Post Marriage Lives In Mani Ratnam Movies

The lead pair, in most of the films of Mani Ratnam, has been a married couple and not just lovers.
His movies had equal share of romance as well as the complexities involved in relationships.

உன் பேரும் என் பேரும் தெரியாமலே
உள்ளங்கள் இடம் மாறும் ஏனோ
வாய் பேசவே வாய்ப்பில்லையே
வலி தீர வழி என்னவோ

At a time when most movies ended with the hero and heroine getting married (Don’t we remember the ‘Subham’ or ‘The End’ which flashed at the end of majority of movies, with a scene of the hero tying the ‘Thali’ around the herione’s neck?), came his movie, Mouna Raagam, in which the love story started only after the marriage of hero and heroine. Mouna Raagam, till date, remains an evergreen, beautiful love story and even after 25 years down the line, it still seems to be a contemporary story! It is not just in Mouna Raagam and Alaipayuthey, even in movies like Anjali, Bombay and Kannathil Muthamittal the central theme of which weren’t really the relationship between a husband and wife, Mani Ratnam, the expert that he is in portraying the relationship between even those characters whose screen time is only a few minutes in the movie, does explores the relationship between the lead couple.

நெஞ்சினிலே நெஞ்சினிலே ஊஞ்சலே
நாணங்கள் என் கண்ணிலே
சிவந்ததே என் மஞ்சளே
கல்யாணக் கல்யாணக் கனவு என் உள்ளே

Bombay is a movie where you don’t see the couple fighting ever. Even after the wedding, they both continue to follow their respective religions and religion remains a slightly uncomfortable factor between them as indicated by the scene in which some Hindus come to their house to ask for donation and Shekhar (Arvind Swamy), with an uncomfortable look in his face, takes them out. But that doesn’t affect their love for each other in any way. There is a scene when Shekhar stops reading his father’s letter loudly and instead starts telling imaginary lines to his wife. Through all the tragic, tough times, Shekhar, who, though not really an ideal son, remains a good husband.

ஒரே ஒரு தீண்டல் செய்தாய்
உயிர் கோடி பூத்ததென்ன.
செம்புலம் சேர்ந்த நீர் துளி போல்
அம்புடை நெஞ்சம் கலந்ததென்ன.’

Right from the initial courting days till the end of the movie, Kannathil Muthamittal traces the relationship between Indra (Simran) and Thiruchelvan (Madhavan) beautifully. Despite both of them having different opinions on important things like if they should tell their daughter the truth that she was adopted and if she should be allowed to meet her real mother. Not to forget that the thoughts that Indra has to constantly deal with about whether their daughter is more important to her husband than herself, Indra and Thiru still remain a perfect couple. In Thalapathy, more than Deva (Mammootty) and his wife (Geetha), who is shown as a happy couple, it is Kalyani (Srividya) and her husband (Jaishankar) who seems to be ideal, with the husband being so understanding and sensitive to his wife’s feelings.

செம்பூ மஞ்சம் விரித்தாலும்
பன்னீரைத் தெளித்தாலும்
ஆனந்தம் எனக்கேது
அன்பே நீ இல்லாது

Roja is not a movie which deals with the daily lives of a couple. It is the characters of Roja (Madhubala) and Rishi (Arvind Swamy) that is explored more and not their relationship as such. They stay together only for a short while and the husband gets abducted. Even at this point, their first argument is still fresh in the mind of Roja and she is still cursing herself for mistaking him. Moving away from all the ideal husbands that most of the heroes of Mani Ratnam’s are, in Aayitha Ezhuthu / Yuva, Mani Ratnam goes on to explore the relationship between a husband and wife in a rural setting. Reminding you of the many stories that you get to hear from that strata of society where the husband is a drunkard and often beats the wife and yet the wife continues living with him. In Aayitha Ezhuthu, from the beginning, like the song ‘Sandai Kozhi’, there is a constant fight between Inba (Madhavan) and Sasi (Meera), yet they continue to get back to each other.

In Guru, though the main reason behind the herso agreeing to marry the heroine is the dowry that he will get, they soon fall in love with each other and that is why when the wife comes to know the truth later, it upsets her only for a while before they soon get back together. And she remains a solid support to him through all the ups and downs in his life.

மலர்கள் கேட்டேன் வனமே தந்தனை
தண்ணீர் கேட்டேன் அமிர்தம் தந்தனை
எதை நான் கேட்பின் உனையே தருவாய்
எதை நான் கேட்பின் உனையே தருவாய்


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