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

  • Gurvinderpal: Is that your personal opinion or according to the box office calculation and reviews? Let me ask u a question: If u r a group of 6 ppl went to see one of those movies which u called them some crap movies, n while leaving the cinema you found that 4 of yr friends loved the movies and praised them..how would u react in that moment? U will hv a doubt that u didn’t concentrate enough on the movie so u hv to see it again coz most of yr friends loved the movie and then u wl stop calling it a crap and would say: well it’s not a bad film but I didn’t like it or I didn’t concentrate.. right?
    this way we judge any movie..according to people’s opinions and what they say! many ppl loved or hated some films but when they hear that those movie won or failed at the box office so immediately they’d hv a different opinion! we never see movies with our own eyes and senses.. we always watch movies as a group and we take other people’s opinion.. but thank God.. I’m not one of them, I liked the 3 movies and found them some good bollywood movies

  • Hahaha.. so u r admitting that 90% of bollywood movies are crap and flop! yeah.. that’s the right thing which u said.. but dear.. how many movies your ppl make in a year? I heard they make 500 films in a year including tamil, malyallum, etc… but we, overseas ppl, don’t watch those crap.. we only select the movies which we think they might be some good.. and while selecting some of Shahrukh, Salman, Aamir, Akshay, Ranbir’s ..for all the superstars.. even for RGV’s or others also we find 1 or 2 out of 10 are good.

    And dear.. we’ve some manner lift in this life if u don’t hv any or u never consider that while posting yr comments.. didn’t want to say anything bad about Abhishek’s acting because he’s the son of Mr. Amitab Bachan and I’ve a a great respect for him although he too makes many crap movies, but because he’s his so didn’t want to hurt him in anyway – if he came to visit this website or followed up the comments by the audience on websites – that’s the main reason which u may never understand!!

  • To be very honest Fathiya I havent seen UMRAO JAAN,,,but I have seen dil bole hadipaa and saawairya,,they are not some classy movies like u mentioned. To me saawariya deserves 2.5 and DBH 2 stars.
    If your last message was intented for me..

  • I dont why this lady is calling our tamil malayalam films as crap?? have u seen any one of them .. this atrocious ravn is also being dubbed in many south langausges along with the one starring vikram as hero ..even bambay was dubbed which you saw in hindi…if u havent seen the cinema stop calling them crap.. your 6 friends in the movie hall can exercise their rights by telling each other why they didnt like or did like the film and come to a common conclusion.. but here this ravaan is antrocious movie taking falk even from patal lok and our missus is fighting for a lost cause..!!! and she likes the music and locales… what can be more preposterous than that???
    she has respect gor big b so she will not say anything against junior b!!!
    i hope she has some respect for salim khan wrote scripts like deewar etc cos she finds salman films yukky
    i hope she has the same respect for dharam ji also cos bobby and sunny will be saved from adverse remarks from her..!!!
    though she gives ample respect to srk who doesnt have a sugar daddy behind him
    i think she gives some respect to aamir khan because of his pedigree too.. and kajo also because she is the daughter of tanuja but ajay doesnt get the same because he is veeru devguns son..!!!

    aha.some fine points these ..i think she liked sawariya because she doesnt want to annoy rishi and neetu whom she reveres.
    she must be seeing sawariya even today at her home theatre and to all the guests coming over too…
    i think my rating system given to me by god almighty is far superior than hers..
    at least i call a spade a spade..!!!! no sugarlicking candy dandy from me
    you guys just talk of bygones…. i wonder how many stars u would give to rock on and wake up sid..???

    i think this site has lost many members to the rival site or else she would get some flack for calling salmans veer a crap film …ask neuman dishant and the likes and u would run away ..whereas i stood firm during my attack on veer

  • and if dear amitabh does visit this site ..which im sure he wont he will not return totally unhappy..!!!

  • i hope and wonder if rakesh roshan too visits this site cos missus will not like to annoy him by writing aginst duggu..!!! but im not so sure whether amitabh would be reading taran adarsh/komal nahata or khalid mohds pages ..wonder if he did…?

  • Gurvindarpal: these 3 movies were some examples only and I loved Umrao Jaan, saw it 3 times ( all our ppl loved UJ) it was a perfect movie, a sad story but perfect in direction, camera work, costumes, songs, performance by both Abhishek & Aishwariya and a great story.. it didn’t work in india because the indian audience were under a drug thinking that the original was a masterpiece!! so why the remake? that was their question.. and the original in fact was poor in direction! therefore they rejected the movie without even watching it!! ( go to the movie review and read on this page all our comments)

    There were lots of movies which deserved to be hit or super hit movies in India but failed!! Did u like Raajniti? Read my review on this website, I’m really surprised why this movie became a blockbuster in India!! what was soooo good in this movie?! what I noticed that the audience in India love anything relates to his/her real life whether it was in politics, relgion, beliefs or whatsoever, so they’ll win at the box office even if the movie was poor in direction with some bad performance, bad makeup, and boring scenes.. and honestly.. I enjoyed watching Ravan and didn’t get bored but Raajniti was a boring film for me, and many ppl walked out from the cinema hall and left!! Do u think the movies which were some super hit or blockbusters in india were all some good movies!! there’re 100 of reasons for any movie to be flop or a hit.. I think ppl loved to see Katrina and her beauty there4 they paid the tickets, loved the movie for her sake!!

  • hers the review we all asked for ..
    Raavan Box Office: Disaster, Act of God, Pathetic

    Raavanan Review – Tamil Shit Better than Hindi Shit

    Somebody, please, please euthanize that moron Abhishek Bachchan tout de suite.

    And while we’re are at it, let’s pull the life-support plug on the other nincompoops too, i.e. Ash, Vikram and Mani Ratnam.

    For it’s this wicked quartet that bamboozled us of 2-hours and 28-minutes and some precious $$ by falsely promising to show us a movie.

    Pathetic Shit
    Folks, no ifs and buts here, Raavan is a pathetic piece of shit.

    It boggles the mind that a man with 27-years of experience as a director, yes, we’re talking of Mani Ratnam here, can put out shit like Raavan and try to fob it off as a movie.

    Only in the Bollywood cesspool, folks. Nowhere else can such garbage debut on so many screens worldwide.

    By the way, this irresponsible clown Mani Ratnam is also responsible for the screenplay.

    Too Many Problems
    There are too many problems with Raavan.

    Let’s start with the story.

    Since Indian movie-makers are just unable to think of engrossing story-lines they are forced time and again to fall back on the old epics. A fortnight back, it was Raajneeti (based on the Mahabharat) and today it’s Raavan.

    As is obvious to the dullest of the dullards, Raavan borrows heavily from that other great Indian epic Ramayan.

    And so we have this so-called movie Raavan set in the present but with a cast of characters drawing from the Ramayan.

    Abhishek Bachchan is Beera (the demon king Raavan), an amalgam of Robin Hood and a dangerous criminal holed up in the jungle terrain of a fictional area called Laal Mati.

    Abhishek’s real-life wife Aishwarya Rai plays Ragini (Sita of Ramayan), the ethereally beautiful woman Beera has kidnapped in retaliation for police brutality.

    Vikram is the dark-glasses wearing police officer Dev (Ram). And then there are an assortment of supporting characters like Hanuman (played with some elan by Govinda), Vibhishan et al.

    But in this twist on the Ramayan, we have the camera focusing more on Raavan and less on Ram.

    That’d be fine too if only the story manages to hold your attention. But the shoddy screenplay leaves no chance of that.

    Shallow, boring story, and how so. Everything gets the superficial treatment here. Be it the love between Dev and Ragini, the police war on Beera and his cohorts, Beera’s attacks on the police or the growing fondness of Beera for Ragini or her Stockholm Syndrome (??) like behavior.

    Hopeless Caricature
    If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times. Abhishek Bachchan is a hopeless retard with an AQ (Acting Quotient) lower than that of a baboon. This acting thing is just beyond this creature.

    What Abhishek does on the screen ad nauseum, ad infinitum is not acting but a grotesque perversion of it.

    Hopeless miscast in the title role, Abhishek lacks the gravitas and screen presence to pull off such a pivotal character.

    Utterly unconvincing, with eyes wide open often and a weird laugh, Abhishek looks and behaves like a whacko on an overdose of cocaine.

    Unlike other great villains in Indian movies, notably Amjad Khan as Gabbar Singh in Sholay, Abhishek Bachchan never once evokes fear in Raavan but seems strangely comical.

    Never has the mighty demon king Raavan been reduced to a weird caricature through the actions of a pygmy on the screen.
    When he’s with the fellow tribals, when he’s with his kidnap victim, when he’s fighting the cops and in the key confrontations (with Ragini and with the cop Dev), Abhishek is all at sea. Beyond salvage.

    When the woman calls him a janwar (animal), the simpleton laughs like a compliment has been proffered.

    If Abhishek is the shortest midget in the acting menagerie in Raavan, his co-stars Aishwarya Rai and Vikram) are not far behind.

    When she’s not tormenting us with her shrill screams, Aishwarya is too wooden to show even a spark of acting talent. Be it in the initial confrontation with Beera or the polygraph test moment with her husband on the train or the final scenes the woman is a nightmare as far as acting.

    Oftentimes, Aishwarya never looked like she was a kidnap victim in the rough milieu of a jungle but more like a beauty queen with some minor discoloration on the face.

    Vikram, the South Indian actor who has demonstrated some acting skills in the past, is a complete disappointment here.

    Not once do we see the anguish after his wife is kidnapped or the passion for his wife in the bedroom scene nor the aggressive determination to finish Beera. Au contraire, the fella has the look of a desperately constipated man whose bottle of laxatives is missing.

    Rest of the Drivel
    Much has been said of Raavan’s supposedly breathtaking photography. While we would not deny that the movie has been filmed in the picturesque, lush jungles of India it’s by no means a work of art.

    Neither the music nor the accompanying picturization add much value to the movie. The picturization is mediocre at best.

    Also, there’s poor chemistry between Vikram and Aishwarya Rai, an inexcusable sin considering they are supposed to be deeply in love with each other and the raison d’etre for much of the movie.

    Priyamani didn’t do any damage in the short role.

    And the ending was, oh, so limp. Besides being utterly implausible.

    Stay Away
    Folks, Raavan is a despairingly bad movie completely unworthy of your attention.

    If ever there’s a Bollywood movie with all downside and no upside, it’s Raavan, it’s Raavan, it’s Raavan.

    Do not even consider wasting your time or money on such third-rate trash.

    Show these shameless devils your middle finger with gusto.

    *********
    Extras:
    We were the sole viewers for the first show of Raavan on the East Coast.

  • and our lass from uae loves the movie!!! umrao jaan too..ha ha ha..!!!
    one day amitabh will surely praise her adoration to his son by handing her the best fan award ..though he amy not like one of her comments on himself when she says”altghough he also makes some crap films”..ha ha ha ..she is just too hilarious friends

    i really like the bit where she acknowledges her fondness for the bachchan family though she never exercised her right to veto when jaya ji wanted the rajya sabha seat.. oh the bachchans forgot to ask her???

    saying she cant criticize the smaller b because the big b will gey offended ..jeez this has to be the creepiest remark i ever read.. does she criticize her doodhwala i wonder?? maybe not cos the family might get upset..ha ha ha
    and may not deliver milk ..does she have any opinion on obama??? maybe not ..cos she may not want to annoy his wife michelle..wow…

  • she enjoyed ravana because she was watching that film in her country with her people …and people from her country walked out of rajneeti but she didnt.. she watched the entire crap.. also happens in her country.. obviously people in her country were not intersted in indain politics so those people left and those awiting katrina to expose waited till the end.. simple…yet to her discomfiture rajneeti became a hit by us druggies and the same ol druggies i.e we the people of india rejected raavan.!! we druggies also rejected sawariya and umrao jaan because health conscious that she is we do not drink bournvita lke her and watch higher i q cinema!!! as she does .. she obviosly has the brains of an einstein and she delivers the third reasoning of e=mc2 with two different formulaes.. which we dont follow cos we in india are on drugs!!!. some statement for us should make us rejoice an open compliment thrown to us at dismissing raavan. as a piece of shit…
    wonder we could give the compliment back to her in a more civilized way than in a jungle jargon which i think she has picked up from the jungles of laal mati.

  • hey megha what is with you missy just cool down,,this is a discussion forum not some criticising forum,,please dont insult others…
    @ Fathiya,,,Like you I enjoyed watching Raavan but it could have been a much better movie…I am surprised that you didnt liked Rajneeti.. You know there are very few movies which are in my all time favourites and Rajneeti is one of them. Everything about the movie is good,,and yes these things really dont happen in politics and please no mumbai bhai can become a doctor by clearing PMT,,but yet we liked munnabhai,,we like star wars,,super hero flicks,,which in reality dont happen but it is the power of story telling which makes us believe it.
    And in Rajneeti Prakash had crafted a wonderful story and told it with conviction. I watched it two times and every single person in the cinema hall loved the movie. Infact everyone loved it except for you and megha…

  • lol fathiyas 6 friends dont agreee over a film and here the entire movie hall loved the film ..i wish we two should have been visiting that likeable movie hall of yours.. dear please tell us which is this cinema hall where all people universally like to watch peoples politics..!!!
    and by the way you should stick to your review ..after all youve written it.. i wonder which film you will totally dislike?? is there any such film ?? now dont come out with aag!!! is there any movie this year whom you will give less rating than ravan?? and please dont name obscure films>>!!!

  • there would be difernce in a makebelieve comedy and a make believe political thriller!!!! the question is when u go out to ape an epic u forget that such relationships dont occur in contemporary times .. but praksh jha just made up everything and politics is no comedy where u can kid the audience ..it is very serious stuff

  • hmmmmm for the movies released this year which I have seen my ratings would be as follows…

    veer–2.5
    chance pe dance—2.5
    badmaash company—3
    houseful–2
    paathshala–1.5
    right ya wrong–3
    atithi tum kab–3
    phoonk2—1

  • “but praksh jha just made up everything and politics is no comedy where u can kid the audience”

    If you call this kidding the audience then I would say Prakash Jha has fooled the entire indian and overseas audience since RAJNEETI has done a blockbuster business in india and oversees and I would want to see him fooling us all again,,but some wise brains like you will be diaspponited again…

  • Why u try to show that u r so serious and so marvelous in judging movies and u loved a pure crap commercial movie like Amar Akbar Anthony!! look who’s talking?!!!!!!

    Well I don’t watch all yr bollywood movies to calculate and name them, which one were bad movies!!! I watch only what I think it’s good.

    Let’s close this chapter and end our discussion.. we’ll reach nowhere dear!! we’re just different in our liking or disliking e.g. if u like and worship Aamir Khan and I do for Shahrukh.. can we convince each other to change our liking or disliking? No.. right? so please let’s end this discussion.

    Indicine Team: what’s next after Ravan.. which movie is going to release this week?

  • Gurvinderpal: Let me clear this for you.. I didn’t say that Raajniti is a bad movie.. no.. if u want to know what I didn’t like so please see the movie review and some other pages on this site.. I didn’t like the cast of the movie.. found them in some wrong shoes!! in short.. Ranbir was wrong for his role..Katrina too.. didn’t like Manoj Bagpai’s acting and his look in this movie.. was a bit slow in the second part and got little bored ( for me.. the best 2 politics movies which I saw in hindi were Satta and Sarkar1), I loved Satta and Ravina Tandon’s performance.. very powerful movie.. much better than Raajniti.

  • And yeah.. I posted my comment to you before reading all the lousy comments which u posted!! any way.. I’d rather be a a good person, a better person and not to insult u in return or repeat yr words or say bad language.. so better for you not to stop it.. if u won’t.. then you’ll regret it!!

    Indicine Team: don’t blame me if I replied with the same weapon.

  • and now AAA is crap??? whats with u yaar??is harry potters last outing great for you??? i think amitabh will be annoyed to read that.. and u certailny dont want to anoy him do yoy?? he got a filmfare award for it yknow…
    gurvinder ji i dont know what yardtick u use to rate movies!!!only pathshaala comes close to raavan and just by a whisker too …u re not sure of phoonk ..between 1-2?!!!
    either all the movies u didnt mention are the ones below1.5 or they are all 3.5 plus.. please clarify..!!!

    how badly will the trio be hit by this debacle??? surely may not affect them much.. thats apity….
    however good rajneeti may run .. it will not churn out any awards for prakash jha.. and the interval that praksh takes to amke movies im happy that hes not making anything new in a while thats some mercy on us nd im not awaiting any thing from him
    next on my hit list would be dabaang not for salman but to see how sonakshi performs.. shes the chip of the old banyan tree shotgun who was the worst after abhishek in looks and acting department ,, and im sure the daughter will be no less and may turn out to be the reason for the films letdown…
    the problem here is that people do not accept the drawbacks of the film even if they are shown to them in broad daylight .. they want to stick to their own rulebook and not understand the words of wisdom.. once that changes and u put faith in me u will see the bright side of cinema .. once u accept that megha is saying truth and only the truth without any bias towards any strar or its pedigree or rating u wont have to looka t the movie witha torchlight..!!!

  • when u watch only good films why did you watch that crappy veer and now this yet mildly crappy raavan?? or that constipatedly slow paathshala??