Director CS Amudhan opines that filmmakers of his generation share a special relationship with movies made by the winning combination. He says, “They have set the standards for background music. If one were to list out the best background scores in Tamil cinema, one would say they are Mouna Ragam, followed by Nayagan and Thalapathi. These are still the benchmarks.”
Little wonder that most people in Kollywood say the duo must collaborate again. Director Venkat Prabhu, who nurtures the wish to work with his uncle Ilaiyaraaja, says, “I think all their fans would like to see that combination.”
Similar sentiments are echoed by Karthik Raja, the music maestro’s son too. “I wish they could get back together to give us some of those evergreen hits. My dad gets inspired by directors like Mani Ratnam. Few directors are able to bring out the beauty in a composer’s work.”
Amudhan, commenting on the same, says, “Mani Ratnam’s vision always challenged Raja sir’s music. This is why the Isaignani worked differently for Mani sir’s films. Take Anjali, which was so ahead of its time. We’ve not seen Raja sir go back to those kind of tunes. Maybe he is still reserving them for Mani sir.”
The year 2012 will see a comeback of sorts for both these maestros. While Mani Ratnam will have his film Kadal starring Gautham Karthik and Samantha releasing this year, Ilaiyaraaja will see a few releases including Gautham Menon’s Neethaane En Ponvasantham.
Actress-producer Lakshmi Manchu, who will be seen in Kadal and also has Ilaiyaraaja composing for her film Maranthein Mannithen, says, “I am ready to retire now, since I’ve worked with my two idols. It wasn’t my dad but Mani sir who inspired me to get into movies. As for Raja sir, my life wouldn’t be the same without his music. They brought in cheer every time I was down.”