Tamil Movie Review: Raavanan

(The poster looks impressive and the trailer somehow entices us to go to the cinema and get the whole “picture” but that is about it. Poster source: Wikipedia)

This has to be one of the most anticipated Tamil movies for the year but there is a big problem…

The problem is, despite having plenty of stars in it (Vikram, the beautiful Aishwarya Rai, Prithviraj, Prabhu and “good to see again” Karthik) and music by an Oscar winner, AR Rahman, the movie is directed by Mani Ratnam. That is biggest problem with this movie.

Everyone knows that when Mani Ratnam sits on the director’s seat, the movie is going to be very technical. Just look at his previous movies – Roja, Dil Se, Yuva, Kannathil Muthamittal and Guru and you will realised that having a good plot is secondary in priority for Mani Ratnam (although there are some exceptions like Mouna Ragam and Thalapathi). For this very reason, I was not keen to watch his latest movie – Raavanan (Toy Story 3 looked even more promising).

Despite the name, it is not a remake of the ancient story of Raavanan – the bad guy who kidnapped the wife of the policeman turns out to be a hero sort of and the good guy, the policeman is actually no angel either.

Simple plot – bad guy kidnaps the wife of policeman, policeman goes after the bad guy, wife learns about the bad guy, the bad guy dies in the end. That is pretty much all we have to say about the plot. But what makes a Mani Ratnam movies stand out is how he makes the other things looking brilliant – the location, the background, the acting expressions, music and scenes.

(Hey, forget about the 2 characters and the story – just look at the background – Mani Ratnam seems to say. Image source: Indiaglitz)

OneIndia reports:-

Mani Ratnam, one of the film maker, who enjoys the top spot from three decades in Indian cinema, has disappointed the neutral viewers with his newly released film Raavanan. Yes, comparing with his previous Blockbusters like Thalapathy, Nayakan and Mouna Ragam, this modern Raavanan is no where and a boring experience!

It seems that the director has completely lost his midas touch and just presented the film with excellent Indian aquatic and forest locations like a documentary video of ‘Incredible India campaign’!

In fact there is no perfect story in the film. It looks like Mani has just collected all the news paper cuttings and made his script. It seems that he has simply copied the outlines of the epic Raamayan and mixed it with the modern day Robinhood Veerappan’s story.

IndiaGlitz on the other hand reports:-

‘Raavanan’ is for those who appreciate quality cinema ingredients. Director’s touch, camera, art, etc are prominent yet something is missing. Don’t look for the plot; it is quite obvious (from the trailers).

Watch it for Mani Ratnam’s direction expertise, Vikram’s performance, Aishwarya’s beauty and the beautiful locations!

This was branded Mani’s best movie by a few but on second thought, the master’s best is yet to come.

As I said, he makes very good technical movies and Raavanan is no exception to this. But then again, does it means making a very technical movie means one cannot have a very good plot? For some die-hard Mani Ratnam fans, the answer may be an affirmative yes but I beg to differ. Anjathey is also a technical movie but is also backed by one superb plot making it one neat package.

It is difficult for ordinary movie goers (like me) to judge plot-less technical movies – they can come to watch the movie, cuci-mata watching the actresses (or actors), listen to “sometimes technical as well” AR Rahman music and then go back looking like they are missing something. Unless you are student, learning the fine aspect of movie making, you may not be able to appreciate this latest offering by Mani Ratnam.

Final say

The plus points: Good enough to be used as teaching material for future movie makers

The negative points: Don’t bother to look for a story in this movie – there is almost none

(Click here for other movie reviews)

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