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

  • btw i posted my comment at 2.30 and u posted at 3.40 so how come u didnt read them??? u havent a spot of answer fro any of my queries though.. its always me myself and myself with u. and ure blaming me for a language abuse ?? aht have i said ain an abusive language?? infact uve called us indians as druggies for a fact.. please check your comment before hurling accusations at others and seeking permission from the site makers to turn violent..!!!

  • @megha
    my name is khan is not trash drama its pure drama thiis show that u dont appreciate real cinema even jamous cameron dud liked and was eager to be signed an autograph from srk for it

  • i think that megha wants the filmmakers to reimbourse her money that s why she targets every movie released if she kept doing dso she will be mad in les than a week better see a psychiatrist because you suffer from a paraniod symptom and hugeegoist think urself the best judge one film which escaped ur damn curse is my name and rajniti grow up megha we are in2010 arent we
    i agree withu fathia indian audience has to have 100 years before they cherish a masterpiece by fedor dostvesky white nights aka sanwaryia

  • i can fancy them bieng tortured by their nuty mom forcing them
    to take tablet amar akbar antony at 8 0clock
    another tablet at 12 oclock
    other one tablet before sleep arround 9oclock

  • oh dear it seems this guys yousufs exile is over..!!!! it seems the treatment has been good and during his exile he found his long lost appa too.. the family is united now .. and during the treatment they were served full doses of mnik in the morning rajnutty in the afternoon and ravan in the night to ward off the evil spirits .. and it seems to be working too .. yousuf is gatting sane day by day and is taking interest in the welfare of my children too .. im very grateful to him that he has started to think about me too in his remission period . ihope his treatment gets over fast .. keep well yousuf ji and get well soon.. i will hope that the abled one gives your family enough strength to cope up with your illness

  • Fine.. u don’t want to end this discussion.. I think u r totally free n got nothing to do in yr life except visiting this web and post yr comments!!
    Why I watched Veer? do u want an honest answer or some lies: I’d rather be honest.. when I saw the poster and the trailer of Veer I told myself: this is a crap movie for sure.. Salman look good as a warrior but I don’t think that the movie is a high quality and a good direction, and didn’t like the actress and the trailer but later, after reading some reviews and ppl’s opinion thought I was wrong in my conclusion and better to see it first and then judge it.. went to see it.. didn’t like it, left the cinema after 40 minutes and immediately posted my comment.. some ppl were praising it!! did they really like it or they were just blind coz they were a bunch of Salman Khan’s fans.

    I wonder why.. really wonder.. why London Dreams didn’t win at the box office and it was a much better movie for Salman!!

  • I was in a hurry because I was so busy, so missed some of yr comments, didn’t see them only after posting the first comment.. that’s what happened.

    And I don’t know why u sound like a man for me.. can’t believe that you’re a girl!!

  • Hi Yousif.. were hv u been.. dissapeared for a while!

    Let me discribe Megha for you: if u took a right turn.. she’ll take the left one.. even if the left turn wl take her into the woods or wl fall in the waterfalls and die!!! that’s how she is in fact, to prove to everyone that she’s right!! and I don’t know why we do answer her! we must ignore her comments.. that’s the right thing to do Yousif.

  • exile what exile i was present if you read the other pages you will find my comments

  • i dont have to have movies to excorcise evil spirit only my iman in allah is enough to mke them fear my way
    to ur knowledge i havent watched rajniti nor ravan yet i dont watch any indian movie just for watching sake i am selective and iam ready to watch my name is khan every day as full dose but i dont like to impose my liking or disliking on evry body like u do
    but i really feel for u because you seem mad driven crazy and nutty that s y you cant see the deftness of a fawess movie likemyname is khan
    i advise to stop watching movies and enter asylum as soon as possible because you carachter is ke that of streeetcar named desire blanche dubois

  • ??? ???? ??? ..??? ????? ..!!

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  • Youssef: if u like politics with a good story so watch Satta, a very good movie, you’ll love it.. if Raajneeti’s cast were some different actors, it’d hv been an excellent movie, it’s a one time watch only.

    Raavan: you’ll (hate) Abhishek Bachan’s acting ( I just wished if Shahrukh was in this movie) you’ll love the cinematography, the music, specially the first song Behne de.. I want to watch it again in cinema just for this scene.. if u love indian songs and u often listen to them so Ranja Ranja is also so good but it’s not in full in the movie, just a part, Aishwariy’a acting was also good, the causway fighting was so good in the last part, but allover I don’t think you’ll admire the movie.. did u see Dil Se? I saw it 10 times so far and will see it another 10 times as long as I live.. that’s Mani Ratnam’s best ever!!

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    3/9/2010 12:02:00 PM
    ?????? ???? ?????? – ????? ????? ?? ???? ???????? ????????? ?? ???????? ??????? ?? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ????? ?????? ?????? (???? ???).

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    ??????? ?????? ????? ???????? ?? ???????? ??????? ??? ????? 11 ?????? 2001? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? ??? ??? ???? ???? “????? ???”? ???? ????? ?????? ?????? ?????? “????? ???”? ???? ?? ???????? ??????? ?????? ?? ???? ?? ??? ???? ????? ???????.

    ??? ?????? ??????? ????? ????? ?? ??? 11 ?????? ?????? ?????? ?? ???? ?????? ?? ???????? ??????? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??? ?? ????? ??????? ???????.

    ???? ?????? ????? ????: “??? ??? ??? ?????? ????? ??????? ?? ?? ??? ?????? ?? ????? ????? ????? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ???????? ???????? ???? ????? ???? ??????? ??????? ??????? ?? ??? ?? ??????? ??? ????????? ??? ??????? ????? ???????”.

  • yes fathia dil se is unique
    the choreography of chaya is the hardest ever two dancers died on the train and the song is the nined best song in the world according to bbc poll

  • also srk acting is mindblowing
    in fact srk was surpassing the world by 3years before nine eleven now he s surpassing the world by hundred years

  • in fact amarakbar antony is the most overrated film ever and big doesnot deserve the best actor award for it

  • i still dont understand why a movie like swades didnnt do well at the indian boxoffice whie a silly movie lagan did

  • No Yousif: Satte pe Satta was a comedy movie for Amitab Bachan.. Satta is a powerful politics movie for Raveena Tandon.. it’s about a girl who doesn’t like politics, never want even to talk about it with her frineds.. and her fate, distney leads her to a family who’re all politicians and hd to live among them.. a nice story.. won’t till you more.. just watch it, old, released maybe 10 years ago.. can’t remember but still good, I saw it again a few month ago.

    I wll watch Angali, wl try to get the dvd

    Why Swades which was one of Shahrukh’s best didn’t win at the box office.. I’ll tell u the reason.. because it was slow for the indian audience.. didn’t make them laugh..that’s the reason!! Even Billu which had a great message in the past scenes of the movie and made me cry.. Shahrukh made me cry by his speech.. also didn’t touch their heart.. it was boring for them.. no comedy scenes.. that’s why!!

    But no Yousif.. Lagaan was a very fine good movie.. probably u meant to mention another movie.. didn’t u like Lagaan? It was very good and deserved to win the award as the best indian movie in a decade.. watch it again.. I’m sure u wl love it.

    OSO was also overrated.. a crap movie was a blockbuster.. because of those stupid comedy scenes.. for me was a poor direction, unfortunately this movie was released in the same time with Saawariya, there4 the audience didn’t pay attention to Saawariya and went to watch OSO instead ( the indian audience doesn’t like love stories and romantic scenes, probably they love hot scenes and the appearance of Raaki Sawant and her nudity..haha!!) but Saawariya was loved by only romantic ppl.. I read many many comments by indian ppl praising the movie when it released in India.

  • no fathia lagaan is totaly crap its story is very bad and poorly directed and deforms history facts it s overrrated
    lkewise oso isnot a crap its just a homage to reincarnation genre its good in fact the the last song daasetan is better than all other indian movies its very spectacular and resume of the story and very moving the last portions i agree that the story isnt new but its a homage to bolywood and holywood sides

  • i dont know why i have a feeling that ravena tandon is a jinx to srk movies each time she acts with him the movie flops although she is one of my fav actresses