Raavan | 2010

Genre: Drama /Romance

Author : Vishwa

Synopsis: Mani Ratnam runs out of stories and ideas delivering a clumsy adaptation of the greatest Indian epic.

Am I watching a movie from the man who gave us ‘Iruvar’, ‘KannathilMuthamitaal’ or ‘Talapathi’? Is this the guy who once promised to take Indian cinema to international standards?‘Naayagan’, the only Tamil movie in Time 100 list was directed by him who has failed pathetically in his latest venture. There are few consolations, cinematography and Rahmans music including the unreleased tracks.

Let me go over a few positives first, don’t worry it won’t make much time.Cinematography is on par with the top rated movies of Hollywood. SantoshShivan and Manikandan have shown excellence. Every frame looks like the one you find in National Geographic magazine. Special mention goes to the dragon fly shot and when Abishek slides down a rock into the water. Most of the movie is shot inside a forest and the scope for fog and greenery are boundless and they are used to the maximum. The other factor adding life for the movie is as always “The Rahman score”. Let it be the BGM or the tracks he takes you to a different world. Everyone who by the time they watch the movie have already by hearted every note in the sound tracks will not miss the additional tracks that appear in the background. Sung by Rahman himself, it holds most of us to wait for the tracks to get released. My favorite “RanjaRanja” did not appear in the movie, but the pathos version which you don’t find in the CD satisfies.

The story line is poorly narrated with many unwanted scenes appearing gives an impression of filler. Dialogues are too many and are rarely interesting. Maniratam’smovies have always provided dialogues that get popular and spread across teen talks. There is nothing that keeps the audience glued except for the inner conscience promising them that something is ought to come since it’s a Maniratnam movie though that never happened at all. A very popular chat before the release of the movie was it was an adaptation of ‘Ramayanam’. I wasn’t very sure if it will be one, but it was.I believe the movie would have been better made if the storyline was never forcefully pushed to resemble an adaptation. One thing that almost irritated me was Govindha’s mapping to Hanuman. Over that dialogues kept providing statistical details like the 14 days in abduction, Abishek’s description of ten headed demon and so on.If it was a game where you match the story of Ramayan to Raavan, it may be interesting, but for a movie it almost had nothing to do with.

I was taken aback in the first few scenes to notice a discontinuity in the scenes. This is a real shock to anyone. Such a basic flaw can never appear in Manirathnam’s movie. But it did. Editing was so poor that one could even feel the movement between shots and the music abruptly ending between scenes. Sometimes the scenes ended brusquely giving a notion of a censored chop.The prime reason for the movie going down the hill would certainly be attributed to the poor editing.

Mani Ratnam always had a brand name that spoke about the intellectual content in his works. But it is not right for him to hope that anything that he delivers will be interpreted as intellectual.If he did, this movie will prove him wrong. ‘Raavan’ is not a bad movie and is a onetime watch for various reasons. But for the level of expectations, it was disappointing.


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