Raavanan

I liked Raavanan. Found it much better than Raavan. The first half too somehow seemed to move faster than Raavan. Was it because of the actors, or because I have already watched Raavan or because of the language? Am not sure about that. The climax – not the fight on the bridge, but the scene where Ragini gets back to Veeraiyya – was much better in Tamil than in Hindi. Prithviraj was too good in the role of Dev. Got mesmerized by the visuals, the lighting and the colours of the forest once again. Relished the awesome background score and songs of Rahman once again. I am happy that I watched both Raavan and Raavanan at Sathyam cinemas.

10 thoughts on “Raavanan

  1. Gradwolf

    For the casting alone, Raavanan scores over Raavan I guess. Also, let me know if you stumble upon a copy of Naan Varuven(the end credits song)!

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  2. Veen

    I agree with the cinematography and music being good – particularly the “usure pogudhe” and the fight sequence on the bridge were spectacular….But that’s about it, not too sure I liked the sotry/screenplay as such and the “Prithviraj was too good in the role of Dev” part…May be I need to move on but having given some amazing movies my expectation meter is at its max and I was disappointed overall with Raavanan…And knowing AB’s acting skills don’t even want to go near the hindi version…Don’t want to repeat what I’ve written in http://preethiveen.blogspot.com – pls. provide comments…

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  3. SUGAN

    Review clearly shows your faith on mani to deliver the best…..but this movie has a lot of loop holes…..the dialogs are terrible….vikram the tribe with no education speaking bharthiyaar kavithai…..mani’s favorite split dialogs are good in urban movies but in this movie it looks hilarious…. Priyamani’s wedding looks almost like the wedding that happens in Alaipayuthey (yaaro yaarodi…)…..suddenly everyone looks very civilized in the wedding where gone the tribe….karthicks character……just for making the audience to refer the epic(ramayana) he has been made to jump between trees and ride on top of a jeep which looks very unnatural…..prabhu always eats or speaks about food….there is no intensity in vikram’s revenge it seems like he along with the company others are enjoying the trek (trying to flirt aish,playing with childern.singing,dancing and enjoying drinks)….except for music and brilliant camera work by santhosh….nothing special in the movie….

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  4. Bharath

    Have written this on FB – Not sure how to share the link hence repeating the (long) review here…

    Raavanan vs Raavan

    For years now Mani Ratnam has never been able to create a movie in the league of Nayagan, Iruvar, Anjali or Kannathil. With Raavanan (with the *an*), he has created a masterpiece which can stake a claim as one of his best Tamil films ever. Raavan (without the *an*) is good, but unfortunately Abhishek had to be pitted against Vikram and this is a no contest.

    Unlike what most reviews say, Raavanan is not to show how Vikram is a Robin Hood or the gray in his character. Its a typical Mani Ratnam movie where the audience effortlessly falls in love with the anti-hero (more effortlessly with every film of his – from the detailed story in Nayagan to not so detailed in Dalapathy to more and more crisp editing in Dil Se and Guru).

    Also, unlike what most reviews say, Raavanan is anything but slow – It shows editing at its best and crispiest – The Prithviraj – Ash romance in one song, the Naxal theme in one song, Vikrams character in a couple of frames and Vikram falling in love in one brilliantly choreographed song which is poetry in modern frames! The editing is so taut that its easy to miss a dialogue or a connection to the epic – Hanuman, Shurpanaka, Vibheeshan, Kumbhakarna, Jatayu. Blink and you miss a scene where Ash gets out of the train and waits for Prithviraj. Turn away and you miss the human side of Vikram falling in love with Ash.

    This is one movie where Mani Ratnam has deliberately left a lot of ambiguities. What does Sita go back for? What happens after the end? Who does she love, or does she love Raavanan at all? Who is Raavanan – A brilliant psycho? Millions of voices ringing in his head? Is the movie about Good vs Evil, about how love destroys, about the captive and captor? Or is it about the Naxals? Or a bit of everything? Or is it a simple love story? Is Prithviraj involved in the Shurpanaka incident? Is he just a righteous cop who’ll do anything for justice? Was Ash imagining Vikram falling on her and getting close to her, like the other dream sequences?

    Theres no point talking about the brilliantly backlit frames, excellent music or the sets or the cinematography – These are all taken for granted in a Mani Ratnam movie. As are good acting performances from the side cast, especially Priyamani, Prabhu, Karthik and Ravi Kishen.

    Finally, the point which most reviewers have missed. Ash’s performance – The best by any adult heroine in a Mani Ratnam film (along with maybe Manisha in Bombay), and the best by any heroine in recent times.

    And Raavanan vs Raavan – Raavan is by far better than any of the mindless stuff which comes out of Bollywood these days. And Abhishek doesn’t have a good PR manager like that fellow who played Arjun in Rajneeti 🙂 Abhi isn’t as good as Vikram, but by any standards an Abhishek performance in a Mani Ratnam film is better than any other peer – Ranbir, Imran Khan etc.

    Mani Ratnam is way ahead of his time in filmmaking. He defines moviemaking style in India in terms of camerawork, choreography, music and themes. Nayagan came in years before Company and Sarkar or any Mafia movie in India. Look at Mammooty and Rajnikanth in Dalapathy versus Manoj Bajpai and Ajay Devgn in Raajneeti. Dil Se was way ahead of its time. When Yuva was released, Bollywood was still caught in the traditional fare. Now, six years after Yuva we have mainstream films which are not typical love stories. So we need to wait for a few years for critics to applaud Raavan (without the *an* – thats already a masterpiece) as a pathbreaking movie. Havent we waited years for critics to say Iruvar, Dil Se and Yuva were good movies after they were ripped apart when they were launched?

    Finally – Which other director in India would have the guts to present Ram as the villain and Raavan as the hero?

    Raavan makes you think. It requires you to keep up with its breakneck speed. Not a simple movie like Guru. Which is why it has flopped.

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  5. Chandrasekaran

    Well after all the media hype that preceded its mega release world over, the movie per se fell short of expectations despite having the Mani stamp written all over it. I could feel that there was an innate and instinctive desire to scale the heights of James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ but was handicapped by slack editing (the movie should have been at most 2 hours duration and not more), a wafer thin story line & some ambivalence in character de-lineation especially of Veeraiyaa essayed superbly by Vikram(whether he was the legendary Robinhood or epical Raavanan or a romantic version of the notorious forest brigand Veerappan!), very poor music score from ARR (Parkinson’s law catching up fast??!!) save for the classical dance song by Ragini played so effortlessly by Aishwarya Rai and finally, atrocious screen-play by Suhasini as if she was on a reality/talk show on TV! Despite taking nearly 2 years to complete the movie, Mani’s brilliance through the star-studded cast, amazing locales and superb camera work just went abegging! I do hope Mani would have learnt his lessons this time around and strikes back with a vengence on his next flick! Wish Mani all the very best!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Kannan Baskar

    After taste of a cinematic metaphor Called Raavan:

    http://aestheticrumination.blogspot.com/

    This opinion or essay of mine is in reaction to the Hindi movie Raavan’s criticism. The movie, though it was one of NY time’s critic’s picks, for obvious commercial motives, suffered at the hands of movie critics both in India and elsewhere. Let me caution that the article of mine is not just a take on a reaction to the movie’s criticism but is also a personal observation on the new progressively homogenous international psyche that the shallow criticism portrays and the interpretations of it thereof.

    Mani Ratnam, the filmmaker of the “Raavan” is an artist in the true sense and the job title of a film director, is not one that suits his assumed designation. He employs actors, visuals, song sequences, screenplay, and music as just strokes in his canvas and unlike many others, has never tried or shall never be limited by the grammar of cinema. I have heard gossip columnists in India, mention how frustrated the actors get when he is continuously improvising with the screenplay, the camera angles, their make up and that he never really bothers to explain how to emote to a particular situation and just waits for the right expression, until the artist does it, and it seems he never gets mad at them for the delay, but the vice versa is not so uncommon an occurrence.

    Song sequences, by the way, are an evolved element of the wholesome cinematic experience that is intrinsic to the Indian subcontinent, and if it does blend with the sensual temper and hue of the movie, I fail to comprehend, why our seasoned cinema critics and the so-called connoisseurs’ of true cinema in Europe and elsewhere should be bothered by the physical interruptions in the screen play they cause.

    “Raavan” is not a visual spectacle but a layered metaphor with an, intangible scaffolding. It is especially unfortunate that senior actors like Amitabh Bachchan (the senior), Mr. Abhishek Bachchan’s (the junior) father, the actor who played the role of the protagonist Beera, fail to recognize this subtle aspect of Mr. Ratnam’s repertoire. The media have also been bantering that the junior Bachchan did not do a good job at portraying the character. My take at all this Indian melodrama is that most probably the senior Bachchan’s reaction was an instinctual paternal response. But the pity is that the critics and the masses fail to recognize that the filmmaker intentionally manipulated and probably unsyllabicated the screenplay, extracted a particular kind of performance from the Junior Bachchan and the rest of the cast, and used these raw figments as strokes to paint a metaphor that is eclectic, complex and yet beautiful.

    Hence just as any true film maker he exploited with guile and stealth the raw materials of cinema i.e. acting, visual effects, acoustics, music, song sequences, human facial eloquence or the lack of it to befittingly portray his “Raavan”, a plot or cinema, that was conjured up by him to act as a metaphor to a, feel or an elusive sensation, that is unique and artistically seminal in its own right.

    I would vehemently suggest people to watch “Iruvar” by the same artist and “the thin red line” by Terrence Mallick. The similarity of these works of art is that, the filmmaker is trying to paint a metaphor of a situation that is emotionally, geographically and politically convoluted and which has unfathomable levels of sentimental and cultural ramifications. So much so that only cinema, as an art form, can justifiably express the feel of that situation. It is quite unfortunate that critics and masses alike would prefer a form of cinema that is reduced to a form of articulate storytelling, which, as per my cognitive interpretation, is a venture at foreshortening the artistic and emotional experience it provides.

    I have a piece of suggestion to any one who is yet to watch this movies, and is contemplating on doing so, I would try not to analyze this work of art and rather just try imbibing it, as you would a nicely aged glass of Pinot Noir or a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and instead of letting others know what it felt like just try savoring and ruminating the emotional and sensual experience that the movie elicited. The pleasure or feel that I derived from this movie, could only occur, after having had an acquaintance with art at its most raw, nude, crude, original and probably seminal form. The experience affects you so deeply, that even the average cinema enthusiast, who complaints “it was a big bore and that the screen play was not coherent”, would not have realized that he has just now mutated emotionally and cognitively and that forever his ulterior senses have been reconfigured by a sensation that was strong yet subtle, too original to fathom and too bright to be seen.

    The preservation of the nascent nature of this feel or sensation should have been an immensely arduous one, as I am pretty sure that the sensation that the artist intended to conjure up would have been one that was extremely fragile and elusive in nature. Hence to paint a metaphor/simile that would conjure up such a response from the senses with the aforementioned nature would require extreme assertiveness and a staunch sense of artistic individuality from the artist. Such men and women, who have been gifted with such a unique ability, should be revered and encouraged, as their works are the ones that would result in the advancement of art, culture, society and hence finally would aid in the cognitive evolution of mankind. I would compare certain works of his to that of Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”. Again a seminal work in literature, which forever altered the way fiction was created and assimilated.

    Another not so artistic example of originality having met with resistance would be the concept of introducing new math in middle school rather than high school so as to help students realize and appreciate mathematics as a tool of logic that aids in conceptualizing abstract ideas and not as a monotonous exercise at performing tasks involving rudimentary skills of arithmetic repetitively. This concept originated in Eastern Europe in the 1960s as people believed that if there was more stress on subjects such as set theory, functions and abstract algebra, the probability of branding students with high level of cognitive functions as misfits and dyslexics would be reduced and true mathematicians would be identified and attracted towards mathematics as a child rather than detesting the monotony and the yoke of simple arithmetic and algebra and turning into school drop outs.

    Once again popular opinion lead to the discouragement of this new effort. Kids who were and are bestowed with tremendous fluid cognition and interpretative skills but unfortunately have too complex a cognitive ability to assimilate simple and monotonous arithmetic and descriptive and factual jargon, are even, right now being branded with disorders such as bipolar, ADHD and they finally turn into either misanthropes or misfits due to their highly evolved ability which ends up to be a curse. These are the kids who get behaviorally affected resulting in a plethora of psychological diagnoses and they inevitably get medicated to work at the level of their brain stem so that they can follow protocol, and fit into a system that is highly insecure to accept and assimilate ingenuity.

    Hence by simple logic if such, gifted/ cursed, individuals, would most probably not survive as well as their counterparts who are bestowed with the ability to thrive in monotony, deprivation of sensuality and instinctually, temperamental passivity and with an inherent tendency to be allergic to originality and threatened by individuality. The latter shall populate the earth resulting in a homogenous bunch that work with the system and shall aid the development and nurturing of the “global village/ economy”, they shall become professors, scientists, chairs of departments who systematically filter and deter people cursed with the ability to create original forms of art, abstract inconspicuous logic from the ignored and disregarded data, altruistic not due to a sense of righteousness but to preserve individuality, see beauty in the beast and sense an element of fragrance in the stench of the skunk. In fact these abilities shall be considered as red flags and there shall initially an unwritten law to filter and cleanse off these folk and later on they shall be part of legal protocol to alienate these cursed mavericks.

    The non acceptance and the agoraphobia associated when faced with, an entity that is new, nascent, original, beautiful and true but not immediately tangible has been a phenomenon that of late has been increasing in intensity. Especially after the globalization of the economy, hence the culture, if this attitude is to continue, we shall keep manufacturing people more savvy at following protocol, diplomacy and the so called principles of professionalism and we shall devolve instead of evolve. And the group that actually delivers original solutions, thoughts, concepts and art forms shall dwindle into oblivion. But if I were to be the devil’s advocate, by Darwin’s theory the aforementioned abilities that result in difficulty in survival were probably destined to be cleansed off for a reason or since I am an existential nihilist for not so good a reason whatsoever, just by probability.

    But my personal opinion and subjective emotion is that certain economic and political changes that that have occurred, based on shallow logic and ego-dystonic political motives, since the end of World War II and the cold war has yielded a population that has surely devolved into a culturally and religiously insecure lot that is reluctant to give up their own shallow identity. The concept of a global village has resulted in more emotional insecurity and has not been accompanied by ideological maturity. And I consider the misinterpretation and lack of will to accept concepts, forms of art and ideologies that are unique, seminal and that do not embrace popular structure, grammar or pattern is but a symptom of this devolution just as the proliferation of terrorism, increase in the incidence of metabolic syndrome and the convoluted alterations in the economy and climate.

    Though I am cognitive of the meandering nature of my article and the generalization that accompanied, I feel that a subtle occurrence that might not seem so important or relevant or even miniscule, such as a negative criticism of a movie, might in some plausible way be an early expression or a revelation of a deep-seated truth, malady or disaster awaiting to happen.

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  7. sangs

    yup,Vikram and Prithvi made all the difference between Raavan and Raavanan ..You need an actor of vikram’s calibre to pull off the bak bak bak and dandanakka stuff without appearing insane.

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