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!
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.