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Top 10 Mani Ratnam Best Movies To Watch

The recently released historical drama Ponniyin Selvan-1, directed by the legendary Mani Ratnam, was a commercial success. The audience has responded favorably to the first installment of the Chola dynasty film, so there are high expectations for the sequel.

Here is a list of the top 10 Mani Ratnam movies to watch as a reminder of his outstanding work.


Kamal Haasan plays the lead character in Mani Ratnam’s 1987 film Nayakan. This action-packed family drama was theatrically released in Telugu under the name Nayakudu, where it also had tremendous success. On IMDB, the movie has an 8.6/10 rating. The Godfather, a classic book by Mario Puzo, inspired the movie. A movie is known to have received both stellar box office results and praise from critics. Karthika and Kamal Hassan are in the lead for Nayakan. Due to the movie’s success, Bollywood decided to try a remake with Vinod Khanna in Dayavaan. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t receive as much praise as the original. Nayakan was included in TIME magazine’s 2005 list of the top 100 movies. This Mani Ratnam masterpiece says a lot. While the audience quickly forgot Dayavaan, Nayakan earned Kamal Hassan a National Award for Best Actor.

Mouna Ragam

When it was released in 1986, the romantic drama Mouna Ragam, starring Karthik, Revathi, and Mohan in the lead roles, set the bar high. Ilayaraja’s music and PC Sreeram’s cinematography are important components of the movie, in addition to Mani Ratnam’s direction. On IMDB, the movie has an 8.4/10 rating.

Mani ratnam movies


Roja, which stars Arvind Swamy and Madhoo Bala as the main actors, is one of Mani Ratnam’s best movies. This musical family drama continues to be well-regarded today. When the movie was first released in 1992, it was a huge box office hit. On IMDB, this love-family drama has an 8.1/10 rating. Roja was about a relationship that was divided by terrorism and politics. Arvind Swamy and Madhoo, the lead actors, have some sizzling chemistry in this masterfully crafted work of film. Even the audience became engrossed in their story and experienced their trauma because of the chemistry between them. The soundtrack for the movie was excellent and added to its value. Roja went on to win three national awards for best film on national integration, best lyrics, and music direction.

Alai Payuthey

The movie, Sakhi in Telugu, was released simultaneously with the Tamil version and was an immediate success in both languages. Madhavan and Shalini play the lead roles in the movie. AR Rahman’s compositions are timeless classics. On IMDB, the movie has an 8.3/10 rating.


Thalapathi, a 1991 movie starring Malayalam superstar Mammootty and Superstar Rajinikanth, is a runaway success at the box office. The film also benefits from the cinematography by Santosh Sivan, the music by Ilayaraja, and the direction by Mani Ratnam. On IMDB, Thalapathi has an 8.5/10 rating. During the first few years of his career, this Rajnikanth-starring movie further solidified Maniratnam’s reputation as a highly accomplished director. Thalapathi is one of the earliest examples of Maniratnam’s fascination with mythology and how he has incorporated it into many of his films. The friendship between Rajnikanth and Mamooty, which is reminiscent of the friendship between Karan and Duryodhana in the historic Indian epic Mahabharat, is the central theme of the movie. The movie was renowned for its slick pacing, highly stylized cinematography, and, last but certainly not least, Ilaiyaraaja’s soulful music.


Bombay was a sensational success across India and starred Arvind Swamy, Manisha Koirala, and Sonali Bendre in the lead roles. The primary USBs for the movie include Mani Ratnam’s direction, the score by AR Rahman, and the images by Rajiv Menon. On IMDB, the film has an 8.1/10 rating. It wasn’t the first time Mani Ratnam had addressed terrorism. However, this time he had raised the bar even higher, drawing the ire of numerous political wings. The movie focuses on a romance between a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl around Babri Masjid’s destruction. The horrific Hindu-Muslim riots that followed. On-screen, Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala did a great job of capturing the tragedy of the situation. The Mozart of Madras, A R Rahman, wrote some timeless classics for the movie’s songs. Bombay also won the National Award for Best Film Editing and Best Film on National Integration, just like Roja.


One of Mani Ratnam’s best love story dramas is called Gitanjali. The best songs written by Ilayaraja are found in the 1989 film Gitanjali. Nagarjuna and Girija play the lead roles in the movie, which has an IMDB rating of 8.3/10.

Iruvar (1997)

A movie allegedly based on the political rivalry between Karunanidhi and M.G. Ramachandran. According to legend, the movie is a cult classic that received high praise from critics for its story. Iruvar continued to win two National Awards, one for best supporting actor and the other for best cinematography. Mohanlal and Prakash Raj played crucial roles in the movie. The movie Iruvar served as Aishwarya Rai’s acting debut. The director regarded the movie as a valiant effort.

Dil Se

Dil Se, Mani Ratnam’s first authentic Bollywood film, was released in 1998 and was a huge hit. The movie stars Shah Rukh Khan and Manisha Koirala as the lead actors and has a 7.5/10 rating on IMDB. Shah Rukh Khan’s performance in Dil Se solidified his reputation as a very talented actor. AR Rahman’s score elevated the movie to classic status. The movie, based on the divisive themes of terrorism, nationalism, and sacrifices, was a huge commercial and critical success when released. SRK portrayed a radio executive who develops feelings for a mystifying character played by Manisha Koirala. The audience watches in awe as the story is told, astounded by the performance, sound design, and pure mastery of cinematography.


Guru is a successful film at the box office, starring Mithun Chakraborty, Abhishek Bachchan, and Aishwarya Rai, among others, in significant roles. The movie is based on the travels of wealthy tycoon Dhirubhai Ambani. On IMDB, the movie has a 7.7/10 rating. This Ambani-based story’s first half reads like the film adaptation of a picaresque novel, in which the roguish, working-class hero must rely on his cunning to survive (except that his “adventures” take place in the world of business); it is the epitome of cerebral, entertaining, mainstream cinema. Guru, played by Abhishek Bachchan, is a cunning con artist. Sujata (Aishwarya Rai) is an iconic Mani Ratnam heroine, a product of her era who struggles to break free from its constraints. The protagonist is humanized and deified in the second half (it does a bit of both). But in presenting blatant capitalism as a desirable ideal, this might be considered the biopic of our time.

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I know. I know. The majority of you are scratching your heads over this coming before Alipayuthey. (However, you’ve probably already exclaimed “WTF!” a few times by this point.) Even so, despite how thin this romance is, I enjoy the straightforward storytelling, restraint, lack of melodrama, and lived-in textures of the charming older couple. I’m disappointed that Mani Ratnam did not explore the sexual side of the live-in relationship more; if Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menen had been next-door neighbors in love, the movie would have worked almost as well. However, the charm factor is off the charts. The film industry’s version of the fountain of youth is AR Rahman’s entrancing score, not just the songs.

Raavan/Ravanan (2010)

A cult of fans believes that Mani Ratnam’s most underappreciated film is Raavan, even though it continues to be one of his most divisive works. Maniratnam did a commendable job of presenting the Ramayana myth in a modern context for a good reason. Additionally, the production was first-rate, including the music and stunning visuals. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vikram, and Abhishek Bachchan performed their roles gracefully. Raavan is regarded as one of Maniratnam’s weakest movies, bombing both critically and commercially. The Tamil version, however, is much superior to the Hindi version.


Anil Kapoor’s character Vijay is torn between his girlfriend Madhu (Kiran Vairale) in Mani Ratnam’s debut film and married Anu (Lakshmi), who is estranged from her unfaithful husband. The appearance screams Balu Mahendra. The first phase of Mani Ratnam’s work would be marked by carefully composed (and contrast-filled) lighting, where the actors (like stage actors) would have to “hit their spots.” He shot with his typical love of natural light, which is very much the antithesis of that. But the vibe is unmistakably Mani Ratnam. Young and urban, with influences from both the West and India. While Madhu travels to the US to pursue an MS in Biochemistry, Anu may flee back into the arms of her husband. Dreams come before boyfriends, even if they are conflicted ones. I also adore that Madhu dresses in cotton saris rather than skirts or pants (which, in the cinema of the time, was a sign that the girl was “modern”). Her clothing does not reflect modernity. She is aware of it.


One of Mani Ratnam’s best movies is Anjali. The movie stars Prabhu, Raghuvaran, Revathi, Tharun, and Shamlee (Child artists), and has an IMDB rating of 8.2/10.

You’re next!

These are our top picks and the order of the Maniratnam‘s best movies. Maniratnam movies can be created or ranked according to your priorities in the comments section.

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