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My Movie - Raavan
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21 June 2010

My Movie – Raavan
The ‘Beera’ interpretation of Raavan

Raavan is a different movie-one incapable of being judged by the quintessential formula movie criteria- just as the title character of Beera. Intriguing one moment and scary the other…the movie captivates in parts. All the hype leading up to the movie release has managed to draw in crowds and the fact that this is the latest offering from the epic film maker Mani Ratnam is one reason for the interest. True, Raavan has a lot of pluses to its credit. Starting with the ensemble cast- Abhishek Bachchan shines in this challenging role of a villager who is supposed to be at ten places at once. He is a law unto himself and has his own parameters of measuring right and wrong. Patronized by people of his village, he also manages to terrify those who go against him.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan shows that she’s more than a pretty face and excels in certain scenes. I particularly liked the scene where she prays to God to give her strength and not to expose the good angle of the enemy. Her beauty is well captured and all the close-up shots prove that it is possible to speak volumes through your eyes. Vikram who plays a police officer, Dev, makes a good hindi debut. Priyamani in a brief cameo as Beera’s sister leaves a mark.

The strong point of the movie is the inspiration that it draws from the Ramayana making it a modern day adaptation of the epic. There is the good brother ( Vibhishana) who wants to make peace with Dev and the ruthless brother(Kumbhakarna) and then the very entertaining Sanjeevini(Hanuman) who helps the police. Nevertheless, there is a slight twist in the tale which adds to the suspense. There’s also the excellent cinematography by Santhosh Sivan and Manikandan. Every scene is aesthetically appealing and a visual treat. Guess the beauty of India hasn’t been so expertly showcased in all its magnificence until now. The music of A.R. Rehman is absolutely hypnotic but it’s a pity that the song Ranjha Ranjha wasn’t totally played and comes in bits. The background track adds to the energy of the movie. Shobana’s choreography for the song ‘Piya Piya’ is mellifluous.

The major disappointment was the screenplay-we have the trademark ‘Mani’ flashback to present scene switches and the bomb blasts. The movie fails to sustain interest and loses narrative pace at times. There are also some unnecessary scenes like the attack on the police in the beginning. The omniscient facet of Beera isn’t effectively portrayed and though the character has a scope for awesome histrionics, its impact on the audience is weakened by the large effusion of actors who just come and go. There is an abrupt end to some characters. The picturization of ‘Thok de killi’ could have been more energetic to work in tandem with the powerful beats. Aishwarya’s screaming tends to go a little overboard and Abhishek seems slightly repetitive .

What Raavan loses in all these aspects it makes up with its technical brilliance, novel conceptualization, and the hard work of its crew which is evident in each frame. Abhishek brings a certain vulnerability to the brute and we can’t help but sympathize with Beera. In the end one is left to conclude that any person isn’t born good or bad…it is just the circumstances which make a man what he is and decide how he behaves. A memorable experience indeed.

-Lalitha Spoorthi
lspoorthi at yahoo dot co dot in

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