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Mani Ratnam and AR Rahman — 25 years of magic 

The upcoming Kaatru Veliyidai marks 25 years of a prolific partnership between Ratnam and Rahman. The director and composer have come together for 13 films delivering some unforgettable visual concerts. At Cinestaan.com, we took a closer look at the films that marked the highs of one of Indian cinema's most effective cinematic partnerships.

Shriram Iyengar

In 1990, Mani Ratnam approached a 25-year-old AR Rahman to compose music for his next project, Roja. Ratnam had heard the young composer's jingle for an ad and was convinced of the potential. It was a remarkable move, considering that Ratnam had worked with only one composer for all his previous films, the maestro Ilayaraja. It was a symbolic transfer of power in the Tamil cinema music.

Twenty-five years later, Ratnam's find has won every possible award under the sun, including the Oscars and the BAFTAs. The director himself has moved into a different sphere with the scale, vision and quality of his filmmaking. 

Between the two of them, Ratnam and Rahman share an intrinsic understanding of their stories. Rahman calls the director 'his blessing', while Ratnam himself says the composer 'pushes him to new things'. It is this constant tug-of-war between two immensely creative people that has resulted in some splendid cinematic memories.

Ratnam has created visual scenes that enhance the magic of Rahman's scintillating music. Whether it be the lush pastoral feel in Roja (1992), the sufism of Dil Se...(1998) or the Carnatic fusion of Alaipayuthey (2000), the duo has produced consistently and bettered records. Between them, the two share six Filmfare Awards and 7 National Awards. 

As they return with Kaatru Veliyidai, they mark 25 years of their first project together, Roja. Incidentally, the film is also set in Kashmir, the same locale as in Roja. The soundtrack has already received positive reviews. Hopefully, the partnership flourishes even more in the coming years.