True, they have only worked in ten films together, but boy,
wouldn't have we missed something substantial if not for those ten
magical films with mesmerizing music?
Mani Ratnam started off his career with Ilaiyaraaja by his side
and they together rewrote the meaning of commercial as well as
classical music in Kollywood.
When everyone had thought the deadly combination of Raja, Mani
and Vairamuthu would go on forever, it
unfortunately, had to come to an end, giving rise to new
But most importantly, before they parted ways due to creative
differences, they vigorously waved their magical wands to create
music that was never heard before, be it songs or background
It doesn't have to be a special day to revisit their brilliant
works and thereby give ourselves an opportunity to not only
remember their wonderful partnership but also honour these two
legendary personalities of Indian cinema.
Check out the slides below to know about those 10 films
in which Ilaiyaraaja and Mani Ratnam have worked
Pallavi Anu Pallavi
Being Mani Ratnam's first movie, he was introduced to
Ilaiyaraaja by Balu Mahendra(cameraman of this Kannada flick). It
is reported that Mani Ratnam approached Ilaiyaraaja by saying he
would like him to compose music for this small budget movie. Mani
also confessed that he can't afford to pay Ilaiyaraaja his actual
market price. Ilaiyaraaja agreed and composed for the film taking
only one-fifth of his actual remuneration at that time.
Unaru happens to be Mani Ratnam's second film and is a
Malayalam flick. His association with Ilaiyaraaja continued as the
acclaimed musician composed music for this Mohanlal starrer. Well
known songs in this movie includes 'Deepame' and 'Theeram thedi
olam padi', both sung by S Janaki.
This film marked Mani Ratnam's entry into Tamil cinema. Having
worked with Ilaiyaraaja in two movies before, the then new and
talented director was in no mood to let go of his most trusted
musician. Famous songs from this flick are 'Poo Maalayae' sung by
Ilaiyaraaja, Janaki and 'Vaidhegi Raman' sung by Janaki.
Idaya Kovil was a musical-fest as the story
itself revolves around a singer. The film was Mani Ratnam's first
major hit in Tamil. Songs like 'Idhayam Oru Kovil', 'Kootathilae
Kovil Pura', 'Naan Paadum Mouna Raagam' and 'Yaar Veetu Roja' went
on to become massive hits, eventually contributing in the film's
Considered as a cult classic, the magical combination of
Ilaiyaraaja and Mani Ratnam was being noted at the time of this
movie's release. Mouna Ragam went on to win the National
Film Award for Best Film and the songs are hummed by many even
today. Some of the celebrated songs include, 'Nilaave Vaa' and
'Mandram Vandha' both sung by S. P. Balasubrahmanyam.
When everyone were still thinking about Mouna Ragam,
Mani Ratnam and Ilaiyaraaja came up with Nayagan the
following year. Declared as one of India's best movies ever made,
Nayagan was also praised for its soulful music. Popular
songs in this film includes, 'Nee Oru Kadhal Sangeetham', 'Nila
Adhu Vanathumele' and 'Thenpandi Cheemayile'.
Yet again considered as a classic, Agni Natchathiram
completed a 200 day run at the box office. All the songs from this
movie went on to become chart busters making people realize that
music can never go wrong in a Mani Ratnam-Ilaiyaraaja flick. Some
of the tracks from this film includes, 'Ninnukori Varanam', 'Raaja
Raajathi', 'Thoongatha Vizhigal' and 'Vaa Vaa Anbe Anbe'.
After three blockbuster hits in Tamil, Mani Ratnam ventured into
Telugu cinema through Geethanjali, but he retained his
music director. Both the film and its album were successful
commercially and received critical acclaim as well. Popular numbers
from this film are, 'Oh Priya Priya', 'Oh Papa Laali' and 'Kaviyam
Padava Thendrale', all sung by Mano.
Being Ilaiyaraaja's 500th film, Anjali was
India's official entry to the Oscars in 1991. Great story backed by
great music, the film was nothing short of a magical experience.
Hit numbers from this movie includes, 'Vegam Vegam', 'Anjali
Anjali' and 'Something Something'.
Unfortunately, Thalapathi marks the end of an era
as Mani Ratnam and Ilaiyaraaja never once in their life worked
together after Thalapathi and the trend continues
even today. But, what a sign off it was? The song, 'Rakkamma Kaiya
Thattu' was amongst the songs listed in a BBC World Top Ten music
poll. Other soul-stirring songs includes, 'Chinna Thaai Aval' and
'Sundari' which has some of the most complex notes.