Thursday, June 24, 2010


Medium : Hindi
Starring : Abhishek Bachan, Vikram, Ravi Kishan, Govinda, Aiswarya Rai, Priyamani
Director : Maniratnam

Music : A.R.Rahman

Though watching films and reviewing them is a passion for me, sometimes writing will felt like a burden. It will happen in the case of bilingual subjects like 'Raavan', as its tami
l version which i watched before was not having big positive reports as expected.

A majority of the viewers still don't know that notable director Maniratnam has made his directorial debut in tamil after making a kannada movie ('Pallavi Anupallavi') followed by one in malayalam ('Unaroo'). He was caught attention through hit films like 'Mouna Raagam', 'Nayagan', 'Agni Nakshathiram', 'Anjali', 'Dhalapathi' etc. He entered the bollywood industry in the late 90's through 'Dil Se' starring Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala. Seeing the national market for his movies, in 2004, he made a bilingual subject like 'Yuva' ('Aayudha Ezhuthu' in tamil). His latest hindi-tamil venture 'Raavan' ('Raavanan' in tamil) distributed by Reliance Big Pictures, is shot in the thick jungles of south and north east India. His previous hindi venture 'Guru', based on the life story of business giants, Ambaani group, has also got Abhishek Bachan and Aiswarya Rai in lead roles.

The main difference happening between the two versions is that the title role in hindi is done by Abhishek Bachan (in place of Vikram in tamil). The heroine in both the versions is Aiswarya Rai; it is a fact that
she has entered the movie industry through the tamil film 'Iruvar', directed by Maniratnam. National award winning tamil actor Vikram ('Pithamahan','Anniyan' fame), who did the lead role in the tamil version, is also doing an important role (in place of Prithviraj in tamil). He is making his debut in hindi as the pair of the former Miss World. Senior artist Govinda is an unexpected casting (in place of Karthik in tamil). Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan ('Welcome to Sajjapur' fame) is also acting (in place of Prabhu in tamil). National award winner Priyamani ('Paruthiveeran' fame) has done the same role in both versions.

Though Manikandan ('Om Shanthi Om', 'Main Hoo Naa' fame) started working as the cinematographer in 'Raavan', due to other assignments he moved out and the majority of the portions are later handled by Santhosh Sivan ('Dil Se', 'Asoka' fame). Songs are penned by veteran writer Gulzar. Choreography for a song featuring classical steps has been done by south indian actress Sobhana. Director's favourite composer A.R.Rahman is in charge of the music.

The movie starts when Beera (Abhishek Bachan), kidnaps Raagini (Aiswarya Rai), the wife of the police officer Dev (Vikram). Ragini is kept as a hostage in the deep jungles under the vigilant watch of Beera's gang. The police troupe headed by SP Dev, searches for Beera's hide outs with the help of a forest guard (Govinda). Raagini tried many times to escape from the custody, but all of them ended in failures. She came to know about the motive behind the kidnapping. What happens to Beera, whether Dev succeeded in catching him and how Raagini escapes from the custody etc are told in the later portions of 'Raavan'.

Abhishek Bachan is doing a character having psychic nature. His role is not stable and he is not fully fit to such a role. His eccentric behavior has even fall into over acting in many areas. Aiswarya Rai is charming, she had adjusted maximum to be suited in such a character. Vikram, with such a body language is good in appearance, but the problem in handling the language has affected his confidence level. Anyway this project is going to give big name for him since he handled characters that needs contrasting behaviors in both the versions. Priyamani has delivered her best in the debut role in hindi, even if it is small. Govinda has also done the role well. Ravikishan and many others who comes here doesn't need any comments as most of them are coming in a fraction and go.

In one way it is true that 'Raavan' is adapted from the epic Ramayana, but the style of relationship developing between the villain and the lady cannot be accepted in such a sense. The scene in the end in which she imitates the villain's 'buck buck...' voice, doesn't felt realistic. The family scenes of the hero and the cause of attack etc are not registered well.

The fight sequences that leads to the emotional scenes in the climax are d
one well. The visual effects involved in the jumping scenes are also the best. Cinematography by Santhosh Sivan (Manikandan also) is the highlight of this movie, he did an excellent and tough job to capture the rainy jungles. Editor Sreekar Prasad also gave some neat cuts. The music section of Maniratnam movies are also getting the hype unnecessarily these days, his association with A.R.Rahman in hindi has not given many hit songs as expected. The re-recording of 'Raavan' is also not the best, like the songs.

Controversies are accompanying 'Raavan', the latest one being Govinda supported by few actors complaining about their roles being cut down in the editing table to a greater extend; it happened after Amitabh Bachan criticizing the editing done on the title character, few days back. Such things has to be answered by the director, but it is evident that 'Raavan' still has got many unanswered questions in its story line...

Don't expect much from 'Raavan', it is a typical Maniratnam movie which is different from the usual bollywood style of making. Comparing both, the tamil version ('Raavanan') felt better.

Rating : 6 / 10

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