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46th San Francisco International Film Festival at PFA

Sunday, April 27, 2003
Mani Ratnam India, 2002

(Kannathil muthamittal). Bollywood maverick Mani Ratnam at his genre-twisting finest creates the equivalent of Rodgers and Hammerstein serenading the Tamil Tigers. Two Sri Lankans find their honeymoon shattered by a military invasion, and must put their just-born daughter up for adoption. Nine years later, the daughter learns of her past, and together with her adopted family returns to strife-torn Sri Lanka and a mother now engaged in armed revolution. Colorful whirls of dancing children, ecstatic camerawork, and A.R. Rahman's catchy songs coalesce with heartfelt antiwar dialogues that underline Ratnam's singular crossroads of humanism, political engagement, and old-fashioned, over-the-top entertainment.

—Jason Sanders

• Written by Ratnam. Photographed by Ravi K. Chandran. With Madhavan, Simran, Prakash Raj, Nandita Das. (136 mins)