Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

THE DUO
(Iruvar)

Year: 1997
Country: India
Run Time: 127 minutes

THE DUO is the 15th film by Mani Ratnam ("Bombay" 20th CIFF, 1996), and is, like all the others, a joy. It contains most of Ratnam's constant themes: power, politics, love, betrayal and a particular emphasis on Tamil culture. Here a struggling actor meets a poet/politician, and a long and deep friendship begins, as does a competition between them. The latter becomes important in a Tamil party, while the former becomes a huge star. The film shifts from one to the other, with marriages, deaths, love affairs and betrayals - those things common to all lives. The film world is vividly portrayed with very sophisticated musical numbers on different narrative levels. There is one particularly daring musical sequence in which we are given the song and dance as part of a film-within-a-film, then watch it being shot on set, and then framented into the "real" story. Ratnams's limitless vitality, intelligence and loony imagination make him one of the world's most entertaining directors, with a rare and precious ability to ride the edge between sheer popular entertainment and serious "art." In other words, he makes movies - let the cinema take care of itself. - Toronto International Film Festival (In Tamil with English subtitles)

Screenplay
Mani Rutman

Director
Mani Ratnam

Producer
Mani Rutman

Cinematography
Santosh Sivan

Editing
Suresh Urs

Principal Cast
Mohan Lai, Prakash Raj, Aishwarya Rai, Gautami, Tabu, Revathy, Nasser.

Film Contact
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