Raavan Movie Review

Mani Ratnam is a  director who revolutionized Tamil cinema with films like Nayagan, Roja, Bombay and many more. In Hindi, some of his films like Dil Se and Guru are watched and loved even today. So quite obviously, Raavan starring Ratnam’s favorite actor Abhishek Bachchan carries huge expectations. The film adapted from one of India’s greatest epics, the Ramayana, also stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Tamil superstar Vikram, Govinda, Ravi Kissen, Nikhil Diwedi amongst others.

Raavan is an important film for Abhishek, who hasn’t tasted commercial success in a long time (Dostana was a multistarrer). But the film is most important for Reliance Big Pictures, who have invested truck loads of money into this Mani Ratnam film and are yet to recover from the Kites debacle.

The story is one that we all know. Raavan abducts Ram’s wife Sita in Ramayan, here it is Beera (Abhishek Bachchan) who has kidnapped top-cop Dev Pratap Sharma’s (Vikram) wife Ragini (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). On his way to rescue his wife, Dev Pratap is helped in the forest by Laksman (Nikhil Diwedi – Laksmana) and officer Sanjeevani Kumar (Govinda – Hanuman).

First the negatives, since there are so many!

  • What starts off as a promising film soon turns into a damp squid. Seriously, its hard to believe this is a Mani Ratnam film. The biggest problem with Raavan is the poorly written lead character of Beera. He neither looks menacing, nor does evoke fear. His makeup makes him look more like a buffoon and Abhishek just doesn’t get his dialogue delivery right.  And since the focus is entirely on Beera, you never really connect with the film.
  • The second half is a torture. Its stretched way too long, the pace is unbelievably slow and the Agnipariksha scene – where Ragini is asked to undergo a Polygraph test (Sach Ka Samna style) would have unanimously won the ‘worst scene of the year’ award, if there was one.
  • Also the film makes no sense, the writing is incredibly flawed. There are no twists nor any turns and if you know the story of Ramayana, this film is way too predictable. The whole sequence which was supposedly meant to be a twist – when Ragini actually starts getting emotionally attached to  Beera – is poorly written and executed.
  • Vikram as Dev Pratap Singh is wasted. He has limited screen time and absolutely no scope for histrionics.
  • Vijay Acharya’s dialogues don’t go well with the film.

Three and a half Positives

  • The well-choreographed action sequences, especially the fight on the bridge.
  • The cinematography – the locales, the jungles, the tough locations the film has been shot in –  have been beautifully captured by Santosh Sivan camera.
  • AR Rahman’s music is good. Behne De stands out.
  • The makeup artists get Aishwarya’s look right and she does well in certain scenes, which ain’t reason enough to watch Raavan.

The performances (in order)

  • Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is good in most scenes and looks incredibly beautiful for a lady in her late 30s.
  • Vikram gets it right in a short role without much scope.
  • Govinda is decent as Sanjeevani Kumar, although looks a little too old for the role. Nikhil Diwedi is good. Priyamani and the rest are wasted.
  • But what comes as terribly disappointing is Abhishek Bachchan’s performance. In every single Mani Ratnam film so far, Bachchan Jr has delivered, strangely this time around he doesn’t get it right.

Overall, Raavan is one of the most disappointing films of the year. The opening has been shockingly dull. The occupancy for some of the morning shows were as low as 15 – 20%.

Zero content with a poor opening spells disaster.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
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124 Comments

  • and the ugly one keeps hamming away ..the dialogues seem tpo be written at the spur of the moment ..it definately seems to be the worst film of the year .. veer rajneeti kites a re kids in front of this colossal disaster

  • aish doesnt seem to be in captivity at all she happily moves around whereever she likes even tries to free a captor!!!!some script this…

  • Well Indince: For the first time, you have given a good and honest review. I really liked ur review this time….

    1/5 is what it really deserves……

  • Indicine Team: 1 star is less for Ravaan.. it deserves 2.5/5 and this rating is for the cinematography, music and Aishwariya’s performance.

    Gurvinderpal: agree with your about the reviews of Taran Adarsh and what u said in yr comment.. I think he gets paid by the filmmakers whether they were good or some crap movies.. that’s the reason why he gives sometimes some high rates for craps and vice versa.. I don’t trust him anymore!

    Megha: Gurvinderpal is right.. u r 95% negative about bollywood movies.. I wonder.. really wonder..and I’m asking you the following question: why do u watch bollywood movies? better for u to give up and never waste yr time over this film industry!

  • i donno what u like in this film??? this film has been severely criticized by all the critics of the world.. see this site only.. indicine has minced no words in ridiculing this film.. i ask u a similar question ..why is that u and the likes of you like all the bollywood films that are made??? u always happen to laugh out with tummy bursting in our cheap comedies?? and your eyes swell up in such trash drama like veer and mnik?? i wonder if u ve got your histrionics right??
    this movie is the biggest bulderdash of alll times and i had predicted its dooom much before its release.. is that whats bugging you>>??? that i made a solid prediction of its disaster before u did?? are u jealous that i did not waste my money on watching few locales of kerala?? or was it in madhya pradesh??that i wasnt tortured by a rapid crop of songs within half an hour to annoy me??
    im warning to all people who are reading my comments to avoid this movie at all costs and let it die today with full honours

  • AND WHY SHOULD TARN ADARSH LEAN TOWARDS RAAVAN AND GIVE IT A BAD RATING??? hasnt he got a reputation to mar?? in todays times when ratings and reviews travel on facebook and twitter faster than the movies release print does he have to fib himself to let the movie down?? the fact is thaT THIS MOVIE CANNOT STAND ON ITS OWN FOR ONE DAY.. IM SURPRISED THAT IT HAS NOT BEEN TAKEN OFF. THE PRODUCERS ARE WISHING FOR THE SOUTH INDIAN VERSIONS TO DO WELL TO TAKE OUT THE COST.
    this has to be the worst movie of the world released at this point of time .. nothing even touches it in terms of rubbish. what music is ear pleasing??? i donno .. i dont have any songs of this film on my experia …and cinematography??? havent we seena ll this jungle in ramus films already??? i thinl 1 or less than l 0.5 is rating is suffcient .. indicine please do not change your rating ..

  • and dierie this is my industry not yours .. sitting from bharain u cant tell me what not to do..!!! i will watch them as i ve been doing and if they are banal i will spit my venom on them and the makers .. to me stars dont matter its the movie that matters .. why dont u keep your advise to yourseldf cos i see nowe that u have no taste at all houseful with 1/2 rating over your 2.5 makkes this film at par withat wretched comedy or that rajnnutty .. u just dont have any taste>>>>… imsure u guys are obsessed with our movies .. why dont you leave your obsession?? and be normal for a change?? and mr gurvinder you andtaran are the only ones giving it a skyhigh rating.. so what kinda newbie critic are u??? that shows u havew no taste for movies and on not understand its craft…

  • You know Megha I respect your opinion on Rajneeti and Raavan becoz its your own choice and brain for liking a disliking a movie but dont I dont know why you consider yourself to be a universally accepted person. And please dont take pride in saying that you predicted doom for raavan and ur prediction went right,,you had also predicted doom for RAJNEETI ,,,infact you thrashed it more than anyone but see it is one of the biggest blockbuster in bollywood. Keep your taste of movies to your self missy and dont criticize others for liking or disliking a movie..

  • if i liked houseful i would probably give it 2.0 but since i didnt ill give it 1.5..
    raavan is turning out to be another drona for abhishek it seems .. the word of mouth is really bad .. i guess u too turn your rating..into an all time low… there is no harm in cussing this movie cos it deserves all the flak its getting .. mani ratnams all films have been classy but not massy.. roja bombay etc all pick up waters of riverside or oceanside .. he is very fond of water but this act is getting repititive so also is his star cast .. he needs to come out of his bachchan obsession.and quickly ..he should leave this old couple behind and look for some fresh faces .. but thats in yonder .. whether he will be able to come out of this debacle

  • actually a few things just went right for rajneeti otherwise it was also meant for dustbin..

    the name itself went good with people in the interiors and single screens where people thronged to see what sonia gandhis autobiography is all about .. believe me a lot many people thought that kat is doing sonias life role in the movie and ranbir is playing his son rahul gandhi..!!! so much for our poor uneducated janata..
    pritams music was a semi hit and fm stations onnce like a umber are very fond of playing it on their own whims calling them listeners requests..!!

    prepublicity had been good what with ranbir and kat being croud favorites the others just hovered around them…
    but if you looka t the content of the movie its zilch .. ravan has nothing going for it… an old married couple who have a dwindling fan base. whom nobody wants to see.. here is my prediction..
    aish will consider having a baby now and by this year will get pregnant.. but if she doesnt ..she will miss the bus .. as it is at 37 she is very old to have a baby.. she definately looks old and odesnt have that virginal charm in her to carry off any more teenybopper and priyanka bipasha type roles .. and there are not too many mani saars to have it her way

  • Fathiya… hard to recommend movies purely for music and camera work.. Raavan was one of the most boring movies and coming from Mani Ratnam its a terrible disappointment. Yes, quite a few have liked it.. But overall it has been rejected.

    Megha, have you seen some of Ratnam’s earlier films? Any you liked?

  • thanx indicine for asking me ?? mani has been helped all the way by ar rehman who has given all his films rivetting music.i liked his roja when it was released which also introduced ar rehman to us.. but it was a one time watch .. even today if it comes on some channel i cannot see the atrocity ebing heaped on the heroine..
    bombay was only kuchi kuchi and humma humma but also helped by the topic it carried ..though we saw the dubbed version we all liked it then .. but today i will not like to see it..
    the problem with mani is that he keeps repeating his caste which is boresum.. manisha his muse then came again in dil se .. bit it was a long meandering movie with srk of those days at his stammering best then again it didnt work with me .. couldnt sit through the movie then and today its my least watched of srk films .. i would rahter see bazigar than see dil se ..
    guru didnt work for me cos it starred a very put off abhishek . somehow i just dont get to like this guy at all. maybe his pedigree and the fact that he got it too easy..???
    raavan falls flat in all department .. it was cumbersome to go and come back through those mini flashbacks.. and mani sir those long crane shots are passe.. the pace of the film was undecided .. there were quick cuts and other times long flowy shots .. mani didnt know whether he wanted to keep this as an action thriller or try and give out a message .. where was the need to put govinda on strings and make him jump..??
    mani needs to take a long sabbatical ..

  • also can somebody explain me the fall of aish shown twice???!!! i couldnt follow manis thought maybe somebody who liked the film can explain me that strange shot..!

  • Will I wll follow your steps and attitude..wl never mention your name while posting any comment.. when u don’t mention someone’s name.. so that means that u trash them n u hv no respect for them!! do u think yourself a better person or what?!! Now you must be proud that we, overseas ppl, watch yr movies, and 70 or 80% of yr movies r some crap.. few only good and we (only) watch the best movies in bollywood but u guys watch everything.. every movie releases in yr country!! and the one which r rated as some blockbusers, super hits, hits, never indicate that they’re some good movies.. some of yr flop movies actually were some unique, extra-ordinary, brillant movies e.g. Saawariya ( someone like u would trash it coz most of yr ppl never value some masterpiece or art works!! there4 they never “feel” the brilliance and the power of some directors!
    You r asking: why do I like these movies? Firstly.. I didn’t like Veer, it was a poor kachra movie ( go back to the movie reviews and some other pages n read my comments if u didn’t already, actually u r mixing up things!! I loved Veer Zara and not that stupid movie of Salman Veer!!
    Veer Zara was suppose to be a blockbuster movie.. but it was only a hit movie
    Tara Rampum was suppose to be a super hit movie.. but it was only a semi hit
    Umrao Jaan was suppose to be a super hit movie.. and it was a flop!! crazy audience!!
    Saawariya was suppose to be a blockbuster.. but it was a… flop!! stupid audience!!
    Dil Bole Hadippa was suppose to be a super hit movie, but it failed!!!! so sorry for that!!
    Welcome was supose to a big flop.. and it was a blockbuster or a super duper hit..right.. this silly comedy movie, but Housefull was much better.. it deserved what it got
    JTYJN ( that poooooor kachraaaa film, pooooor direction was a super hit!!!! hahahahaha.. didn’t I tell you? your ppl watch movies upside down!!!! that’s the way they’re in fact!! don’t know how to distinguish good from bad!!) and I think that Taran Adarsh liked thim movie.. I’ve to go back and see his review for this specific one!
    Golmaal & Golmaal Return were suppose to be 0/5, a flop movie.. but it was a super hit!!
    Wanted was suppose to be an average movie.. but it was a blockbuster.. that cartoon action movie
    Ghajini was suppose to be a hit movie, didn’t deserve more than that.. but it was a big big blockbuster and earned almost 200crores!! wow.. what a brilliant movie it was!! right?!!! how many negative points were in this movie?! wl u pls watch it again n tell me those stupid flaws!!!

    And many many other movies which we spit on them.. they’re (loved) and (admired) by the indian audience, so… what would u say now? Woud u just keep on defending and defending yr opinion no matter what?!!

    I found many negative things in Raavan, I didn’t like everything in this movie ( I hated Abhishek Bachan’s performance but didn’t want to say anything bad about his acting.. didn’t want to harm him there4 I said in my comment: he tried his best. but there’re quite things in the movie which “deserve” to be praised e.g. the cinematography, the music and songs, the camera shooting ( if u don’t like n u don’t enjoy these kind of music specially the song Behne de.. then wonder what you like in indian songs!!) Did u like ( bata’ata Bara from the movie Hifaazat? the first movie for Madhuri Dixit with Anil Kapoor? or did u like some of Raakhi Sawant’s items or it’s the time for disco? probably.. don’t know yr taste!) but u hv no right to ask me why I loved the music or the songs of this film.. many ppl loved them and praised them if u didn’t! I loved all the songs of Saawariya.. brilliant music and songs, but weren’t appreciated by indian ppl except Jabse Tere Nena.. but I never said: why didn’t they like the music and the songs of the movie?!

  • And I don’t like (your cheap) comedy movies.. I like the best of those (cheap) movies and watch them when there’re no good movies in cinema except (those) to kill the time with and hv some fun!

    So you’re admitting that all your comedy movies are some cheap!!!!

  • my dear90% of bollywood films are crap and flop . the stats is there for all to see .. yet u watch all of them because thjey star your fav male stars..!!! or else boredom takes u to spend money or else u do have money to spend even on veer!!! with all of your family members from small thumb sucking kids to grown ups!!!
    the entire narration and justification that u made has been done by u umpteen times and finds no rationale with anyone .. you wanted raavan to get 3 stars and your hesitancy to call abhishek bad relects that u do not watch films properly and do not give right comments.. the music is typically rehman.. whats new??? why should i like behne de ?? i have better taste .. i would listen to songs from paathshala and peppy numbers from i hate love story than listen to old rehman remixed.. wasnt keral captured well in asoka??
    what new is there in the cinematography???

    u keep talking of saanwariya all the time?? i wonder what is your liking to that masterprice as you call it .. i hope you buy the blue ray also and keep it under your pillow for eternity.. i wish you learn to dance on all the numbers if they haunt u even now..!!!
    why do u keep repeating what uve said in the earlier version of indicine .again and aagin .. that we in india are bad judge of movies and u srtting in bahrain munching sweetened popcorn are the absolute judge of our movies.. if we like or despise rakhee sawant it is our right ..cos she is one of us.. i think that last line answers it all

  • @fathiya I take ur points but saawriya, dil bole hadipaa and umrao jaan were crap movies,….,,,