Aug 242 min read

Relating architecture through Movies: Okadhal Kanmani

written by

Team Kaarwan

"OK Kanmani" (also known as "O Kadhal Kanmani") is a Tamil romantic drama film released in 2015. It was directed by Mani Ratnam and produced by his wife, Suhasini Mani Ratnam. The film features Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menon in the lead roles, with Prakash Raj and Leela Samson in supporting roles.

The cinematography of "OK Kanmani" was handled by P.C. Sreeram, a renowned Indian cinematographer known for his distinctive visual style. In the film, Sreeram's cinematography played a significant role in capturing the urban environment, the characters' emotions, and the overall mood of the story. With his guidance and help from PC Sreeram, whose gorgeous, superbly-lit frames capture the beauty of both Mumbai and the cramped quarters of the lead couple, and AR Rahman, whose hip songs and background score, keep the scenes throbbing, Mani Ratnam has given us a romantic film for this generation, with O Kadhal Kanmani.

Read through to see how architecture played a part in making this iconic movie!

1. Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus, Mumbai

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Kohinoor of Indo-Saracenic architecture, played an important role in the iconic first scene. It happens to be among the few heritage sites actually accessed by people.

Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus, Mumbai 1.jpgImage Source: Planet of Hotels

2. The Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid made an appearance in the movie, alongside B.V.Doshi, explaining its marvel. Having survived earthquakes, it still remains an amalgamation of Hindu, Islamic, and Jain styles of architecture.

The Jama Masjid111.jpgImage Source: where was it shot

3.  Sabarmati Ashram

Playing an influential part in the character’s story the Sabarmati ashram makes its own stand, in the fact that its site was located between a crematorium and jail, where satyagraha would lead to one of the two.

Sabarmati ashram 111.jpgImage Source: News Click

4.  The Marine Drive

The key part of the was the long luxurious promenade – the marine drive! The queen’s necklace was in fact the keystone in the land reclamation project’s phase 2 of Mumbai’s urban development during British India!

marine drive222.jpgImage Source: Peakpx

5. The Gateway of India

The Gateway of India, standing in the reticence in the movie, was originally erected to commemorate the then king and queen of British India in 1911. The structure is a fusion of both Hindu and Muslim architectural styles. 

gateway of india 111.jpgImage Source: India Imagine

The architecture and cinematography in "OK Kanmani" were integral components that enriched the film's storytelling. They provided a window into the characters' lives, emotions, and relationships while also capturing the urban environment in which their story unfolded. The film's exploration of architecture through the lens of cinematography added depth, visual poetry, and a touch of realism to this modern love story.


Are you an Architect wanting to delve into the world of Set and Production Design? Then enroll in Kaarwan's Set and Production Design Course today, to build a career in the film industry!

Team Kaarwan

Team Kaarwan

Since we graduated from IIT Roorkee, we have been on a mission to democratize education through affordable online and offline workshops on industry-relevant skills, that help students gain better employability across the Indian subcontinent!