of every woman who watched it at that point.
I love you mattum sonna poradhu! from Agni Natchathiram
With his rotund frame, Prabhu has usually played roles which required him to be jolly but in Agni Natchathiram, he appeared as Gautam, a blistering cop who doesn't talk much and is reserved even in romance. In complete contrast to him is Anjali (Amala), the commissioner's daughter he falls in love with. Unlike the usual demure heroine, Anjali goes to Gautam's house at night, uses a ladder to climb up to his room and waits for him in bed. She also gives him a long list of things that he's expected to do as a boyfriend as a bemused Gautam listens even as forces her out. Years later, Suriya and Esha Deol recreated a version of this scene in Ayudha Ezhuthu.
Ennayum kootitu ponga! from Roja
In a country where marital rape is still legal and husbands demand sex from their wives as a matter of right, Roja had a sensitive husband who accepts that his wife is not interested in him. We've seen this in Mouna Ragam, too, but unlike the earlier film where the heroine's reluctance came from her inability to move past an old relationship, in Roja, it's because of a misunderstanding. In this scene, Roja (Madhubala), who has realised that Rishi (Arvind Swami) wasn't quite the villain she'd imagined him to be, tries to convince him to take her along to Kashmir. She uses even her mother-in-law to argue her case. Rishi's small smile towards the end of the scene, as he is finally convinced that she really does want him, is endearing to say the least.
Malargal keten from OK Kanmani
OK Kanmani had a wafer-thin plot but worked because of the crackling chemistry between its lead pair, Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menen. As Aadhi and Tara, two young people who don't believe in marriage or commitment, this lighthearted romance had plenty of special moments. But among all their stolen kisses and first hugs, its Tara singing Malargal Keten with Aadhi watching that makes for a beautiful scene. She is so immersed in the song but the second she ends, she knows the victory she has scored with the aged couple whose house they are trying to rent. The love with which Ganapathy (Prakash Raj) watches his wife (Leela Samson) is special too.