Mani Ratnam began his film career with the Kannada film, Pallavi Anupallavi (1983) starring Anil Kapoor and Lakshmi. Thereafter he directed Unaru (1984) in Malayalam  starring Mohanlal in the lead role. Mani Ratnam's first directorial in Tamil was Pagal Nilavu (1985) starring Revathi, Murali, Sathyaraj, Sarath Babu and Raadika. His first directorial in Telugu was Geethanjali (1989) starring Akkineni Nagarjuna.


Mani Ratnam was conferred with the Padma Shri in 2002 and has bagged the National Awards for six of his films including Mouna Ragam (1986), Geethanjali (1989), Anjali (1991), Roja (1992), Bombay (1995) and Kannathil Muthamittal (2002).


The director is working on his next which has Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari in the lead roles. We hear that Karthi, who is playing a pilot in the film, is already doing a crash course in flying for the same and the latest is that Aditi Rao Hydari will be learning Tamil for the film.


On the occasion of Mani Ratnam's birthday, Asianet Newsable gives a glimpse into ten evergreen, path-breaking films of the director in Tamil.



Mouna Ragam (1986): Starring Revathi and Mohan in lead roles, music scored by Isaignani Ilaiyaraaja, this romantic drama bagged the National Award for the Best Feature Film in Tamil. The film was remade in Hindi as Kasak with Rishi Kapoor and Neelam Kothari in lead roles. The film was not only a commercial success but also ran for 175 days in the theatres.



Nayagan (1987): Starring Kamal Haasan and Saranya in lead roles, the biographical crime-drama loosely based on Mumbai underworld don Varadarajan Mudaliar and inspired from Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972). The film in maestro Ilaiyaraaja's music score bagged three National Awards - Kamal Haasan for the Best Actor, PC Sreeram for Best Cinematography and Thotta Tharani for Best Art Direction.



Agni Natchathiram (1989): The action drama starring Prabhu, Karthik and Amala also had music score by Isaignani Ilaiyaraaja. The film was remade in Hindi as Vansh. Agni Natchathiram was a blockbuster commercial success and had a 200-day run at the theatres.



Anjali (1990): Starring Raghuvaran and Revathi, the main character in the film of Anjali was played by Shamili, with music score by maestro Ilaiyaraaja, for whom this was his 500th film. The film bagged three National Film Awards - Shamili, Tarun and Shruti for Best Child Artist, Pandu Rangan for Best Audiography and Mani Ratnam for the Best Feature Film in Tamil.



Thalapathi (1991): Starring Rajinikanth, Mammootty, Arvind Swami among many significant actors, and music score by maestro Ilaiyaraaja, the crime drama was the last collaboration between Mani Ratnam and Ilaiyaraaja.



Roja (1992): Starring Arvind Swami and Madhoo, the romantic thriller was the first collaboration between Mani Ratnam and AR Rahman who did the music score for the film. Roja bagged three National Awards - Best Feature Film on National Integration, Vairamuthu for Best Lyricist and AR Rahman for Best Music Director.



Bombay (1995): Starring Arvind Swami and Manisha Koirala, the drama with music score by AR Rahman, the film was second in the trilogy in the aspect of human relationships in the backdrop of Indian politics. Bombay bagged two National Awards - Best Feature Film on National Integration and Suresh URS for Best Editing.



Alaipayuthey (2000): Starring Madhavan and Shalini, the film had music score by AR Rahman and was remade in Hindi in 2002 as Saathiya.



Kannathil Muthamittal (2002): Starring Madhavan, Simran and Keerthana among other significant actors, the film had music score by AR Rahman. The film bagged six National Awards for Best Feature Film in Tamil, Best Audiography, Best Child Artist, Best Music Direction and Best Lyricist.



Guru (2007): Starring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, R Madhavan, Vidya Balan among other significant actors, the music score was by AR Rahman and the biographical drama was loosely based on the life of the late business magnate Dhirubhai Ambani.