Sunday, June 20, 2010

Raavanan - Movie Review

The film is about Veera, a tribal, kidnapping Ragini, wife of a cop Dev, who played a role in the death of his step sister, to seek revenge and how Ragini gets to know the real Veera after all the outer layers of his character gets peeled.

Even before Raavan/ Raavanan/ Villian released the film was being killed on twitter, the new Ram. I saw the Tamil version Which i think would be better than the Hindi version because a) Mani Ratnam looses it, when he tries to adapt it in Hindi (b) The Tamil version has got Vikram. That is one big reason I was excited about this film.

For years I wanted Vikram, this beautiful actor to be known to everyone in the world. I hold him on par with Kamal Haasan of this generation. Just see the way he effortlessly switches between his split personalities in the film Anniyan/ Aparichit/Aparichitudu. You would know what am I talking about if you see this. The same is also available in Hindi


Vikram didnt disappoint me one bit with his histrionics as Veera. Prithivi Raj as the cop is excellent and looks very handsome. The surprise package of this film however is Karthik as the forest guard. Man! what a comeback, he just proved why he was considered 2nd to none other than Kamal Haasan during his hay days. Aishwarya doesnt have much to do other than cry and she does that well. Prabhu was an utter waste in this movie. Priyamani fits the role well and Munna as brother of Veera was good too.

Story is kind of okay but the biggest mistake Mani Ratnam has done is likening this story to Ramayan. This is actually Ravanayan if I can call it that way. The character of Raavan is glorified wee bit and Ram is de-glorified way too much. If you get to see this picture taken outside the theatre, you would get a picture of what I am trying to express.

  Look at this Anil/Squirrel which was touched by Lord Ram and got its 3 lines on its back. This died after watching Raavanan. 


I dont know about others but i was stuck up with portrayal of people who I believed as good guys in a totally opposite way. If only he had not named this Raavan and not likened Veera/Beera to the character of Raavan and left it subtle for the audience to know it, this movie would have been tons better. That is where I feel Mani missed the trick because the story becomes so obvious if you do so.

One of the major setbacks of the film is its dialogues. Suhasini Mani Ratnam who penned the dialogues in Tamil is a big let down. This dilutes the whole film’s aura. The scenes at the end of the movie seemed like a dragged rubber band just because of this.

The film’s major plus is its camera work by Santhosh Sivam. The way he has handled the camera, he definitely deserves an award. The locations are so beautiful and this film is a visual treat.

On the whole I would say this film is worth a watch at least for its visualisation.

I would give it a 2.75 /5 stars and an Ok rating just because of the ineffective dialogues. Not bad as the twitter said it would be.

17 blesses 'n' curses:

Nethra said...

Vikram looks better than Abhishek. Wish Aishwarya was't playing the lead, then I would have definitely watched it atleast once.

Anyway, it was good to read your take on the movie.

Neha said...

The promos of raavan was very un-impressive to me!
probably a film to catch up on tv!

Swathi Pradeep said...

Good review!! Btw,what template are you using on this blog? How do you create that Home, Cricket Blog menus and all on this blog?
Could you pls email me the template?

Mural! said...

Well I did like it in hindi....in the sense I liked the way the director handled the movie more than any actor or music.....it takes a more objective view of the ramayan tale and tries to show it more so as a battle where the victorious got to write the history and the loser got damned :)

Uncle Srini said...

Hey, very well-written review I would say buddy. Your writing has come on leaps and bounds in virtually every facet and I should congratulate you on that.

Your criticisms about the film are right on the mark, I believe, because I have heard that from more than two people now!!! :) As for your portrayal of the cast, it was precise and well-informed. If I wanted to watch it, I would too for Vikram and Prithvi; Karthik used to be my favourite for a while. Oh, yes, Vikram is a legend but he has also struggled a lot to come up in life. I am glad when guys like that make it to the top and make it count whatever their field.

Cheers. Good to know you'd a fulfilling Sunday. :) I had too, in a different sense! Goodnight. :D

vEnKy said...

@Nethra: Thank you :-)

@Neha: Colors :-)

@Swathi Pradeep: The templates name is "The journalist". I've sent you the details

@Murali: I haven't seen the hindi version yet. I personally felt the whole ramayan rather Raavanyan thing should've be been subtle

@Srini: I despise your prefix. Thank you Srini. I too noticed that my writing has come a long way while proof-reading. I too have a connection with people who come up fighting, Vikram is one of them. It is really amazing that he did all the stunts with a history of having nearly being handicapped in his early life by an accident

randomchutney said...

good review and website, here's my 2 paisa's worth
If you hoped (like me) Mani Ratnam would improve on his film making, move away from usual stereotypes, and be bold enough to challenge ingrained stereotypes, forget all about it when it comes to Ravan(an)!

In his lately well-established trend, he chooses not 1 but 2 well-known stories and fuses them for his storyline! The film is thus a peculiar tale of Ramayan(a) meets Veerappan and the utterly unoriginal plot and role portrayals flit from one story to the other.

Combine this with 'tableau' like scenes, ultra theatrical unconvincing dialogues, 2 dimensional uninspiring characters, cringe worthy acting and ill timed comedy for the most part, and unremarkable music.

There is some obvious symbolism of characters (Karthik / Govinda as Hanuman, ‘Veera’s 2 brothers for ‘large’ Kumbakaran(a) and ‘wise’ Vibheeshan(a)), scenes (array of stones where Ragini calls out to her husband akin to bridge built by Ram(a) to reach Lanka), dialogue references (number 14 depicting Ram(a)’s banished years in the forest) and colours (ill-reputed black for ‘Veera’ and auspicious white / yellow / red for ‘Ragini’).

The only redeeming features were the beautiful scenery of Kerala and Aishwarya's costumes!

What a disaster! He couldn't have done worse if he'd tried...

Lakshmi Rajan said...

Maniratnam when he was directing in his native language for native audience , he had his natural flow and grip over the script and story telling but when he shifted his focus on pan-indian audience he lost the plot. Its like he is making compromises and shifting his natural method and therein loosing his style... it reflects in his movies...

vEnKy said...

@Random Chutney:I dont think it is as bad as you are saying. Personally I feel there is no ultimo error in borrowing a plot from epics or real life characters. I believe he should have done it in a subtle way. He should not have gone over the top and scream out it is Ramayan.

@Laksmi Rajan: I couldnt agree more with you :-)

Pooja Menon said...

Nice one! Prithvi Raj's my favorite too :) I heard it from a lot many others too who said that the Tamil version was better. I better not see it now. :)

Uncle Srini said...

Venks,

Sorry dude... I respect your opinion. But 'Uncle' stays at least for a while. :D

Nandini Rajagopalan said...

ROTFL :) Inda movie ah paarthitu squirrel sethu pocha? :D :D :D

I agree with the fact that Suhasini's dialogues are a major let down. Raavan is definitely not Mani's best

vEnKy said...

@Pooja I havent seen the Hindi version yet

@Srini Epadiyavathu po

@Nandini Yeah but definitely not the worst film ever either

vision said...

Hi,

I enjoyed the rev. In fact i was looking to get an opportunity to see the movie, but could not do so far as you know for one reason,there is divided opinion whether to go or not among the near and dear.

perhaps i should see it to appreciate yr comments in a better manner.And incidentally, the comparison of the movie with RAMAYAN, I THINK MAY PROVE TO BE ITS GLORY OR DOWN FALL!!

And i miss at this time the humour and variety and ofcourse subtleness of Sujatha's dialogues (who has unfortunately left this abode) which possibly would have taken the movie to greater heights.

kodvasri

vEnKy said...

@Vision: I cant agree more about your remark on Sujatha. He is class apart and would have the dialogues so good!

evanescentthoughts said...

Nice review. Even I heard from friends that the tamil version was better. Wish some other actress had acted in the movie. I cant stand Aishwarya. I was somehow not much impressed with the trailers of the movie itself. Thankfully dint watch it on the theatre. Probably will watch at home sometime. I have seen Anniyan of Vikram.
P.S: love your blog header :)

vEnKy said...

@Aswini
Thank you. Aish wasnt that bad!

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