Film Zest

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Review – Raavanan/Raavan June 19, 2010

Filed under: film,Reviews — filmizest @ 11:59 pm
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My plan was only to watch Raavanan last night. Not only because I would watch Vikram 100x over Abhi but also because from  the stills and promos it seemed obvious to me that Vikram would play the role subtle, better. Also early reviews  suggested that Vikram’s role in the Hindi version was nothing to write home about.  Well I can myself now confirm that is indeed the case as I decided  to also watch Raavan straight after.


Raavan compared


First of all, Raavanan/Raavan is clearly inspired from the Ramayana. Why Mani went around categorically denying this fact is beyond me. Anyway this is a film I had been looking forward to for a long time and I was not disappointed.


The film starts with the kidnap of Ragini by Veera. We are not told why but as the story goes on we are given information here and there to explain what is going on and there is also a flashback. I think this is one of the reasons audiences have complained that the 1st half feels choppy and abrupt. A few people who watched with me also complained that pace was too slow. I did not find it so.
Vikram is outstanding. A very convincing performance. He is unsurprisingly very natural and believable as Veera, Very comfortable in his surroundings and as man of the people who is loved, respected and feared. On the other hand,     Abhishek stuck out like a sore thumb. His performance was also quite bad, especially when he was playing the role crazily. While Vikram playing crazy didn’t alter  his face, eyes  or body language, Abhishek would make his eyes widen frighengly and his body language would change noticeably (waves his arms about like a crazy person). Nothing seemed internalised.  The difference can be clearly seen in the speech to Aish  just before Kodu potta/Thode killi song.


When Abhi wasn’t playing crazy Beera, he would be absolutely stone faced while tons of expression and emotions would fleet over Vikram’s face at amazing speed. The first such scene … where he stands recalling Ragini  jumping over a cliff in order not to give him the satisfaction of killing her, the expression of admiration in his face is so brilliantly clear. Come abhi’s turn….nothing. He makes a face, no emotion. That’s it.
Aishwarya did quite well, especially since she gets put through hell tied up, eyes covered, drenched with water for a lot of the film. I personally don’t find her a great actress and I think another actress with more spirit would have done a better job but it was fine. She also looked absolutely beautiful throughout.
There are a few scenes that lead Rangini and Veera to come physically close…and Woah, crackling chemistry between Vikram and Aish. Didn’t feel it with Abhi at all.
Prithviraj was very good as Dev, not to mention looked so handsome (never go back to that mustache Prithvi!). He was better in the role than Vikram in the Hindi version. Since we are led to believe that their married life is a happy one, I was surprised with the way Vikram played Dev so unsympathethically, as a stoic, single minded, hard man on a mission to destroy Veera and the kidnap of his wife is just another one on the list of Veera’s bad deeds. Prithvi on the other hand was softer. The scene where he recalls his playful wife, the expression on his face is of loss and sadness…(which I didn’t get from Vikram’s Dev). His darker side, when you do get to see it is therefore more affecting. The train scene between him and Ragini and the climax are harder to bear in the Tamil version.
All other in small parts were good. I prefered Karthik to Govinda as he added a bit more humor to his role.
Cons:  I thought there was too much posing for the cameras.Too many pause and click arty shots. Dialogues could have been stronger even if  so much was said through eyes, movement and nature…so partly made up for by the absolutely stunning cinematography.
I did feel my favorite of the album Usure pogudhe (Behne De) came too early in the film.  Kodu Potta/Thode Khilli (I loved it) and a shorter version of Keda Keda/Kata Kata was ok.
The film could have been a bit longer to include a bit of a back story on Dev and Veera specially.

17 Responses to “Review – Raavanan/Raavan”

  1. Siva Prasad Says:

    Good Review!! i haven’t read it yet..will read after watching the movie:D

  2. Liz C Says:

    Great review. I saw Raavanan last night–so glad I saw Vikram first. I’ll be interested to compare Prithvi and Vikram when I see the Hindi film next week.

  3. vijay Says:

    Super review sis. My worry was miss fake rai but she surprised.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mohamed Aazeek, Shweta . Shweta said: Review – Raavanan/Raavan: […]

  5. Chetana Says:

    Nice review. Didn’t know u do reviews too. Haven’t seen the movie yet, didn’t know tamil version has subtitles so decided to wait until next week for telugu version.

    Glad to know that atleast Vikram’s version is watchable, as i expected. Never really interested in hindi version but AB really scared me off in that shortest dialog promo. Never was a great fan but realized what an absolute non-actor he is after seeing vikram’s veera. Guess he got that idea of grimacing, bad acting in the name acting from Ash. Looking beatiful, she does and how, but acting? Puhleezze!!! Guess thats too rude but I cant really stand Madam Fake on or off screen. And regarding ur comment abt posing, expected a lot of that based on the initial trailers n really hated it. Didn’t really plan on watching if thats what all its going to be. But then vikram’s veera made me change my mind. Anyway, will let u know how i liked it when i watch it.

    • filmizest Says:

      I don’t normally do reviews, just leave a few thoughts in the relevant films comments section but I was hyped up about this one plus I got to see both.

      • Chetana Says:

        Finally got to watch the movie, and I’d watch it all over again for vikram, cinematography and bgm.. These 3 pretty much made up for lack of lot of other things. What an outstanding performance from vikram. Btw, aish wasn’t bad either. Prithviraj did good too. For that matter all the actors did good with what was given to them. Guess the writing itself wasn’t too convincing a lot of times.

        • filmizest Says:

          I agree, compared to what we’d been used to from Mani Rathnam, writing was weak. Dialogues were also not upto standard but as you say, it is worth watching especially simply for Vikram. His delivery, eyes and body language in a few scenes are worth the ticket/dvd price.

          Aish did pretty well, just in some scenes, it bothered me that dubbing voice/tone didn’t match her expressions (eyes, mouth) and reflect what was being said. IMO.

          Thanks for updating with your thoughts as promised:)

          Also, I keep missing your twitter updates of your photos. sigh! that one you have up now is so serene and beautiful and actually quite similar visual to a scene in Raavanan no? I love it.

          • Chetana Says:

            Guess the movie is still fresh in your mind. I agree with what you said about dubbing. I felt that it was out of sync with the expressions/body language, not just in case of Aishwarya but with other guys too.

            Also, now I see a tad bit of similarity of the location in the photo on my blog with some of the river scenes in the movie, but only after you mentioned. 🙂 I have to admit that when I was watching trailers, I was so inspired with the visuals and so frustrated at the same time that I can not make something look so stunning ever in my life. Oh well, that happens with every movie with good visuals. The movie print that we got is not that good. Guess we’ll have to buy the DVD.

  6. Anu Says:

    I disagree with your analysis of Vikam’s Dev, He is not meant to be a good character and I think he played it correctly as Mani Ratnam intended which is to challenge our view of Ram.

    • filmizest Says:

      Hi Anu I thought Mani and co were saying it would show Dev (Ram) with grey shades not completely black so I though Prithvi played it better in that sense, it was more shocking in Raavanan when he asks for the polygraph test and uses his wife to trap Veera. My view could be skewed because I watched Tam ver first I guess. I have to say Vikram as Dev was very effective in the very last scenes.

  7. vijay Says:

    Watched this again with family and loved it still. Vikram is the man.

    Chennai box office
    Tuesday, 22 June , 2010, 10:41

    Mani Ratnam’s Raavan in Hindi is a disaster, but he can take heart that Raavanan in Tamil has taken the best ever opening of the year at the CBO.

    Mani’s loyal Chennai audiences has given a big thumbs up to Raavanan, which has netted a record Rs 90 lakhs in its opening weekend from 15 screens in the city and is in the number one position.

    Singam has fallen to the number two position. At number three is The Karate Kid, a film which is holding on well against all opposition.

    In fourth position is Hindi Raavan, which opened in six screens to 94 per cent opening on day one, but fell to 65 per cent subsequently.

    In the last position is Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam, which has made a comeback to the charts as publicity has been boosted by the producers.

    Cast: Vikram, Aishwarya Rai, Pritviraj, Prabhu, Karthik, Priya Mani
    Director: Mani Ratnam
    Pros : Camera, Locations, Vikram
    Cons : Story, Screenplay, dialogues

    Trade Facts : Bumper opening

    Cast: Suriya, Anushka, Prakash Raj, Vivek, Radha Ravi
    Director: Hari
    Pros : Suriya, action scenes, racy
    Cons : Predictable, nothing new story wise

    Trade Facts : Hit

    The Karate Kid
    Cast: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Taraji P Henson, Zhenwei Wang, Wenwen Han
    Director: Harald Zwart
    Pros : Racy and entertaining with mass sentiments
    Cons : Too violent at times

    Trade Facts : Hit

    Cast:Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Chiyaan Vikram, Govinda, Nikhil Dwivedi
    Director: Mani Ratnam
    Pros : Camera, locations, Aishwarya Rai
    Cons : Story, screenplay, dialogues, Abhishek

    Trade Facts : Good opening

    Source is Sify.

  8. filmizest Says:

    @Vijay. Thanks for that. I don’t think I will watch it again in theater but this vid almost made me want to 🙂 Woah!!

  9. engin Says:

    thanks for great sharing

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