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‘OKK: a new-age romance’

April 12, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:34 am IST - CHENNAI:

Director Mani Ratnam (fourth from right) along with Leela Samson, actor Suhasini Maniratnam, cinematographer P.C. Sreeram, lyricist Vairamuthu, music director A.R. Rahman and actor Dulquer Salmaan at the O Kadhal Kanmani film's press conference in Chennai on Saturday.PHOTO: M. VEDHAN

Director Mani Ratnam (fourth from right) along with Leela Samson, actor Suhasini Maniratnam, cinematographer P.C. Sreeram, lyricist Vairamuthu, music director A.R. Rahman and actor Dulquer Salmaan at the O Kadhal Kanmani film's press conference in Chennai on Saturday.PHOTO: M. VEDHAN

On the day the first look of the latest Mani Ratnam film, O Kadhal Kanmani , was uploaded on the internet, the filmmaker’s fans on social media were quick to compare it with another of his smash hits, Alaipayuthey released 15 years ago, and other romantic films of the filmmaker.

The team of O Kadhal Kanmani met the press on Saturday at Taj Coromandel to talk, though very little, about the film. When asked if OKK could be called a sequel of Alaipayuthey , Mani Ratnam clarified that this is a new-age romantic film. “In a sense, it is similar because it is a love story. But, the characters aren’t the same. It is a story that happens today, now. Alaipayuthey was a love story which happened many years ago,” he says.

O Kadhal Kanmani reflects the modern mindset of urban India and presents a provocative take on the institution of marriage itself. Lyricist Vairamuthu said that the film has been made at a time when capitalism is dissolving traditional cultures.

Refusing to get drawn into a debate on the merits and de-merits of the institution of marriage, he replied, “I am not a headmaster. I am a filmmaker and I discuss my opinions through the characters in my films,” he says.

Despite the fact that Mani Ratnam’s last film, Kadal , bombed at the box office, O Kadhal Kanmani has received lot of attention from the industry, with the audio release helping its cause. Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman said, “In the last 23 years, Mani Ratnam has given me an amazing platform to experiment.”

The film features actors Dulquer Salman and Nithya Menen in the lead roles. Dulquer Salman, who plays the character called Adhi, said he was glad the film offered him a chance to work with the best in Indian cinema. “Since the entire film was shot with live sound, I had to get into the skin of the character to get it right,” he said. Speaking about the film, the actor said that he believes in the institution of marriage; however, people must be free to choose for themselves. Former CBFC chief Leela Samson also makes her debut in the film. The film is set for a release around 350 screens on April 17.

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