Director : Mani Ratnam
Produced by: Madras Talkies
Actors: Vikram Kennedy, Nikhil Dwivedi, Govinda, Priyamuni, Ravi Kishan, Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan
I've been excited to right this review. Critics have just given bad reviews. To start with, i went today to the Big Cinemas Odeon (one of the best movie theaters in Delhi) great hall and great sound. Good setting to watch the movie anyday.
Let's begin then, the movie's plot is known by virtually every Indian and some indonesian's and south asian's also. The Ramayan remember? Unlike Raajneeti which was just partially based on Mahabharatha (Another Epic, involving Pandavas and kauravs...) Nothing has changed much. Except for a few twists that come later in the movie.
You can imagine the shock i received when in a setting of Kerala the characters started speaking a north Indian Hindi Dialect (aparantly though shot in Kerala, the movie had always been set in North-Eastern Parts)
The movie began with one of the most thrilling starts, I've ever seen in recent movies. That couldn't last more than 10 minutes. The movie from then starts the downwards steep slope of the pace. It slugs and bores you. The only things then left is the other world, the world of the troop led by the Ram (i.e. Dev) of the movie, Vikram Kennedy, where they do have a few interesting sequences. That pace the movie began at, is restored by the end of the first half. So you are not leaving the theater then anyway.
However, there are other things in the first half which keep you in the seats. First the scenic beauty of the whole rural setting of the movie. Second the acting of Vikram Kennedy and Nikhil Dwivedi (See I didn't mention the 'Raavan' himself anywhere.) and the last is Govinda himself who plays the part of the forest guard and with his wity dialogues and good acting.
The second half is much more entertaining and much more gripping than the first one. The director here has carefully shuffled through the parts of the past. The last half an hour full of action and twists and turns is also the best part of the movie. The whole part of the story of 'Beera's' Sister has also been done well.
The background score of the movie, throughout is very good. A.R. Rahman is back with one of his better compositions. So that helps the movie a great deal.
The director as said before gets a twist. He tries from the beginning to give sympathy to our Raavan (Beera). The cruelty of Raavan has vanquished. The good side is only visible. And as my brother puts it "Beera is too vegetarian to be called Raavan".After all you just don't become evil by being called evil (that's what's done in the movie) And when the title of the movie is Raavan you don't expect that. The acting of Abhishek Bachchan is also only average.
The acting is one of the major parts in any film. Actors Vikram Kennedy, Nikhil Dwivedi, Govinda, Ravi Kisan (who by the way is playing 'beera's' brother) and Aishwariya Rai Bachchan do their roles very well. Abhishek Bachchan is average. Priyamuni is good in the small cameo she gets to play.
Overall, Although the movie has a sluggish pace in some parts and the Raavan himself is not that cruel to be called one. The movie is watchable. And provides some good entertainment. I can recommend this one, its not very bad. However, its not Mani Ratnam's best movie. There have been worse movies in the recent past this one is surely far above them.
Rating: *** Stars [Good]