Mani Ratnam says pandemic cannot be an excuse for making bad films: ‘Our job is to deliver against all odds’
The filmmaker is presently busy promoting his upcoming directorial venture, Ponniyin Selvan, based on the novel of the same name. Mani Ratnam (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Celebrated Indian filmmaker Mani Ratnam, who has several award-winning films to his credit, is presently busy promoting his upcoming directorial venture, Ponniyin Selvan, based on the novel of the same name.
The magnum opus faced several setbacks during its filming due to the coronavirus pandemic. During an interview, when Ratman was asked if not for the pandemic, could he have done the film in an even better way, the filmmaker replied, “The only thing I was concerned about during the pandemic was that the actors shouldn’t put on weight. I kept texting the actors, keeping them in check. I would be like, “Hi, Trisha, how are you?” But I can’t use the pandemic as an excuse. The pandemic hit everyone, not just me. It’s not at all an argument to say I could have made a better film if not for the pandemic. Our job is to deliver against all odds. I can’t release the movie in theatres, and go tell everyone there, “It’s due to the pandemic the film is the way.”
Shot on a lavish scale, the period drama boasts of a humongous cast that includes the likes of Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Jayam Ravi, Karthi, Trisha, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Sobhita Dhulipala, Prabhu, R. Sarathkumar, Vikram Prabhu, Jayaram, Prakash Raj, Rahman, and R. Parthiban.
Talking about his casting choice, the filmmaker said, “When I read Ponniyin Selvan, I didn’t think that I was going to make a movie based on it. I had the same experience as anyone else, I had my own version of the characters in my head. When it came to making a movie, I thought these actors would more or less fit into the roles. Once I started working with them, they were able to get into the characters.”
The film is set to enter cinemas on September 30, 2022.