'Kaatru Veliyidai' first look: Mani Ratnam is back in his element with a romantic film - Firstpost
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'Kaatru Veliyidai' first look: Mani Ratnam is back in his element with a romantic film

One of the most famous directors in Indian cinema, Mani Ratnam has finally launched his new film in Tamil titled  Kaatru Veliyidai with a first look poster.

The film stars Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari in lead roles, with comedian RJ Balaji, roped in to play an important role. It will be produced by Ratnam’s home banner Madras Talkies, with his favourite music director AR Rahman providing the melodies.

Mani Ratnam is one of the biggest survivors in Indian cinema from the 1980s and still has a loyal fan base cutting across languages.  After a series of lacklustre performances at the box-office, Ratnam made a fantastic comeback last year with the romantic O’ Kadhal Kanmani popularly refered to as OK Kanmani. The film revolved around live-in relationships. Ratnam is a director who understands changing audiences, and makes good cinema within the commercial format.

The first look poster itself is interesting, showing pigeons and a fighter jet flying against the backdrop of love and romance. The 61-year-old director has been working on the script of Kaatru Veliyidai for the last one year. The title is taken from legendary Tamil poet Bharatyiar’s poem and it means breezy expanse.  Popular actor Suriya’s younger brother Karthi, who worked as Ratnam’s assistant early in his career, will play the hero, while Aditi Rao Hydari is the heroine.

The buzz is that the story is set in Kashmir, like Mani’s earlier film Roja, and it will be a romantic film with a tinge of terrorism thrown in. Ratnam has always been fascinated with terrorism, as seen with films like Roja, Dil Se, Kannathil Muthamittal.  Karthi will reportedly be seen as a pilot in the film, with Aditi rumoured to be playing a doctor. Like in all Mani Ratnam films, AR Rahman’s music is sure to be the highlight. Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ranbir Kapoor’s favourite cameraman Ravi Varman is the cinematographer.

Ratnam had initially planned to shoot the film in Kashmir, but wanted to use never seen before locations close to the line of control, which the J&K government refused. This delayed the shoot as permissions were hard to come, so finally Ratnam had to go back to Otty, where he shot some scenes of Dil Se, including the famous train top song of SRK – Chaiyya, Chaiyya.

Almost all areas of Kaatru Veliyidai have been locked before even the shoot starts. Sri Thenandal Films, the market leader in Tamil film production, is presenting the film and the Telugu dubbing rights too has been sold. There are already buyers for the Hindi remake rights, but Mani Ratnam will take a call only closer to its release.

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