Saturday, June 19, 2010


Medium : Tamil
Starring : Vikram, Prithviraj, Prabhu, Karthik, Aiswarya Rai, Priyamani
Director : Maniratnam
Music : A.R.Rahman

A majority of the viewers still don't know that notable director Maniratnam has made his directorial debut in the early 80's through a kannada movie, then did a malayalam movie ('Un
aroo', starring Sukumaran, Mohanlal, Rathish etc) and later only started making movies in tamil. He caught attention through the film 'Mouna Raagam' followed by super hits like 'Nayagan', 'Agni Nakshathiram', 'Anjali', 'Dhalapathi' etc. He entered the bollywood industry in the late 90's through 'Dil Se'. Seeing the national market for his movies, in 2004, he made a bilingual subject like 'Aayudha Ezhuthu' ('Yuva' in hindi). His latest tamil-hindi venture 'Raavanan' ('Raavan' in hindi) distributed by Reliance Big Pictures, is shot in the thick jungles of south and north east India. This movie has also got the extra media publicity, as he receives (unnecessarily) for every project started from the time of 'Bombay'.

A brief regarding some of the persons who are in front of and behind the lenses will he
lp us to know, how big is 'Raavanan'. National award winning actor Vikram is doing the title role here. He has grown to great level, with the experience he got by doing films like 'Sethu', 'Pithamahan', 'Saami', 'Anniyan' etc. The heroine is Aiswarya Rai; it is a fact that she has entered the movie industry through 'Iruvar', directed by Maniratnam. One of the luckiest young star in the south industry is none other than Prithviraj, who is pairing with the former Miss World in this movie. Another thing is that senior artists like Prabhu and Karthik, acting together under the director, after 'Agni Nakshathiram', in a gap of around 22years. National award winner Priyamani ('Paruthiveeran' fame) also joins this group.

Though Manikandan ('Anniyan', 'Om Shanthi Om' fame) started working as the cinematographer in 'Raavanan', due to other assignments he moved out and the majority of the portions are later handled by Santhosh Sivan, who got a tamil entry through the director's mega venture 'Dhalapathi'. Dialogues for the movie are written by senior actress Suhasini Maniratnam and songs are penned by director's favorite writer Vairamuthu. Choreography for a song featuring classical steps has been done by actress Sobhana. It is a coincidence that Maniratnam had worked with Musical maestro Ilayaraja in his first 10 projects from 'Pallavi Anu Pallavi' to 'Dhalapathi' while 'Raavanan' is the 10th movie for A.R.Rahman-Maniratnam combination starting with 'Roja'.

The movie starts when Veera (Vikram), kidnaps Raagini (Aiswarya Rai), the wife of the police officer Dev (Prithviraj). Raagini is kept as a hostage in the deep jungles, where Veera's brothers (Prabhu and Munna, 'Gowrishankaram' fame) kept guarding the area. The police troupe headed by SP Dev, searches for Veera's hide outs with the help of a forest guard (Karthik). 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 Veera, whether Dev succeeded in catching him and how Raagini escapes from the custody etc are told in the later portions of 'Raavanan'.

Vikram's character is having a psychic nature. Though he has done well, sometimes his eccentric behavior reminds us of his roles in 'Sethu', 'Pithamahan' and 'Anniyan'. Aiswarya Rai is charming, she had adjusted maximum to be suited in such a character with the help of actress Rohini, who gave voice to her. Prithviraj is ok, he doesn't have much to add on the performance side. Priyamani has delivered her best even in such a small role. Prabhu also gave a good support.

Almost all the Maniratnam movies has got one thing in common, the lead characters won't talk straight, they will speak poetic or philosophical type of stylish dialogues, there will also be a pause or silence between sentences. A good observer might understand about this phenomenon. I personally think that it is not a good custom to follow, such a thing is repeating here also. In one way it is true that 'Raavanan' 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 poetic dialogue between those two characters in the beginning area and the scene in the end in which she imitates the villain's 'buck buck...' voice, doesn't felt realistic. Karthik is not fit for such a humorous role, placing any comedians instead of that would have been given a better result (Maniratnam should learn lessons from director Shankar in that area). Nobody should be blamed for the 'controversial' actress Ranjitha, who gets some negative clapping from the viewers, her presence in a couple of scenes reduced the required seriousness.

The fight sequences that leads to the emotional scenes in the climax are done well. The visual effects involved in the jumping scenes are also the best. Cinematography by Santhosh Sivan 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. May be his association with A.R.Rahman in the beginning has given some hit songs, but after 'Alaipayuthey', you can't have many notable numbers coming from this combination. The re-recording of 'Raavanan' is also not the best, like the songs.

Don't expect much from 'Raavanan', it is a typical Maniratnam movie which can be watched for its technical brilliance (making style).

Rating : 6.5 / 10

1 comment:

Jossy Abraham said...

what does it mean?? whats ur conclusion?? Is that 6.5 point is only for technical brilliance not for the movie