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Conversations with Mani Ratnam

Hardcover
Language: English
Length: 352 Pages
Publisher: Viking
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Conversations with Mani Ratnam By Baradwaj Rangan
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Conversations with Mani Ratnam (Hardcover) Price: Rs.452

A sumptuous treat for serious lovers of cinema as well as the casual moviegoer!

His Nayakan is among Times 100 Best Movies Ever; and Roja launched A.R. Rahman. This book, unique for Indian cinema, illuminates the genius of the man behind these and eighteen other masterly films. For the first time ever, Mani Ratnam opens up here, to Baradwaj Rangan, about his art, as well as his life before films.

In these freewheeling conversations, candid, witty, pensive, and sometimes combative, many aspects of his films are explored. Mani elaborates in a personal vein on his choice of themes, from the knottiness in urban relationships (Agni Natchatiram) to the rents in the national fabric (Bombay); his directing of children (Anjali); his artful use of songs; his innovative use of lighting, as also his making films in Hindi and other languages. There are fond recollections of collaborations with stalwarts like Balu Mahendra, P.C. Sreeram, Thotta Tharani, and Gulzar, among many others. And delectable behind-the-scenes stories from the contrasting working styles of the legendary composer Ilayaraja and Rahman to the unexpected dimensions Kamal Haasan brought to the filming of Nayakan to what Raavan was like when originally conceived. In short, like Mani Ratnams films, Conversations, surprises, entertains and stimulates. With Rangans personal and impassioned introduction setting the Tamil and national context of the films, and with posters, script pages, and numerous stills, this book is a sumptuous treat.

About the Author
Baradwaj Rangan is a National Award-winning film critic, currently Deputy Editor at the Hindu. His writings on cinema, music, art, books, travel and humour have been published in various national magazines like Open, Tehelka, Biblio, Outlook and the Caravan. He has co-written the screenplay for the Tamil rom-com Kadhal 2 Kalyanam. He teaches a course on cinema at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai.
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Specifications of Conversations with Mani Ratnam (Hardcover)

Contributors
Authored By Baradwaj Rangan
Book Details
Publisher Viking
Publication Year 2012
ISBN-13 9780670085200
ISBN-10 0670085200
Language English
Edition 1st Edition
Binding Hardcover
Number of Pages 352 Pages
Dimensions
Width 6.10 inch
Height 1.00 inch
Weight 635 g
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Book Reviews of Conversations with Mani Ratnam

4.6
Average Rating
Based on 93 ratings
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Most Helpful Reviews (5 of 28)

★★★★★
★★★★★
29 October 12
Must Buy

I think this is the finest conversation ever recorded by a film critic and a filmmaker. And very few filmmakers in the world have articulated themselves with such precision. Mani Ratnam does it with no references to any philosophical systems or theoretical positions. There is a certain kind of honesty and sincerity in purpose which Baradwaj Rangan has managed to bring about and that is very important for all aspiring filmmakers to learn from in this book. Few filmmakers acknowledge their own trepidation in the way Mani confesses in his introduction to the book. Even the opponents of Mani will acknowledge the courage that Mani has shown in exposing his techniques and strategies to the lay reader.

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5 of 5 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
26 October 12
Just Started... On the course of completing it...

Throughout my life had been in a hardcore fan of Mani Ratnam... Had watched every movie of his and this book is simply a tribute to the genious of mani ratnam. His vision, his unparalleled knowledge of the past, present and the future of indian cinema is sometimes so capturing that you just run out of options and start loving him!

I bugged my brother to buy this book from Flipkart and he did without any hesitation as he was also a great fan of Mr. Ratnam. All in all a great service by Flipkart!

If you are a Mani Ratnam fan and want to know about this 'person of few words' and for whose films which speak volumes about his talent, just go buy this book! A simple yet a detailed tribute to the man who shaped Tamil cinema and was one of the foremost directors to emerge in India after greats like Satyajit, Shyam Benagal, Balachader, Balu Mahendra and others...

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4 of 6 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
07 November 12
A Good Read for Movie Buffs & Aspiring Film Makers

Bought it immediately when one of my cousins forwarded me the Flipkart link of this book. As always it was a neat delivery from FK and on time.
Calling Mani as my favorite director would be a cliche but still that makes a lot more sense than employing some facilely made-up superlatives. This structure of this book is in an interview format and Bharadwaj Rangan comes with all guns blazing with some intelligent, stupid and sometimes naive questions; and the ever elusive Maniratnam seemed to brace on to them and answer them with equal poise and a pinch of sarcasm at times. In the process, we get to know the underlying layer of the craft and finesse that Mani spins across all his scripts including the finer details like blending of emotions with music, lighting, camera angles and stuff like that.
I was a tad disappointed that the book did not have many behind the scenes description and also only a few color posters from his movies; but was largely satisfied that the book did what it was meant to do - inspire an avid movie buff or an aspiring film maker - after all it is straight from the horse's mouth!!

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2 of 2 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
19 December 13
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certified buyer
Conversations par excellence

Mani Ratnam is a film-maker with his own anthem. This book is not only ‘the’ answer to our several ‘why’s’ about the film-maker, but also a magnet to pull even a casual reader into its orbit. This book is simply unputdownable.

It's a Q & A format book, where the flow of questions have many overlays, bullet-like, combative, coaxing, probing, reverential, gratuitous and simply excavating. Never before reading a book on films (though this book is more about the man and his vision of films) had been such a memorable experience. It peels Mani sir's films with painstaking back-office research and truckload of curiosity. Even a person who might not be a cinephile can can feel enlightened with finer aspects of film-making after its reading.

The book strikes a chord with the title itself like a biblical one. So next time when you watch Mani Ratnam's films or revisit his earlier films, you would have known more about him. Watching him would never be the same again…credit goes to the book. We require many such conversations with many giants and doyens of our film-world. This book is a trend-setter in that context.

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0 of 0 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
09 December 13
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certified buyer
My review

Delivery and print : -

Delivery was satisfactory .
The book cover was not over the top (pretty neat actually) .
The book uses the Q&A format throughout.It doesn't have a lot of exclusive behind the scenes pictures or anything but there are a few here and there which are nice too.So no complaints about that!

Pattern Recognition :-
What I disliked ( at least to some extent ) was how the author every once in a while tried to form some sort of a pattern out of all the films by finding some similarities between the films and trying to make sense out of it ! . His questions were more based on the comparisons he seemed to have made on the films . He should 've treated each film as a separate individual entity. (You'll see when you read the book) .This type of questioning was tolerable initially but after sometime it became repetitive and a little annoying too.

Gen X dude :-
The author being a 80's dude had a lot of questions on 80's and late 90's films and relatively lesser number of questions on the movies which came after those. I especially wanted to know a lot about how he made Alaipayuthey and what made him come up with such a film. Because ,for me, it is one of the greatest films ever made and is very close to my heart and hence this bias was totally not fair. You really have very less to ask about Alaipayuthey ? really?

Anyway's something is better than nothing .This is definitely worth a read .Hope this book is just a start and we get a lot more books with a lot more questions (hopefully more profound) on Mani Ratnam and other tamil greats.

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Most Recent Reviews

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★★★★★
★★★★★
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certified buyer
Must reading book for all maniratnam lovers

really awesome... i am fascinated by mani sir. I love this book & thankful to bharatwaj rangan who thought this idea to wro...

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11 March 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
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Reminiscing all his movies through the interviews

Fabulous Read! It was like a walk through of all his movies. The earlier movies and the initial struggle especially made good d...

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28 February 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
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certified buyer
A perfect book for films !!

A very good book on films !! Should have been better if he spoke about the screenplay writing techniques !! But worth a buy !!

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23 February 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
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Must Read for MR lovers !

The book is awesome, with elements from each of his movies. Thought process behind the movies. Planning to do a MR movie marath...

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06 February 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
Jeevan Jayaram
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certified buyer
Engaging

This is the first film related book i've read, so i'm not really sure how to put this down. The book was an easy ready. With Ma...

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26 January 14
    Book: Conversations with Mani Ratnam by
    ISBN Number: 0670085200, 9780670085200, 978-0670085200

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