Monday, April 26, 2010

Raavana & a totally real, not-at-all fake letter I just received.

[Click on thumbnails for HUGE pictures - pictures from official site.]

Dear Veracious,

This is Mani Ratnam. I know, I know. You must be thinking, "How can this be, Mani-saab? You at the release of not one but two of your films and you have the time to spare to write to a lowly film watcher such as myself!" but believe me, I'm not as busy as people would have you believe.

And anyway, let me be honest here for a second - at the end of the day, I made this film with you in mind.

I know it sounds unbelievable, but it's entirely true and not just something you made up while thinking of a way to intelligently fangirl the hell out of the Tamil Raavan pictures that you just saw online. No, that isn't what this is at all. You wouldn't be talking to yourself, that would just be crazy. See, I know how you feel about my films. I read your ambivalent review on Guru (2007) and I realize that film didn't work for some people. Still, I know you appreciated Iruvar and were down with Bombay and Alai Payuthe and that Dil Se played an important part in your early Bollywood watching career. I know you really appreciated the Tamil cast of Ayitha Ezhuthu, or as you like to call it "Tamil Yuva" for short.

So when it came to casting my latest film(s), I again looked at what you, dear Veracious, might enjoy. And so I went with this guy:

Of course, it didn't hurt that he'd done some quite impressive work in the Tamil industry before.

And of course I knew of that time you watched Kannukondain Kannukondain and imagined Abbas as Vikram (who Abbas was voiced by) and what his chemistry would be like with Aishwarya. And then I just made it all the more interesting by being my awesome self, throwing in some Ramayana and a little jungle and more than a touch of visually interesting stuff (Santosh Sivan helped, of course).

And of course it is a given that you can barely stand Aishwarya in most of her movies but can enjoy her in the direction of somebody good - hate to toot my own horn but Iruvar, Guru, one would be insane not to name these some of her best performances. So I put her in this, both versions, and I know you won't mind one bit.

And as a cherry on top, just so you can't really get grumpy about Vikram doing so few movies per year (or years, should I say), I put him in both versions, in different roles. And in the Hindi version, there is also Abhishek, so you've basically got no room to complain about my casting choices.

So yes, I hope you and many others enjoy it - whichever version, or both. I hope you don't gnaw your fingers off in anticipation. I'm sure there'll be other stuff to keep you busy while waiting for this movie. I hear Housefull's going to be quite good - ha ha ha.

Anyway, I must go now as I am a real film maker with busy schedules but I hope you read this entirely real, not at all fake letter and post it on your blog. It'll be good promotion for the movie and a way for you to describe your enthusiasm without resulting in keymashing and repeated exclamation marks after the name Vikram. Yes, I did this all just so you wouldn't have to type "omg" and "phwoarr" and "eeee" and "Aishwarya & Vikram eee omg!" over and over again. I care for your dignity.

Yours truly and genuinely and not in the least bit fakely,

Mani Ratnam

PS. I too severely hate Saif's bandanna. What was he thinking?!


ajnabi said...

Dang, girl, but I had the exact same reaction to those promo stills. This has turned into one of my most anticipated films almost overnight based solely on them and a couple of trailers--the last time that happened, I don't know.

P.S. Tell Mani sir he can write me anytime--or, you know, get Vikram to do it. ;-)

veracious said...

I haven't even been able to watch the newest of trailers, my reactions to the pics was so summed up by "!!!!!!!!!!!".

Sigh. I may have to get my hands on a pirate of this since I can't see it in theaters. Gahh.

PS. Mani sir did not leave me a reply address, nor the contact details of Vikram sir. He knows me too well, I couldn't be trusted with either information. :D

Anishok said...

Even though I don't know anything about Vikram (blasphemy, I know!) the promos for both versions look amazing. I'm looking ver much forward to this.

PS. I too severely hate Saif's bandanna. What was he thinking?!

I always knew Mani-sir was a genius. :D

veracious said...

Not blasphemy, believe me.. You haven't looked into Tamil cinema (which is less available sadly) and that's totally okay. I remember seeing this guy in an avatar and being like "Er, why does my friend like *this guy*?". Then I watched a few movies and he just clicked with me and eventually became one of my favourite stars.

All sane people hate the bandanna. I'm standing by that, even if it means labelling Saif himself and maybe Kareena too as insane. :D

Liz C said...

Hey, Mani sir sent me a very similar, not at all fake, letter.

From the music launch, I'm mostly geeking out that Abhi and Aish call him "Kenny sir." And OMG, Vikram playing Abbas in KK? I think my head just exploded with awesome.

veracious said...

Ohhh I need to see that music launch clip! :D

Haha, watching that movie I realized how much of a fan I actually was - recognizing his voice and actually fangirling it as I was watching, a tad crazy even in my books.

Filmbuff said...

I wonder if it is really Mani Ratnam who wrote that letter. Something does not jell - may be the style of writing? Was this an email or a proper letter? if it was an email you would have known where it originated from.

I am looking forward to seeing Ravana in both hindi and tamil. I have seen Vikram in the tamil films Samy and Anniyan and liked him. He is not only good looking but also a very talented actor. I think Ash and Vikram will make a good jodi. Ash indeed did well in Iruvar, Provoked and Guru

Daddy's Girl said...

Aww, such a cute letter! You should write him back once you've seen the movie (and share your reply here, of course!) This post was a charming idea - really enjoyed it.
Mani Ratnam is great - just watched his 'Kannathil Muthamittal' and absolutely loved it. Probably my favourite film of his so far. Definitely looking forward to 'Raavan' - the stills do look great.

veracious said...

Filmbuff - Um, maybe my sarcasm didn't come through enough. It's obviously written by me, not Mani-saab. I'm not famous to get emails or letters from film makers!

DG - Kannathil is quite a good film, yes. I adore Madhavan in it. Glad it worked for you!

Anonlee said...

LOL - I enjoyed your letter from Mani.

Actually, you should start an internet campaign (blogs, twitter, etc)to petition the movie distributor, Reliance Big Picture to show their Indian movies with English subtitles in each country in Europe - at least one movie theatre in a major city. Also in each state in the US in a major city and every major city worldwide for that matter.

It is the only way that Indian cinema will get more exposure legitimately versus pirated dvd or waiting for the official dvd release.

Here is the contact information for Reliance:

Contact –
Riya Mitra- Reliance Big Pictures – 9320192126/9833323465,

Parull Gossain – 9870778621,

Filmbuff said...

DG & Veracious

Mani Ratnam's best movie is in tamil"Iruvar". Some knowledge of the politics of Tamil Nadu and the leaders and their idealogy will of course help in a better appreciation of this movie. This was Ashwariya's first movie.

Other good mani ratnam tamil films are Roja, Mounaragam (old is gold has a review), Agninakshatram, Thalapati, Nayakan, Anjali etc

Veracious - perhaps your letter concept escaped my mind or I was in a hurry to read it.