Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Raavanan... is Manirathnam happy with this movie?

I had been waiting to see this Tamil movie 'Raavanan' (Wiki link) of Manirathnam for a long long time now! I had read so many tidbits about the movie before its release. When my niece came home during her semester holidays, we planned and went to two movies without much gap in-between, which is very rare, for me. I am not a movie buff! The other movie was 'Rajneeti' (I don't feel like writing a review for this movie!). Here, I am not going to mention the story much, it is in the Wiki link.

The movie starts, with Vikram jumping down from a cliff into deep water, head down. The scenery is beautiful. He swims like a wild animal and kidnaps Aishwarya. Then the storyline slows down. We had known that story of the movie resembled the Ramayana. Vikram acts as Raavana, here, a modern Robinhood-like character. He has done his job very well. But reminds a lot of his role in 'Anniyan' (dubbed in Hindi as Aparichit), when he is shown with dirt and anger on his face and like Sethu, when he blabbers 'bakbakbak', like a madman. Aishwarya is the Seetha in this modern Ramayana! Ram is Prithviraj, quite a good actor, who did very well in 'Mozhi'. He acts like an 'encounter specialist' who is after Raavana who kidnapped his pretty wife Seetha!

The best part of the film is cinematography which is done by Santhosh Sivan and Manikandan. The story is very weak. It is as if some clippings are joined together without any proper thread. Maybe they think that we know the story of Ramayana and we will understand!

Aishwarya, doesn't show any emotion. It takes a long time for us to register that she had started loving Vikram after she knew why he had kidnapped her! She just utters 'bakbakbak' in a weak tone, to express her softness towards him! They show her falling from the cliff, head down and hanging on a branch of a tree and walking back on rocks...she must have done some hard work, here.

Even Vikram's story about how his sister was gang-raped by policemen, doesn't make us feel sorry for him...some drawback here too. All these things are shown in short clippings! The storyline doesn't flow smoothly. In-between, suddenly Vikram acts like a madman and shouts 'bakbakbak' or 'dandandan'...we have to assume he is half mad! His role could have been shown as a strong leader who wants to avenge the police who were killing his people, raping their women, unnecessarily, without proper reason.

Here, the character of Ram is not shown as a good man! He uses everyone, even his wife, to kill Raavana!

The camera work is very good. Stunt shows are amazing, esp. the last rope bridge fight. Most of the shooting was done in the forest areas of Kerala, Ooty, Maharashtra etc., it seems. The dance sequence under actor/dancer Shobana's choreography, to A.R. Rahman's beautiful music is quite memorable. Very normal dialogues by Suhasini Manirathnam, doesn't add life to the movie.

During the intermission break, we were asking each other, if anyone understood the story? The last half hour had SOME story!

Photo courtesy: Google


Swaram said...

Me first :)

Swaram said...

LOL Sandhya .. I laughed so much reading this post. Just what I wanted after lunch :P
Bakbakbak sounds so funny ;) reminds me of Rajni's lakalakalaka ;)

LOL @ did anyone understand the story :P

And the reviews said Tamil version is better than the Hindi one! God knows what the Hindi one is like then.

Sandhya said...

Swaram: are numero uno!

Yes, even bakbakbak reminds Rajnikanth, and his acting reminds Sethu and Anniyan, though undoubtedly, he is a very good actor, but feels like he is repeating the characters! Why a Director like Manirathnam should do this, I am surprised!

Yes, I heard about the Hindi version. Amitabh was not happy about the editing and Manirathnam replied that he was not producing movies just for Amitabh's liking!

Harish said...

hindi version is too bad over acted. i never thought this director could make something worse than yuva.

Harish said...

hindi version is too bad over acted. i never thought this director could make something worse than yuva.

Bikramjit said...

I am atleast second then :)

Well have heard a lot of critics about the movie.. so dont know if i shud watch it or not.. I will CHEAT.. wait for someone to upload a good print and see it then :)

You mentioned RAJNEETI I saw that movei by Prakash Jha.. I really thought he was a good director etc but disappointed me , I know you wont beleive it but I guessed almsot all the scenes to the dialogue and Most of the dialogues and idea were COPIED from english movie GodFather.. People of such repute doing such things
Dont know about Mani ratnam..
All I heard from one of my mates who saw Ravaan is that Ravaan was the GOOD GUY and Ram the bad one .. Is that true ?

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh mere type karte karte THIRD HO GAYA MAIN BAdddddddddddd

Shail said...

Hmm... I have been reading so many reviews about this movies, both Hindi and Tamil versions and all of them give the same warning: Stay clear of it for your own good.
Anyway it won't be difficult for me as I am no movie buff.

wordsndreamz said...

So the Tamil one is just as bad! I heard from some that the Tamil one is better!

I would have not watched it either way - I can't stand Aishwarya, but reviews like this make my resolve even stronger :) I don't understand how someone like Mani Rathnam manages to make movies like these!

Swaram said...

God Smitha, I am so happy u said that :)
I hardly watch movies. Even if I do, I can't stand Aish too :P :P

Sandhya said...

Harish: I was not able to believe that this was the famous Manirathnam's movie!

Bikram: I went to Rajneeti for Ajay Devgun (my niece also likes him!). He did well in Gangaajal. This was too boring and I was dozing in-between!

What you heard is right...Ram is the bad guy!

Agli baar aap firsht honge!

Shail: Same here, I visit theatres mostly when my nieces visit our place during holidays. My husband accompanies us only for Kamal movies! Otherwise, hate to watch third grade movies.

wordsndreamz: Hindi is worse, I heard too! Amitabh is not very happy about that!

I don't like Aishwarya. I prefer Kajol, Rani, Madhuri etc. Even Soha Ali Khan did well in Mumbai meri jaan! Aish has got a stony expressionless face.

Even after 2 days after watching the movie, I am still wondering how Manirathnam can produce this type of movie! Swaram also has joined this gang of Aish haters!

Jodha Akhbar was OK, just OK!

SG said...

Nice write up. Looks like the usual Tamil masala.

Renu said...

Today all the movies show an analogy either with mahabharata or ramayan but none is correct, they are demeaning our epics even.

kanaguonline said...

Yet to watch this movie... I think I may watch this movie by this weekend... but reviews generally says its average and as you have said there is no way audience involve themselve into this movie..

The recent Maniratnam movies are high in technical aspect.. very less in screenplay and story. Period.

Indian Home Maker said...

All the reviews convey just one thing, don't watch it. I saw Rajneeti and hoped to see some resemblance to Ramayana in this one, but the reviews put me off...

From what you have written I feel it could have been made into a better movie. Glad I didn't watch it Sandhya!

A said...

I am not going to watch it. Thanks

Ashwini Sriram said...

Excellent write up maami! :)

I agree with you on the fact that there was no continuity! But otherwise I loved Vikram and hence most of the movie.

Mostly, enjoyed the company. :)

Pixie said...

hehe!thankfully, I didn't watch the movie! The Tamil version is slightly better than the Hindi version it seems! So, didn't risk it!

Sandhya said...

SG: Manirathnam's movies are not normally the 'usual Tamil masala ' movies. Many of his movies are superb. Here, he is not visible anywhere, SG!

Renu: Once Aamir said in an interview that our epic Mahabharata has got all types of stories to make any number of movies!

Kanagu: Yes, Manirathnam movies are technically very good from 'Roja' itself. But here, in this movie esp., the story is over in a few lines, Kanagu!

IHM: Yes, he is capable of making a good movie using the same storyline. He didn't do it, IHM!

A: Manirathnam will fume, reading my review and putting people off! Welcome here, A!

Ashwini: Yes, Vikram is a good actor, no doubt about it and he has done justice to his role, very well.

Yes, I too enjoyed your and aththes' and manni's company for commenting and gossipping, Ashwini!

manjujoglekar said...

Nice commentary on the movie! I don't think I will want to see even the Hindi version now.:)

kavita said...

I heard that except for the cinematography nothing is good about this movie...but i would still like to see it(Mani fan).
Thanks for the review Sandhya.

BK Chowla, said...

I had nice sleep for about 2 hrs especially after a power cut at home.
It is a silly movie

Sandhya said...

Manju: I am not able to believe even now that Manirathnam could produce this type of a movie, Manju! I have got great regards for him.

'Kannaththil muththamittaal', Roja, Dil se and so many other movies of him were all well-directed movies.

Kavita: I am a great fan of him too!

He had a heart attack while shooting for this movie. Did that affect his work? Don't know, Kavita.

BK Chowla: Hahaha, at least you got something back for your money, Chowlaji!

kanaguonline said...

/*Manirathnam movies are technically very good from 'Roja' itself.*/

Even from his 'Mounaraagam' days the technical aspect is very good considering most of his movies were in Indoor and P.C.Sreeram provided a new tone of cinematography...

In Agni Natchathiram movie his camerawork is stunning... even the same can be said about Santhosh Sivan in Thalapathi.. and When it comes to music.. there is Ilayaraja who provided great re-recordings and BG for his movies... still he is miles ahead of Rahman..

And then editing is done by V.T.Vijayan.. another proven talent... so in that era his films are best is technically always.. he had a great story too then..

But I am missing the natural way of dialogue delivery after Nayagan in his films... From thalapathi, its all animated... Roja is better..

I am yet to watch Bombay and Alaipayuthe... so couldn't comment on them...

I liked Guru.. but still there are some aritificalness in the dialogue delivery...

Sandhya said...

Kanagu: How did I forget Mouna Raagam? That was a superb movie and most part of the movie was shot inside that beautiful house.

You have given the 'best movies' list, Kanagu. How could he take a movie like 'Raavanan', I wonder, even now. With the same storyline, he would have done better, if he had put more efforts. The dialogues in his movies also used to become famous. Here, I don't remember a thing.

I was not very happy about Guru. But was not upset after seeing that movie, like I am feeling now.

Ilayaraaja pazham thinnu kottai pottavar. Rehman is growing up to reach his height now, Kanagu. He is good in his own way, now.

Do you know who the editor of this film is?

Sandhya said...

Kanagu: Do you know about the first movie in his direction? It was a Kannada movie by the name 'Pallavi Anupallavi'
Lakshmi and Ramakrishna, a Kannada actor were in the starcast. I had seen the movie (1983) and remember the story even now. Everyone was talking about the new director! It was an adult storyline, which was new in those days. Lakshmi was a very famous actor in Kannada also.

Rakesh said...

My 'Raavan' was way better right?

destinationinfinity said...

Someone was telling me that the actual story line is about Naxals - and the director was not able to say as much. Is this true??

Destination Infinity

Sandhya said...

Rakesh: Yes, you are right, your versions were better, esp. the last one!

Destination Infinity: Manirathnam seems to direct movies about rebels, mostly...Roja, Dil se, kannaththil muththamittaal, etc.

From the beginning the rumour was that the story of Ravanan was based on Ramayana!

evanescentthoughts said...

I heard tamil one was atleast okay. The hindi version was too boring I heard. I did not watch this movie :) And after reading your review, I dont think I will take the risk :)

Ashwin Muralidharan K said...

Well, each one seem to have their own opinion, if not for me.

I guess this movie isn't bad at all. Infact this id one of the good movies mada this year....

May be I thought I cud share a viewers review with you all:

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