Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Raavanan Movie Review

To start with, I am a big Mani Ratnam fan. Expectations on this movie were sky high. It is not correct to call this movie disappointing, though I was disappointed to be honest.

Everyone knows the story, so I am not even going to talk about it. From a review point of view, I would like to list down the positives and negatives of the movie. Usually in a Mani movie, you have to search for negatives. Unfortunately, here they are right in front.

  1. Vikram : If he was not playing this role, forget about watching this movie. No wonder he has 2 national awards. Everything he does is good. Even the ' dum dum tap tap' whatever he says every now and then is brilliantly done. He is with no doubts the best in Tamizh cinema currently.
  2. Cinematography : Best till date in a Tamizh movie. Mind blowing.
  3. BGM : Many were saying it is not that great. But I loved it. Only one place where I did not like it is when a "kezhavi" sings Kattu Siriki during the fight between Veerayya and Raagini. I closed my ears.
  4. Karthiks(Hanuman) role: This seemed very annoying for many, but I liked it very much. His characterization is amazing even with the monkey antics. He did a great job, that too in the scene when he meets Veerayya.
  5. Some very specific scenes like Veerayyas proposal kind of scene to Raagini and the scene where Sarkarai and Dev meet and "usure pogudhey".
  1. The biggest drawback in the movie and the biggest strength in all Mani movies till date are the dialogues. Sujatha being missed very badly here. Even one dialogue is not upto Mani's standard and hence does not stay in you mind and heart.
  2. Dev's characterization: Mani has tried to project Veerayya as a guy who does not have just a bad side. In the process of doing that, Dev's character has been thrashed and instead of feeling bad for Veerayya in the climax, I felt irritated with the way it ended. When Vibeeshan(Sarkarai) could be killed by Dev which is a big twist, then why not a different ending. Of course, the counter argument would be the stupid media and other Hindu organizations who are wanting to get famous opposing this. But end of the movie, the feeling is not pity but irritation. This never happened in a Mani movie to me before.
  3. Lack of bonding between relationships: Again very unlike Mani. First and foremost, between Veerayya and Ragini. Secondly between Veeraya and his brother Kumbakarnan. Thirdly between Dev and Hanuman and last but not least, between Dev and Raagini. Lack of simple and powerful dialogues contributed to this as well.
  4. Priyamanis Flashback: Expect for the scene where Kumbakarnan carries a goat in his shoulders and jumps for ARRs tunes where I actually got goosebumps, the flashback does not stay in your heart. Ranjitha steals most of the flashback by appearing just below 15 seconds due to her "Nithya Leelaigal".
  5. The worst scene for me in the movie was when Dev holds the cut off shoulders of Priyamani's husband and asks for Veerayya. It may have some significance, I am not sure, but it irritated me too much.
Overall, if you forget this is a Mani Ratnam movie and watch it, you would actually say its decent for the effort put in physically, visually and in the script. But for Mani Ratnam's standard, this movie will not be listed in his all time top 10. No way.


Srihari said...

Nice review & intersting read.. all the drawbacks are because of one reason "the dialogues".. Otherwise the rest of the drawbacks would become void..

Infact i realised that the visuals were just stunning/astonishing that sometimes we forget to listen to the dialogue or to the BGM.. e.g. the scene where Dev puts his cigarette bud to the photos, when Veera will be talking on the tape.. i just forget to listen to the tape because the screen captured me on the visual front..

and last not but the least, Ranjitha had a greater audience among the viewers than Vikram/Aish.. any screeen presence of her was never short of a claps..

santosh said...

Echoing srihari's thought that almost all the negatives that you have mentioned finally bottles down to dialogues. I wont completely blame suhasini here, mani has a part too :).

Don't forget suhasini wrote dialogues for iruvar too which is till now one of the best of mani's films.

கலைவாணன் said...

U've reflected my thoughts thala..
one other drawback is the too obvious relevance to the Epic & to frequent referrals to the same..
In Thalabathy or Roja, one need to find the subtle marks to relate the movie to the corresponding epics, but in this one, every other scene has a naked/obvious/intentional relevance..

And yes I too feel Dialogues were a major let down..

Ragav said...

I completely agree with ur negative 1 coz mani misses sujathas crispy lines !
But negative 2 i wont agree coz its because of Veeraya character portrayal u started to hate dev's characterization. Mani is really good in bringing that one up in d screen. Killing sakkarai is totally acceptable coz dev is little bit confused here as also portrayed by kambar in kamba ramayanam !

to ur negative 3 : there is no bonding between veerya n ragini ...thts wat mani wanted :) well this is modern day ramayan :) relationships r dying man....thts wot i observed :) not like good old days !

well i totally agree with ur -ve 4.

Well i saw this raavanan movie as kamban portrayed ...there is nothing positive abt dev in the second half coz kamban did not see ram as GOD !

Final comment: u need courage to handle such an epic today ! Mani handled brilliantly well coz modern day ramayan will be like this in terms of bonding/relationship !

DK said...

You have put forward a very different perspective of the movie :).

vikky said...

Good one da Arun..rightly said, lack of picturization when it comes to relationships. Ragini tends to fall for veera which is not picturized in a typical maniratnam's way who is definitlely a specialist in picturizing relationships.

@prasad: definitley veera-ragini type of relationships are not dying these days, they are thriving :))) just kidding..

i felt the number 14 used too many times..14 years, 14 hours, 14 days, lot of unnecessary references to number 14,obviously referring ramayanam..Ragini is a bold but sort of feminine character.rohini's voice was more 'maleish' for that character, some softer voice would have been apt.rough voice need not convey boldness or agression for a was too much predictable esp last scenes.though the story is known,when ravanan abducting seethai is justified,when ravanan can save raman in a fight,then why not show a slightly different ending or same ending with different screen play.i also felt positioning of songs were slightly inappropriate.esp usurey pogudhe is a stunning song,very intense,but comes in the movie when vikram just starts liking her.too early... many 'could have made better' type of scenes as rightly said, a decent once-watch movie when seen as a non-mani one.all these are seen as negatives only because its a mani movie.the question still remains.. when will we get to watch a spotless,well made, good tamil movie.. again who knows? people might have seen nayagan as what we see ravanan today and ravanan may be next generation's nayagan :)

Vijesh said...

I can appreciate few of the highlights and low lights said, blame on my bike. It got punctured and landed half an hour late. :)

Cinematography awesome and din realize it was suhasini dialogues until now. now I miss Sujatha. Ranjitha, yes she was a hit.

Nice post!

Kishore said...

Very nice review. Going into your negatives, Dev tortures Priyamani's husband is just to show that he is not scared of Veera at any cost even Veera's brother in law has been sent with one handed carrying the part that was cut in the other by Veera himself.

Dev killing sakkara is a trap to bring Veera to him for a revenge i,e where he can kill him. Don't think abt raagini because only in the previous scene he decides whether it is Veera or Raagini and finally lands up with Veera.

Talking abt relationship because of immense love on Dev only Raagini decides to jump from the cliff instead of Veera killing her conveying that she belongs to Dev and only he has all the rights on her. Again Veera and Raagini, the relationship is perfectly shown where Raagini pities for Veera but not falling in love with him.

This is my thoughts. As a whole it is again a worthy mani movie.