The scene where Rajesh (Madhavan) sees Reena (Reema Sen) for the first time is iconic. He is inside a telephone booth at night in pouring rain when he sees a girl step out of a broken-down car to play with a group of children.
Sometimes, the first meeting might be a pair of scenes. Karthik (Madhavan) and Shakti (Shalini) bump into each other at a wedding. There is a bit of casual banter, and they walk away. It seems inconsequential. They meet again in a setting that is diametrically opposite. They are travelling in trains that are passing each other.
Karthik (Silambarasan) is languorously leaning on a gate, unsuspectingly looking at the road. Jessie (Trisha) walks into the street, stops at his gate, speaks to him briefly, and walks on once he opens the gate for her. While all this is happening over a few seconds, he is in a romantic world of his own. Without any dialogue, you see Karthik's surprise, joy, shock, and love.
The first meeting need not be just about the act of falling in love. Mani Ratnam in OK Kanmani uses it as a vehicle to economically give context to the viewer about the heroine, without letting the hero know. In a busy railway station, Aditya (Dulquer Salmaan) sees Taara (Nithya Menen) across a platform, seemingly breaking up with her boyfriend.
Another one of Mani Ratnam's films where the first meeting takes on deeper significance after the second. Shekar (Arvind Swami) and Shaila (Manisha Koirala) briefly see each other when her veil is blown by the wind. Being from a conservative family, she wouldn't have had many opportunities to meet an unknown man. So, when she sees him at a wedding, she breaks into a song of yearning.
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