21 06 2010

Visual Extravaganza!This was the first phrase that popped up in my mind when I thought of writing a review for this film.As almost everyone is aware,Raavan and Raavanan are identical twins when it comes to the story line.The only material differences were that of the language and star cast.Thus I had the choice of watching Vikram’s Raavanan Or Junior Bachan’s Raavan[Please notice the difference in spelling].I opted for the Tamil Version as my marks in Hindi as third language during school days were pathetically low.

The story of Raavanan revolves around Robin hood like character, Veeraiya played by Vikram who is a dangerous outlaw and the undisputed king among tribals, makes his own laws and has his own army. He ruthlessly kills many cops who has come in his way, only to be followed by SP Dev played by PrithviRaj. His beautiful wife, Ragini, played by Aishwarya Rai is abducted by Veera to avenge the cop.Karthik  plays the character of a forest guard who helps Dev find his wife.

Raavanan is essentially based on the epic Raamayana.We can see almost all mythical characters of the epic including Rama,Sita,Raavana,Shoorpanaka,Kumbhakarna etc.But Unlike the original epic Mani’s Nuovo Raamayana has some different shades for each character.For example we got a Raavana who has got a real purpose,Rama with a little darker shade but the only character which is not different from epic is that of Sita.Aishwarya Rai portrays a near convincing sita which stands true to the original character,Strong but empathetic.

Mani Ratnam, using the tribal characters in the movie presents Veeraiya as a mythical figure.There is a scene in the movie where Tribals try to describe to Dev Veeraiya really is.In their words we could experience  a mythical element surrounding Veeraiya’s character and that seemed like a rip off from Marlon Brando’s character in  Apoclaypse Now.Veera in the movie is a quintessential character and Vikram has portrayed that role effortlessly and effectively.Aishwarya Rai’s screen presence,full of majestic beauty and grace is amazing. She expresses her anger and agony while caught as a pawn in the game of chess played between the two lead male characters.Prithviraj as Dev looks convincing as the tough cop searching for his abducted wife.All the supporting cast including Prabhu and Karthick has done justice to their roles especially karthik who has tried to add a comic touch to his character which resembles Hanuman.Character of Ranjitha seemed to be waste as she has nothing much to do in terms of plot as she doesn’t even have one proper dialogue to deliver.I suspect Mani has cut all her dialogues in fear of public anger as she is part of the infamous Swamy sex scandal.

Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now

The screenplay is quite flimsy in the first half as the only thing which happens is Ragini screaming and Veera roaring without conveying any proper story piece  to audience.But the screenplay takes off during the second half amid more fighting and dramatic visuals.The supposed empathy turned love feeling of Ragini towards Veera is not that effective since Suhasini Maniratnam’s dialogue doesn’t seem to go after the emotion of love.But the visuals of Mani Ratnam gives the audience a hint about their emotions. Screenplay still has some plot holes and some unbaked parts.The struggle of the tribals and their life under tyranny of the brutal and corrupt police force has not been narrated properly.This a key plotline Mani failed to develop which acted as a counterweight to his absolutely stunning direction and technical wizardry.

Technical Wizardry,that is the perfect word to describe the efforts of Mani and his crew.Especially Manikandan and Santosh Sivan for their superior cinematographical skills.The camera captures the very essence of forest beauty.Audience feels like they are inside the same forest the story takes place.The editing by Sreekar is as the scenes move by without any significant glitches.Rahman has once again spellbound the audience through his background score which stands out through out the film.All songs in the film are very well placed and picturised.The climatic battle scene between Dev and Veera in a hanging bridge was one of the WTF moments in the movie.Movie’s climax was one of the most memorable one for me in terms of Indian Movies.

The Movie Raavanan is an epic sized movie in terms of style but in terms of screenplay it disappoints the audience.This movie could have been an epic much like the original Raamayana if Mani Ratnam worked a bit more efficiently on the scripts and dialogue.The stars are well cast as they delivers the emotions with near perfection.But the technical side deserves the much-needed praise.It Indeed is Visual Extravaganza.Dont miss it,it needs to be watched on Theatre.



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