Author Shaukat Vashisht lives a wealthy life-style in India with his wife, Antara, who is a College Teacher. Shaukat achieves fame when he is nominated for the Booker prize, and goes on to ... See full summary »
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,
Surya (Rajnikanth) is an orphan raised in a slum. He finds a friend in the local Godfather (Mamooty). They rule the town and forms a parallel government. Things are well until new district ... See full summary »
Fresh printed bank notes to the value of incredible 10 billion rupies are stolen in India from a train by the henchmen of super-gangster Vikram living in London. The code card only being ... See full summary »
Govindan (Manivannan) is a thief who has two children. Aadhi (Pasupathy) and Mathi ('Chiyaan' Vikram). Years go by and the two, Aadhi and Madhi, decide to stop stealing and mend their ways ... See full summary »
Ragini re-locates to distant Lal Matti along with her Superintendent of Police husband, Dev Pratap Sharma, in order to enable him to apprehend a bandit, Beera Munda. Shortly thereafter her life will be turned upside down when she will be abducted by Beera and held captive. It is during this captivity she will not only find out that her fate will be decided within 14 hours, but also the real reason behind her abduction. Written by
An epic retold with magnificent visual splendour but falling well short of being memorable
Mani Ratnam's much anticipated multi lingual Raavan (a.k.a Raavanan in Tamil) is a commendable and bold cinematic effort to recreate the timeless epic of Ramayana which embodies universally appealing values of heroism, jealousy , mistrust , revenge and evil. Though evil here is more about revealing the antihero in Raavan and seeing those same traits ironically reversed in Ram at another point in time. Ram here is Dev (played by Vikram)a duty bound cop with a single mission to bring down his nemesis Beera (played by Abhishek) who is the protector of the downtrodden but one who does not let morals come in his way. A much wanted criminal in the eyes of the law. His philosophy is almost a Mahabharata borrowed one of "ends justify the means". What drives him to do that one thing that bring hims onto a vengeful collision path with Dev is unveiled slowly during the movie . It all starts off with the abduction by Beera of the character based on Sita , represented as Ragini (played by Aishwarya). Ragini is the wife of Dev and this begins the odyssey set against some of the most spectacular landscapes shot most brilliantly and expectedly by Santosh Sivan.
Set against lush forests, deep gorges, inundated streams and constant cleansing of the earth by the abundant rain, Ragini tied and gagged is dragged along by Beera, with Dev and his band of other cops in pursuit. Beera is an unusual specimen, intense , unpredictable, maniacal yet a character with whom one does start forming a bond of affection and empathy as we realise a certain lovable and humane side of his character. Abhishesh plays Beera industriously , trying to get under the skin of the character even though there are mannerisms which could have been handled more subtly but then that is the directors outlook. In all a performance worth acknowledging set against the often churned out mediocrity of Bollywood. One can't ever relegate Aishwarya to the background and not the least here because she is the focal point of the movie, the one who is subjected to a cruel fate. She does portray her character with intensity but what annoys is her voice and associated intonation and that creates a certain hamming like effect. No doubt sensing the potential of such a role, she does seem to have put in that little extra effort. Her beauty, with time has not waned and she is graceful and classic at most times. Dev played by Vikram is powerful for the action sequences and when he is angry but surely Mani Ratnam should not be compromising on the power of speech expecting delivery in Hindi from a chap who is not a natural Hindi speaker. Govinda plays the character based on Hanuman and is at best a very marginal role. Others including brothers of Beera and the aggrieved step sister of Beera player by Priyamani are all just about OK. Now the reason that I believe this is not a memorable movie is on account of the fact that Mani Ratnam has excessively depended on visuals and even facial expressions to attempt to create a unique experience but this comes at the expense of dialogues which lack the punch and often is mistimed. The narrative does not really dig deep into the characters and reveal their flaws and strengths. Abhishek has done what he could as his best but was he the best choice? Finally the climax and the last 30 mins of the movie is a lot more engaging and does eventually make you leave the movie hall with a fair amount of satisfaction but with a lingering doubt as to if this is indeed the best we can now expect from Mani Ratnam ? Once you have finished watching the movie in a movie hall (not on DVD), think of the opening sequence.
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