Raavanan movie review and discussions

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Posted: 14 years ago
#1
Raavanan review: Not among Mani's best
http://sify.com/movies/tamil/review.php?id=14945831&ctid=5&cid=2429
Movie
Raavanan
Director
Mani Ratnam
Producer
Madras Talkies &Big Pictures
Music
A R Rahman
Cast
Vikram, Aishwarya Rai, Pritviraj, Prabhu, Karthik, Priya Mani
 
By Moviebuzz
 
Mani Ratnam's latest Raavanan is nowhere in the league of his previous 80s and 90s Tamil classics. The trouble is that the master craftsman, whose films used to work due to its offbeat storyline and unique presentation, has changed his focus to Hindi cinema. In the process he has lost touch with his roots and ends up making a film which does not have strong Tamil nativity or flavour. But having said that, Raavanan is good in parts, an off-kilter cinematic experience. It is technically the finest movie made in recent times, superb camerawork of Santosh Sivan and Manikandan, never seen before stunning locales (in India) and crisp editing. The major plus is the actors ' Vikram, Aishwarya Rai, Prithviraj, Prabhu and Karthik are very good and keep us engrossed, but the story and screenplay by Mani Ratnam and Suhasini are a big let down. The story is wafer thin and Mani has based it pretty much on Ramayan, with a cop, and the Robin Hood story set in a forest with some twists and subplots. Veera (Vikram), a Robin Hood-like guy also known as Raavanan, and his elder brother Singam (Prabhu) live in a tribal village somewhere near Ambasamudram in Tiruneveli. They mete out instant justice and run Kattapanchayat, but are loved, respected and feared by the locals. Dev (Prithviraj), the Ram character is the Superintendent of Police. He is on the hunt with other cops and a forest guard (Karthik), a new age Hanuman, for Raavanan, who has taken his wife Ragini (Aishwarya Rai,) the modern day Sita, as hostage. Veera has a personal score to settle with Dev and the cops whom he believe is responsible for his sister Vennila's (Priyamani) custodial rape and subsequent suicide. Meanwhile, Ragini, who initially abhors Veera and thinks he is a brutal beast, later discovers that her 'God like' husband is no saint and has dark shades in his character, too. All this leads to a riveting climax on the cliffs. The highlight of the film, as mentioned earlier, is the technical wizardry. Mani's choice of lush locales fits in with the realistic sets and props erected by art director Samir Chanda, and captures the ethos and milieu effectively. Water is the main motif throughout the film - the waterfall, the characters having long conversations as it rains continuously, the song and celebrations in rain. You can feel and touch the greenery, the moss in the forest as Santosh Sivan's camerawork is pure magic and his use of natural lighting gives the film that raw, colourful, serene look. The climax fight between Vikram and Prithviraj on the bridge is extraordinary, with picture perfect top angle shots and camera movements. However, AR Rahman's music and Mani's song picturisation and placement, for which he is famous, is pretty ordinary. Songs act as a speed breaker and is not needed, but has been thrust in for commercial reasons. In fact, during post interval, two songs come back-to-back within a span of five minutes. The particular song has been introduced to show Veera's love for his sister, Thangachipasam Mani style! Vikram as Veera towers above all. He brings a primal mixture of beauty, affection and savagery to the character. You can feel the earnestness of his intentions and the wetness of his tears, especially in the climax. He adds the little touches that make all the difference to his character and you can't take your eyes off him. Armed with the film's best-written role, Aishwarya Rai has made a sensational comeback as Ragini, whose fear and hatred for Veera gives way to a sneaking admiration for her captor. She is mesmeric and has come out with an award-winning performance. Prithviraj is the ideal foil for Vikram, and is good, especially in the final subtle showdown with Aishwarya. Priyamani does her best in her cameo appearance, while Prabhu and Karthik are hilarious and make a mark. The film lacks the Mani Ratnam touch in the story and screenplay department, and has a wobbly first half, where the story just does not move. The last 10 minutes are the best part of this 2 hours 7 minutes film. Mani Ratnam is better off doing straight Tamil ventures than making such hybrid variety films that fall between two stools. Raavanan will never feature among Mani Ratnam 10 best films. Nonetheless, it is not to be missed.

Verdict: Above Average

*************************************
Raavanan Movie Review
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Raavanan - Ten Faced Persona
IndiaGlitz  [Friday, June 18, 2010]
http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/tamil/review/10848.html

Mani Ratnam returns to spread magic (or a blunder, as this review progresses) with his 'Raavanan' after a splendid show in the form of 'Guru'. Well lets be positive to some extent now, his team is world class, with Santosh Sivan behind the lens, Srikar Prasad on the editor's table and A R Rahman handling the music and besides that the stellar star cast! The movie looked like a bouquet of flowers but only the fragrance seemed to fade!  

Now moral of the story ' Never go by hype! Wondering why we started with the moral so soon, well that is what 'Raavanan' is all about! It is a celluloid adaptation of 'Ramayana' written by sage Valmiki (and interestingly, no name is displayed for 'the story' when the titles are showed.) with modern publicity techniques that will attract the audience. Let's get to the analysis part and wrap this review up as soon as possible, because the movie is just above 2 hours. And about wrapping it soon, anyone among the audience will tell you to get out of the hall as soon as possible once the movie is over!  

Mani Ratnam, the master of creating art on celluloid has possibly over worked to make a disappointment! He is class apart no doubt but his class on screen is visible only in parts. He has delicately portrayed bits and pieces of modern day Ramayana. Well nothing offending here but Ramayana is a story that is imbibed in to our lives from childhood, seems like this movie was shot to associate every scene with the happenings in the holy epic.  

Characterisation and Performances

Suhasini Maniratnam pens the dialogues of the movie. Her dialogues are intelligent, credible and most importantly, conveying information. Characters and their strengths are informed through these wonderful dialogues. The homework seems to have been done well. Mani Ratnam has sketched his characters amazingly. Every character has a purpose and every actor behind the character has been rightly cast. . Leave alone the fact he was inspired from Ramayana but here in this, the Raavanan is the hero. The title role is played by Vikram (like you didn't know). He is Veera alias Veeraiah. A tribal leader who's fighting for their rights. He is strong, genuine and loyal to his tribe. Even other characteristics of his are mentioned through an enquiry scene where the police talk to the tribals to find out what kind of a person this Veera is. Vikram's performance is simply electric. 

The next in line is Prithvi Raj, who's the dynamic Superintendent of Police. He is oozing with confidence as an actor and his chemistry with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is good enough on screen. He makes it quite obvious as being the Rama in this story. So you know the strings attached.  

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's characterization is simple. She is a loving wife who has been abducted (did we leak the story now?) and her expressions from thereon are simply amazing. She is beautiful on screen (sure is) and has come out with a noticeably extraordinary performance. Only a certain part of the credit goes to her, the rest goes to Mani for getting the best out of her.  

The other supporting characters like Karthik( apparently Hanuman) as a forest officer, Prabhu as Vikram's older brother, Munna as Vikram's younger brother and others are impressively handled characters. The director has made sure all the characters receive the deserved importance. Mani Ratnam is the master unarguably; he has made sure the actors have their presence felt on screen.  

At this predicament of the review, Priya Mani as Vikram's step sister has done a commendable job. Her character as a bold sister to the strong brother is much appreciable. Her performance will definitely be applauded and as she's playing the same role in the Hindi version, she has made an excellent start in her Bollywood journey. 

Technicalysis

Technically speaking, Editor Srikar Prasad has sharp scissors. The screenplay in the first half, though nothing has been conveyed and is an utter waste of film reels, his editing is near precision. Stunts and bomb work by Peter Heines and Shyam Kaushal deserve appreciation and so is art director Sameer's work, given the fact that most of the movie was shot in and around water. The tribal village, the police camp, a bridge and a marriage set were simply amazing and he would be one technician to make note of. The fight on the bridge just before the climax is an edge-of-the-seat scene that has been well shot and well directed.

But there is one man who will be applauded for his work (perhaps the only respite in the movie) is Santosh Sivan and his camera work! Mani's movies always have natural lighting and Santosh has used it to good effect. Green pastures, water falls, rivers, trees, and all that nature can offer in a forest are radiantly shown. Hats of Santosh, you've done a splendid job! 

Winding up this section, A R Rahman's music is classy. His tribal beats merge with the movie's theme. His rerecording could have been better but nevertheless, a great show! Hard work from cast and crew is evident in the movie, given that the movie was shot under incessant rain, blood sucking leeches etc, but what does it count for? 

The Minuses

The list of minuses is being reduced with a lot of deliberation. Mani Ratnam has pictured beautiful movies in the past. 'Raavanan' was termed his magnum opus, etc but sorry it didn't seem like one. The screenplay was a let down with only few scenes showing his directing supremacy. He has done another 'Roja' with only Aishwarya replacing Arvind Swamy and a few minor alterations. The movie was lost somewhere. May be because the first half was a major let down and the second half carried a lot to show (or burden) the audience.  

IndiaGlitz Verdict

'Raavanan' is for those who appreciate quality cinema ingredients. Director's touch, camera, art, etc are prominent yet something is missing. Don't look for the plot; it is quite obvious (from the trailers). Watch it for Mani Ratnam's direction expertise, Vikram's performance, Aishwarya's beauty and the beautiful locations!  This was branded Mani's best movie by a few but on second thought, the master's best is yet to come.

 
 
Okay...so the whole movie is about how Raavana can be Ram and Ram can be Raavanan๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฒ I am so happy for Vikram, he has got so many good critics and applauds which he deserve,....and guys...he got great critics for his hindie version aswell๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘  If I am not wrong, Vikram has outstanded Abhi since both has played Beera/Veera ( no offense to any Abhi jr fan, I do like him but I am for Vikram anytime, anywhere๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†)
 
Have anyone seen this movie, do post your own reviews๐Ÿ˜ƒ
Edited by Aahaana - 14 years ago

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raaspach thumbnail
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Posted: 14 years ago
#2
Thanks for sharing Meli.
Enna idhu...reviews ippadi irukku...๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ˜•
whatever....iam very much eager to watch the movie...๐Ÿ˜†
Both in hindhi and tamil...watching in both languages only for vickram....He is THE Best....Me too dont like AB..(sorry AB fans)
 
i think in tamil version vikram plays veera..ie the raavan and in hindhi version he plays Ash's hubby role ..which is played by prithvi in tamil version...
MakhannMalaai thumbnail
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Posted: 14 years ago
#3
Raavanan - Ten Faced Persona
IndiaGlitz  [Friday, June 18, 2010]

Mani Ratnam returns to spread magic (or a blunder, as this review progresses) with his 'Raavanan' after a splendid show in the form of 'Guru'. Well lets be positive to some extent now, his team is world class, with Santosh Sivan behind the lens, Srikar Prasad on the editor's table and A R Rahman handling the music and besides that the stellar star cast! The movie looked like a bouquet of flowers but only the fragrance seemed to fade!  

Now moral of the story โ€“ Never go by hype! Wondering why we started with the moral so soon, well that is what 'Raavanan' is all about! It is a celluloid adaptation of 'Ramayana' written by sage Valmiki (and interestingly, no name is displayed for 'the story' when the titles are showed.) with modern publicity techniques that will attract the audience. Let's get to the analysis part and wrap this review up as soon as possible, because the movie is just above 2 hours. And about wrapping it soon, anyone among the audience will tell you to get out of the hall as soon as possible once the movie is over!  

Mani Ratnam, the master of creating art on celluloid has possibly over worked to make a disappointment! He is class apart no doubt but his class on screen is visible only in parts. He has delicately portrayed bits and pieces of modern day Ramayana. Well nothing offending here but Ramayana is a story that is imbibed in to our lives from childhood, seems like this movie was shot to associate every scene with the happenings in the holy epic.  

Characterisation and Performances

Suhasini Maniratnam pens the dialogues of the movie. Her dialogues are intelligent, credible and most importantly, conveying information. Characters and their strengths are informed through these wonderful dialogues. The homework seems to have been done well. Mani Ratnam has sketched his characters amazingly. Every character has a purpose and every actor behind the character has been rightly cast. . Leave alone the fact he was inspired from Ramayana but here in this, the Raavanan is the hero. The title role is played by Vikram (like you didn't know). He is Veera alias Veeraiah. A tribal leader who's fighting for their rights. He is strong, genuine and loyal to his tribe. Even other characteristics of his are mentioned through an enquiry scene where the police talk to the tribals to find out what kind of a person this Veera is. Vikram's performance is simply electric. 

The next in line is Prithvi Raj, who's the dynamic Superintendent of Police. He is oozing with confidence as an actor and his chemistry with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is good enough on screen. He makes it quite obvious as being the Rama in this story. So you know the strings attached.  

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's characterization is simple. She is a loving wife who has been abducted (did we leak the story now?) and her expressions from thereon are simply amazing. She is beautiful on screen (sure is) and has come out with a noticeably extraordinary performance. Only a certain part of the credit goes to her, the rest goes to Mani for getting the best out of her.  

The other supporting characters like Karthik( apparently Hanuman) as a forest officer, Prabhu as Vikram's older brother, Munna as Vikram's younger brother and others are impressively handled characters. The director has made sure all the characters receive the deserved importance. Mani Ratnam is the master unarguably; he has made sure the actors have their presence felt on screen.  

At this predicament of the review, Priya Mani as Vikram's step sister has done a commendable job. Her character as a bold sister to the strong brother is much appreciable. Her performance will definitely be applauded and as she's playing the same role in the Hindi version, she has made an excellent start in her Bollywood journey. 

Technicalysis

Technically speaking, Editor Srikar Prasad has sharp scissors. The screenplay in the first half, though nothing has been conveyed and is an utter waste of film reels, his editing is near precision. Stunts and bomb work by Peter Heines and Shyam Kaushal deserve appreciation and so is art director Sameer's work, given the fact that most of the movie was shot in and around water. The tribal village, the police camp, a bridge and a marriage set were simply amazing and he would be one technician to make note of. The fight on the bridge just before the climax is an edge-of-the-seat scene that has been well shot and well directed.

But there is one man who will be applauded for his work (perhaps the only respite in the movie) is Santosh Sivan and his camera work! Mani's movies always have natural lighting and Santosh has used it to good effect. Green pastures, water falls, rivers, trees, and all that nature can offer in a forest are radiantly shown. Hats of Santosh, you've done a splendid job! 

Winding up this section, A R Rahman's music is classy. His tribal beats merge with the movie's theme. His rerecording could have been better but nevertheless, a great show! Hard work from cast and crew is evident in the movie, given that the movie was shot under incessant rain, blood sucking leeches etc, but what does it count for? 

The Minuses

The list of minuses is being reduced with a lot of deliberation. Mani Ratnam has pictured beautiful movies in the past. 'Raavanan' was termed his magnum opus, etc but sorry it didn't seem like one. The screenplay was a let down with only few scenes showing his directing supremacy. He has done another 'Roja' with only Aishwarya replacing Arvind Swamy and a few minor alterations. The movie was lost somewhere. May be because the first half was a major let down and the second half carried a lot to show (or burden) the audience.  

IndiaGlitz Verdict

'Raavanan' is for those who appreciate quality cinema ingredients. Director's touch, camera, art, etc are prominent yet something is missing. Don't look for the plot; it is quite obvious (from the trailers). Watch it for Mani Ratnam's direction expertise, Vikram's performance, Aishwarya's beauty and the beautiful locations!  This was branded Mani's best movie by a few but on second thought, the master's best is yet to come.

Whose gonna watch it?? well this review is much better thn the hindi review.. at Bollywoodhungama it litrely says that the movie is Garbage... well i dnt knw y i have a passionate disliking towards Aishwariya i call her Trashwariya..(sorry people if i offend u) The whole bachan family is a big NO NO for me.. i usually bycott their movies..LOL.. anyways so for this i think if i watch the hindi version it'd be only for Vikram and Govinda cuz only they are decent.. on the 2nd thought i may watch the tamil version which has quite many decent people like prithviraj, vikram, prabhu, karthik etc. .. anyways soo whoever watches it plz share ur views..
brinny_g thumbnail
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Posted: 14 years ago
#4
Thanks Mels
I'm disappointed with the negative reviews. I have seen the hindi version and I loved it...will come back to comment when I have seen Raavanan! I can't wait because I think Vikram will be better.
TIA.Tia thumbnail
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Posted: 14 years ago
#5
Thank You so much Mels .. after reading the review of this movie I'm in a fix.. Acc. to the review the movie does not sounds that gr8.. But I really want to see Vikram.. Huge fan of Vikram nvr missed any of his movies.. But now I'am really having second thoughts about giving this movie a miss.. Don't know wat to do
MakhannMalaai thumbnail
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Posted: 14 years ago
#6

Originally posted by: Tina-Saigal2002

Thank You so much Mels .. after reading the review of this movie I'm in a fix.. Acc. to the review the movie does not sounds that gr8.. But I really want to see Vikram.. Huge fan of Vikram nvr missed any of his movies.. But now I'am really having second thoughts about giving this movie a miss.. Don't know wat to do

 
 HI5 same.. my frnd watched it and said that they wasted Vikram hugeee time.. and abhi sucked.. anyways i dnt like asish abhi so i prefer watching the tamil version where i have to digest only one ugly betty not the other.. but im soo sad for Vikram soo injustice y did they do tht with him.. the tamil version is doing superbb business.. they say Vikram did a fantabulous job in the tamil one while they wasted him in the hindi.. i agree i can tell tht from the promos only
Karthikka thumbnail
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Posted: 13 years ago
#7
First of all, don't follow the reviews. Read them, by all means but go and see for yourself and judge it yourself. Reviewers are not experts. If someone pays me money to watch a film and write a piece on it, I will become a reviewer too!!! That does not mean that my opinion is better than someone else's.  ๐Ÿ˜†

I saw Ravanan last night with my sisters and brother. We loved it. It was fabulous...and sorry Mani, it is a lift off Ramayana. Of course the story is wafer-thin. It starts with Ragini being kidnapped and Dev pursuing Veera. It's like watching 48 Hours or some Hollywood movie. In the wafer-thin story however, there is a richness of acting and visuals. Dev (Privithiraj) is Rama, Ragini(Aish) is Sita, Veera (Vikram) is Ravana, Prabhu (Singam) is Kumbakarna, Sakkarai (the character) is Vibhusena, Karthik is Hanuman and Vennila (Priyamani) is Soorpanakha. 14 days spent in the forest is 14 years of Rama's banishment. In the epic, Rama asks Sita to do a fire jumping test. In Ravana, he asks her to take a polygraph (lie-detecting) test. ๐Ÿ˜†

This is not a film for Ramayana faithfuls. It is not for people who love good vs evil epics. This film is about shades of grey. You will not feel sorry for Dev; your sympathies will be for Ravana. Vennila is not the lustful, vengeful asura but rather an extremely charming, cheeky sister who suffers cruelty. (I won't elaborate any further as I don't want to spoil it for those who hadn't seen it). You flinch at many moments, you feel your heart harden at certain times and you cry along with Ragini. You will not do this at any other Tamil movie except Mani's, because it is so unpredictable.

Everyone goes on about how gorgeous the visuals were. I agree, but to be honest, I did not focus on that because for me the characters grabbed me with their intensity, the storyline dragged me along the lush greenery of the forests. Sometimes the dialogue made it difficult for me to follow but some of it was very cryptic -e.g when Veera tells Dev: Your wife is like gold....even when you burn her in fire, she will shine like chokka thangam." Even the music took a back seat and this was new for me as I just adore ARR.

Aishwarya was an eye-opener. She stood out....and she used her own voice and did a very good job too. Vikram - solla theveiya ille. Privithraj was cold and pitiless. And yes, Vikram had a beautiful moustache and Privithiraj was clean-shaven. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hindi version was crap apparently but again Vikram was rumoured to have done a brilliant job there.

Moral of the story: No one is 100% good, no one is 100% evil.

My rating: 51/2* out of 5.


Karthikka thumbnail
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Posted: 13 years ago
#8
Forgot to add: This movie is for intelligent people. You will see what I mean when your brain starts working and never stops throughout the film. No senseless comedies, trashy romances, stupid moronic fights. You would want to note every nuance, every turn and decipher the meaning. For example - the chokka thangam comment - Sita goes through fire - here Veera says that she is like gold, put her through fire and she will shine brighter!
TIA.Tia thumbnail
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Posted: 13 years ago
#9
Hey Karthika thank you so much for your review about the movie.. You are right the review writers are human after all and its not necessary that if one person did not like the movie the same wud go for others too.. I wud watch the movie but in Tamil.. b'cos I can't stand the injustice done to Vikram in Hindi.. In Hindi he is plainly wasted.. Not much screen space .. so I will watch the movie in Tamil so that even if I did not like the movie I wud atlest have the satisfaction of watching Vikram on big Screen for 3 hours
MakhannMalaai thumbnail
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Posted: 13 years ago
#10
i watched the hindi version and i feel like banging the heads of the makers for wasting my dearest chiyaan.. How can they do tht to him.. loosers.. abhishek desperately needs acting classes ans i feel its high time now he improves on his acting or get the hell out of the industry.. im soooo mad.. i wasted my time on such a horrible movie.. it would have been soo much better if i would have watched the tamil version with more vikram and prithviraj in it.. Abhishek spoiledd itt big time.. im happy it didnt do good on BO.. they deserved it excluding vikram.. and if they dont give vikram a new face award next year naa.. then they see wat im gonna do with them.. UGHHHHHHHHHH im sooo mad.. and OMG wat was done to govinda.. tch tch tch.. the makers sucked bigggg time this movie.. tho i like mani's movies alot.. this movie was the worst ever he could make atleast the hindi version.Edited by pulwasha - 13 years ago