Friday, June 25, 2010

Raavan v/s Raavanan

Yet again, movie review of Raavan by an amateur? Panic not!! I am not going to review. I am just going to compare and share what I felt.

Everyone has been talking about the Hindi version, how "Mani sir" disappointed everyone, how ARR is losing his charm and all that. The overwhelming cynicism about the movie and the advices that galore from across all corners is just unbelievable!!  Watched both the versions - Hindi and Tamil. Read few reviews, few were biased, few were against the theme of the movie. Few went ga-ga over the cinematography.

Is the movie perfect? No. Should it be perfect? No!! The theme and the story is known to all. Its the way that has been presented, the director's interpretation of the Ramayana. We audience have the right to judge, dissect and criticize anything that comes our way!! Are we the right people to judge? What are we judging? Our perceptions and our expectations, in the name of judging an art.

The negatives first.

It did sure let down, why not? Coming from a director of such a caliber who has taken the Indian cinema to a different level.  The dialogues are a bit let down, especially in the Tamil version. His long time associate Sujata who is an excellent scriptwriter and who has authored several stories is no more and this is definitely a caveat. Next the dialogue delivery of Vikram in the Hindi version where he plays the role of Dev. A person who does not know or understand Hindi has attempted to dub for his own dialogues is commendable. There are few places where his accent influenced by Tamil is quite obvious. But he could be pardoned.

There have been few scenes where one feels Vikram has not acted well. Quite understanding as he was donning the role of Dev in Hindi and that of Veera in Tamil; simultaneously. He had to constantly switch between both the roles and it was obvious that he would not be able to give his complete to one of the roles. At times, he seems lost in the Hindi version. Another area where the North Indian audience would disapprove Vikram is his quite voluptuous body frame. He had to have that body to play a rural and rustic guy from the interiors of Southern part of Tamil Nadu. That is how guys are from those parts of Tamil Nadu.

Does not mean he could be written off. Just watch him portray a rural character or a sophisticated uber modern guy with an accent with elan in many of his movies. A National Award winner after all!

The positives:

Abhishek Bachchan has done his job well. He has delivered what he was expected to, but nothing more. He does irritate with this bak-bak few times.His dialogue delivery with a rustic accent seemed authentic.Talking about the Tamil version, Vikram, has played the role of Raavanan. He has done it with ease. He fits the role of Raavanan in Tamil than Dev in Hindi. His body language, expressions are a lot improvised and he does better job of playing a Raavanan than Abhishek. Aishwarya had the toughest job, not in terms of acting but in terms of physical activities. Keeping in mind that she had to repeat every scene twice! Strenous and draining! She has dubbed for Tamil as well for the first time and its commendable. She is inadequate in her acting though.

The role of Dev in Tamil is played by Prithvi Raj. Rightly done, neither too less, nor more. Tamil Dev is much more smart and police-like than Hindi Dev.

The locales are breath-taking, the camera work is out of the world. Its no easy to make two movies simultaneously with such extravaganza and difficult production schedule. Its not easy task to switch between two different languages coupled with the idea of authenticity. Its no easy task to deliver two movies with the same story line but with characters etched to fall in the respective local flavor. Few scenes are etched like poetry especially the scene where Aishwarya falls off the cliff.

ARR's BGM is a welcome one from the usual ones. Its a bit quirky but welcome.

Mani Ratnam has etched the story beautifully with his interpretations. It does seem that the movie lacks strong dialogues or has a weak plot. But this does not mean there is no story. He should be appreecaited for attempting something bold, by creating strong characters out of the ordinary.

The movie has its great visual moments, exotic locale, excellent cinematography. Its not a great movie, but at the same time, its not as mediocre as people claim it to be. There are moments of sheer brilliance and moments of disappointments as well, like the high tide and the low tide. It may not be the best movie or a perfect movie but its definitely way better than most movies that are churned out.

I thought the Tamil version was better than the Hindi version for 2 reasons. No irritating Veera/Beera and no sloppy out of place Dev.


  1. B Log ki owner Insignia has turned a critic my..madamji, very nice very nice :P

    well, don't call yourself an amateur. You reviewed it very well. I loved it and enjoyed reading your review than most of the reviews I have were non-biased as you said that Abhishek did his part well though he was irritating..but that's understood right? :D

  2. Though haven't seen the Hindi version and will never get to see (and understand) the tamil version, this seems to a balanced critical analysis of the movie.
    Cheers :)

  3. i dint watch the hindi version coz somehow i could make out tht it wnt b tht good...i did not like abhishek bachan's expressions so kinda gave it a miss.

    Ravanaan was good. Liked Vikram...he's a true rockstar. Music was good too though I want Roja's AR Rehman back. Aur cinematography...masha allah. I m off to Malshej Ghat next week after seeing the place in the film :)

    Nice one insignia...kya bolti hain rajeev masand ko nikhal doon uske job se. Tu bas awaaz de

  4. lai yeh kaam bhi shuru kar diya ... chalo ji ab film wallon ki khair nahin .. cause i am sure as this one you are really going to do a good job at that tooooo...

    from the posts including yours i have this feeling that it iwll be a waste of time spenind almost 8-9 pounds and 4 -5 hours for the movie ...

    better off downloading it and seeing it then .. what say ..

  5. inum movie parkila... but i heard Vikram was far better in performance with Abhi... enavo.. pesama i wud hav acted..wat yu think?

  6. Based on your review I will watch though I don't like Abishek and barely tolerate Ash. She is not an actress. Abishek is in Bollywood because of his dad. In fact, I think Ash married him for his family - not for him.

    For me right now there is only one star..SRK.AK is a good actor.

  7. I hated the movie..yes hated is the word !

    I already dislike Aish and moreover the movie didn't click so much with me!

    Junior AB was okay..I won't say he did his best !

    As Neha're really a nice critic..start writing reviews for websites :)

  8. I found it to be a stupid movie. Nothing made sense considering it was from Maniratnam.
    I had a nice sleep

  9. Big let down..i AGREE..raavanan was better.. i heard..chiyan vikram did well..:)

  10. I watched the hindi movie, and for now, I wish I had watched the tamil version.
    Either ways the story narration is straight very poor. There's nothing to memorize out there.
    Anyhow, there's no argument about how beautiful the locations and camera was. Only that the movie conveyed very little essence so that it looked like going through a big collection of amazing wallpapers =D

  11. Neha,

    Oh no!! Dont brand me a critic :-)
    Glad you liked my views.

    Nice of you to say that. Hehehehe yeah he was irritating :-D

  12. Shilpa,

    Glad of you to say that. I did not want to be biased in anyway. Thanks :-)

  13. G3,

    You did the right thing by not watching the Hindi version. Yeah his expressions were kinda irritating.

    Raavanan was better. Vikram is a rock-star!! Its kinda tough to get back Roja's ARR :-) He has digressed :-)

    I envy you, you goona visit that place?? Oh my!! please share the snaps.

    Hehehehe spare Rajeev Masand. Let him keep his job :-P

  14. Bik,

    Hehehehe I do end up doing this kaam once in a while Bik. But I do recommend you to watch the movie on big screen if you want to enjoy the beauty of the ghats through cinematography. Otherwise dont expect anything else :-)

  15. Hary,

    Watch the Tamil version. Vikram's too good. Neengala? Yeah you could have acted :-P

  16. A,

    If you can understand Tamil, I would recommend you to watch the Tamil version.
    Abhi cant be tolerated, as I said, he irritates. Aishwarya cant act, its inadequate. You might be disappointed.

  17. Nu,

    Yeah I can understand. Not much to talk in the Hindi version.
    Oh my!! thats a compliment. Thanks for liking my views.

  18. Chowla sir,

    Hahahaha. I hope it was a much needed sleep :-)

  19. Madhu,

    Yeah Raavanan was better. Chiyan has done really good.

  20. et,

    You should have watched the Tamil one. :-)
    I agree with you; the narration, plot was wafer-thin.

    Hahahahaha, awesome!! I so liked your statement. Big collection of amazing wallpaper!!!

  21. well said. waiting to watch this one... :-(

  22. I don't understand Tamil. I will probably miss the movie anyway because of AB and ARB combination.

  23. Gautam,

    :-) Dont go with much expectations though!

  24. A,

    Oh oh!! Better skip if you cant tolerate the couple!! :-) Thats the best thing to do.

  25. good review
    have not see movie.

  26. Haven't watched the movie yet. Had this gut feeling that there's way too much hype, and there may not be much of a movie to watch. Your review was good, unbiased and explicit.

  27. hi bindu,thanks for the narration of the movie from both ends.i saw the tamil version and want to see the hindi version ,as i am impressed by the tamil version.understood from u to keep the expectation more quiery ,did maniratnam paid mr.valmiki for the script.

  28. RGB,

    Too much hype yes! Glad you liked my review. It would be better to watch the movie without any expectations.

  29. Velu,

    Dont watch the Hindi version. Watching one version is enough and you did the right thing by watching Tamil.

    Did Mr.Maniratnam pay Mr.Valmiki for the script? Now!! Now!! no one would have this query except for you. I guess he did not pay, maybe they had some level of agreement!!

  30. So you are writing reviews too.... Good work.

    Yes..this would help many ( people like me)to decide to see the film or not.

  31. He should be appreecaited for attempting something bold, by creating strong characters out of the ordinary.

    It doesnt suit you,have to call your ma'am. :)

    I liked shooting locations.
    Else Mani failed to brand Beera as Ravan...and Dev as Ram.


    but Njoyed music.

    Keep Smiling.

  32. chitra,

    Oh!! I just thought let me chip in and help the readers as I saw both the versions of the movie :-)

  33. Makk,

    Spelling mistakes does not qualify for grammatical errors, so dont need to call my ma'am :-)

    I didn't run spell check, thats all.

    You should see the Tamil version!! :-)

    Music, yeah OK but ARR is capable of delivering more!

  34. This is one movie that I prefer to miss:)

  35. This is one movie that I prefer to miss:)

  36. Except Photography/colouring and Iysh exposure, nothing special in this movie. I don't know why people expect too much before releasing picture.

    I had a very good sleep in the theatre. Normally, I don't sleep, may be I might have tired too much while watching the picture.

  37. Naidu sir,

    True, cinematography is amazing. Thats what I felt, watch the movie without expectation. Then you wont be disappointed.

    Hahahaha, hope you got that much needed sleep

  38. Every one of us doesn't deliver what we capable every time.

    Though I Njoyed music (its not necessary that every song become a great creation I guess) and I dint had any expectation when I was watching movie.


    your post is indeed delivered up to the mark review

    ( though you had cleared that you were not going to review it)
    (pun wasn't intended there ?? was it?)


  39. Makk,

    Thats absolutely true!! But people do tend to expect!!

    Its nice that you went for the movie without any expectation, helps a great deal.

    Hmm no, I dont know if I should call my post a review because I am not qualified for that job. I just wrote what I thought. :-)

  40. A very different review except the final verdict (most ppl concur that Tamil scores over Hindi).

    I watched Raavan ; I simply couldn't stand Abhishek Bachchan. I ll try to catch Raavanan - I like PrithviRaj & Vikram!!

  41. lostworld,

    thanks. Yeah!! Tamil seemed better than the Hindi version :-)

    Try watching the Tamil one :-)


I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!