Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Raavan - TWO and 1/2 stars

I am not surprised that this movie is getting mixed reviews - it has its wow moments just like it has its mediocre instances. Not one of director Mani Ratnam’s best movies, but Raavan could have been one of his bravest

I have heard a lot of people say that this movie is boring but Raavan with its numerous failings and incongruities, is not dull or dreary

1. Raavan’s cinematography itself makes it worthwhile going to the cinemas to watch it, once. Santosh Sivan and Mani have always been a heady combo, they don’t disappoint as far as the visuals go
2. Brilliant acting by Priyamani, Vikram, Abhishek and Aishwarya. They shine through an otherwise loopholed and flawed movie, cant say the same about Govinda though.
3. A bold story, nice interpretation of an Indian classic. Don’t know what people mean when they criticize the movie for not being contemporary enough. It is Mani’s elucidation of the classic we all know and his interpretation is not bizarre

Not so nice…
1. The movie is overdramatic, in every which way – music, dialogue delivery decibel levels, use of water and other props, cinematography even! Raavan would have been a far more powerful movie had it been subtle in its execution. The essence and complexities of the human element is lost in its overpowering technical wizardry
2. A R Rahman’s music usually has the competency to come out of even a horrific movie unscathed. But in Raavan his music is loud, jarring, unnecessary and confusing in most places. It actually acts as an irritant in an already over-theatrical movie
3. Mani had a great story at hand, but didn’t go all out with it. He should have been braver and shown the various layers of his Raavan’s personality, unashamedly. But he held back maybe because he got too involved in the commercial-technical facets of the movie. Consequently, the movie’s human constituent loses out where production value has gained
4. I wonder if we should forgive Mani for underestimating the knowledge of the Indian audience by spelling out some of the corresponding Ramayana scenes onto our faces
5. And the movie's ending was a complete let down, it was a final proof that by then Mani Ratnam's concentration had moved far away from his creative instincts

So if you are a big fan of classy cinematography, this movie is a must do, that too in a cinema hall. Otherwise do catch it once on TV or DVD just to see what a great movie this could have been, if Mani had stayed with his original idea giving its characters his undivided attention…and not gone overboard with the technicalities, quite literally!