Raavanan ராமனை வில்லனாக்கிய நவீன ராமாயணம்
This modern day retelling of the epic Ramayana by Mani Ratnam was one of the most awaited Tamil films in the recent times. But if mythical Raama and Raavana were to witness this brainchild of the great Mani Ratnam, the ten headed one is sure to gleefully embrace Mani while the former boils in anger. Such is the depiction of characters in this modern day analogy that one would feel that Mani has twisted the story to his own liking. Sadly the story is the film’s undoing, with no complexity nor emotions that we have seen from Mani Ratnam’s A grade movies such as Kannathil Muththamittal and Bombay. His knack for handling controversial and complex subjects desert him this time, and what we see here is an average movie that is uplifted only because of the visual splendor which almost makes us watch this movie in awe, backed up by world class music from the genius AR Rahman. So from an aesthetic point of view, one has to accept that the movie is watchable.
The movie fails to produce the magic that was expected from the synergy when the best in business combine. The great movie maker, musical genius and a stellar cast including ever versatile Vikram and the lovely and talented Aishwarya, can only produce a below par performance (with the exception of AR). The film lacks substance and suffers from the fact it has been artificially manipulated with not just the characters, but screenplay too, to synchronize with the Ramayana. Mani Ratnam has overdosed the movie with the metaphor of Raamaya that it is not delivered as a gripping tale one would expect from an incredibly talented director.
Do directors get wiser with their age and experience? It is a question some may ask in the light of Raavanan. K Balachander produced some of his best movies during his early days. I believe Mani Ratnam is like Wine, gets better with age. Raavanan is not Mani Ratnam’s worst movie, nor is his best, same goes for AR Rahman, Vikram and Aishwarya as far as Raavanan is concerned. Its hard to imagine what could have been, had these greats saved their best in this much anticipated movie. Alas, it was not to be. This is a minor slip for Mani Ratnam, and this movie is no crap. But for once he is not able to produce a highly acclaimed movie. Expect him to bounce back with a classic in the next try.
My rating **/5 (2 out 5)
Watch the Trailer here