Enough of excitement and curiousness for Raavan ensured a first day,first show ticket with my friends.I was just hoping and praying that it would surmount my expectations and it did.Well almost!What more could you ask for?Aishwarya,Abhi and Vikram in a love triangle with Rahman to tease your ears,Mani to embellish and set the screen on fire.It all made it a deadly combination and be ready to gorge your eyes to a tale narrated like never before.Excellent visuals,witty dialogues,intense acting make Raavan a spectacular experience ought to yearn for.Beera rules the roost and how!
10 minutes into the ten heads,you get a whole glimpse into the thick of surroundings.A tough police officer,a gritty follower,a nifty wife,a brutal ‘ raakshas’ and a whole village supporting him.The first hour mostly invades our time to capture the mindset of all these people Beera(Junior B),Raagini(Aishwarya Rai),Dev(Vikram)who form the core and crust of the film.The director doesn’t waste much time in conveying the plot of kidnapping Raagini and putting her through immense torture both physically and mentally.Dev,a firm person is determined enough to win back his wife who barely can live without him.The introduction of Hanuman(Govinda) ensures lighter moments in a somewhat serious first half.The latter part concentrates mostly on the cat and mouse chases creating a lively and a nervous atmosphere.With the amazing cinematography,going past the first half is a visual treat to the audiences.Shot in Kerala,the waterfalls,the forests are so full of life and the director uses the locations to his best effect and enhances the beauty of each scene.
The second half is where the film scores a lot .The pace quickens unlike the first half and the battle raging between both the sides turns wild and take weird turns keeping the viewers glued to their seats.The colours are beautiful,the village has a child like innocence,you feel sympathy for each of the characters that undergo pain and stress.The villain tries every possibility to kill Raagini.But she isn’t the one who’s there to get victimized.She’s brave and she’ll have a death at her own desired moment and none can change that.She’s a fire brand and Beera recognizes it.She tries to escape,puts up a brave face and her eyes spark not even an ounce of fear.Some thing is influencing his mind to get mad about her.After all Beera has his own reason for the series of events which have occurred.He explains his grief and distress on what made him into a person whose emotions are unpredictable.One person having ten thoughts rolling inside his brain each second.Does this create a softer side of Beera in Raagini’s heart?Will Beera ever spare Raagini or Dev?Is the person who dies always is the bad guy?Is this a thought of our society or if not what’s the truth?Why can’t we think on the lines on why is Beera like this?The gripping climax will provide a bold answer to these startling questions.The fight in the climax is precariously shot and will set the first benchers abuzz.
As like his previous movies,Mani pours life into a simple story and creates a mind boggling impact.Though not as polished as before,this works good time.The minutest details too are taken care off very well and the sweat and hardwork gone into the making shows.If viewed as a contemporary version of the epic Ramayana,this one doesn’t work.It doesn’t have enough depth to penetrate the characters into the viewers.If seen as an experimental cinema,the ideals are great,the modification is inexplicable,so we better put our comparisons aside to satisfy us entirely.Credit to him though to make a film that’s a break from the formulaic stuff.
Coming to the performances,Abhishek holds his stand firm and portrays a character of varied emotions very well.He’s grown as an actor since those days of Yuva,Bunty aur Babli.He displays the unpredictability of the character to perfection.I infact do not want to watch the Tamil version of it because I expect it to be no way closer to this one. Aishwarya stuck between characters as different as chalk and cheese,two different sides of a coin handles her part extraordinarily.She’s far beyond her skin and good looks and this one proves it yet again.She besides Abhi is the soul of the film.Her scenes with her hubby are of good taste and will evoke good critical acclaim.She looks to have put on a few pounds and the earlier she realises,the better it’ll be as she isn’t growing any younger.Vikram did a good job but he’s done these better in Saamy,Anniyan and many other ones.There’s no new facet of his acting explored.In short,he’s wasted in an angry cop role.Nikhil Dwivedi is passable in a short role.Priyamani makes her presence felt and the start isn’t at all bad for a debut.Ravi Kishan is irritating to say the least.Govinda packs a punch and tries to do something beyond slapstick comedy,an honest effort.Supporting characters are a mixed bag but they don’t do that bad either.Rahman uses his experiments perfectly that’s neither loud nor low.Gulzar’s lyrics are pumping.Cinematography by ManiKandan and Santosh Sivan puts a viewer into the film.
Raavan doesn’t start well,but makes up for it as we move on into the film.It’s a journey that we don’t often travel and a path we rarely witness.Though not error free,its still a feather in the cap for Mani Ratnam to create such a splendid picturesque work.Be patient enough and keep your expectations a tad less and you won’t be at loss.Its a drama,an event,a classic in the reckoning!