June 16, 2010 / 9:50 PM / 9 years ago

Mani Ratnam wants to explore 'grey side' in films

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Filmmaker Mani Ratnam says his less-than-perfect leading men could be a manifestation of his grey side, an aspect he wants to explore through his films.

Director Mani Ratnam arrives for the world premiere of the Bollywood film 'Raavan' at the BFI in London, June 16, 2010. Filmmaker Mani Ratnam says his less-than-perfect leading men could be a manifestation of his grey side, an aspect he wants to explore through his films. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

Ratnam, 54, whose latest film “Raavan” explores the tumultuous relationship between a captor and his victim, says he finds his protagonists more interesting than the “perfect” leading men of most Bollywood films.

“I don’t know why my leading men have grey shades. Maybe I am trying to explore that side of me through them,” he told Reuters.

“I think they lend themselves more to the drama.”

Ratnam’s 2007 film “Guru” starred Abhishek Bachchan as Gurukant Desai, an at times unscrupulous businessman who doesn’t hesitate to use illegal means.

Bachchan was also part of Ratnam’s “Yuva” in 2004, playing a small-time criminal who beats his wife and drinks. And now in “Raavan”, Bachchan is cast as Beera, an outlaw who kidnaps the wife of a police officer.

Ratnam’s films are also seen as being political with some of his films exploring themes such as the Tamil conflict in Sri Lanka.

But the filmmaker says he doesn’t do it on purpose.

“As part of our daily lives, some of it will also find its way into my films,” says Ratnam.

“Raavan”, shot simultaneously in Hindi and Tamil, opens in cinemas on Friday.

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