Count Down Begins ..!



Written By Chiyaan Vikram on Thursday, June 24, 2010 | 10:31 PM

Are you not sick of being in awe of this man? Can you ever get enough of his pure, unparalleled genius and his immortal masterpieces? Yes we are talking about Mani Ratnam, probably the finest film maker this country has ever produced and talking about masterpieces, the man relentlessly adds another one to his kitty with RAAVANAN.

Loosely based on the great Hindu epic, The Ramayana, the film follows the events happening over a period of 14 days where Veeriah (Vikram), a Robin Hood like character kidnaps Ragini (Aishwarya Rai), who happens to be the wife of a street smart cop Dev (Prithviraj) in revenge for the latter having an indirect hand in the cruel fate of his half sister Vennila (Priyamani).

Such eye popping locales, such visual poetry, are probably a first for Indian Cinema. The cinematography is quite simply, out of this world! The way the camera captures those tiniest of tiny things like a droplet of water falling on a leaf and breaking into pieces and the early morning sunlight seeping through the little holes in a palm leaf will make you fall in love with the magic of this magnificent art!

The greatest plus for this movie is that it does not worry about morals or the need for a quintessential lead man who is all white at heart with no strings attached. Indeed that is where the sheer class of Mani Ratnam comes to the fore as

he colors the two protagonists in equal shades of black and white, not allowing you to pick sides or make judgments for the best part of the movie's surprisingly short runtime of 2 hours.

Having said that the film seldom lets up or sags, as it sets a scorching pace right from the start with some significant events from the Ramayana, beautifully yet believably interwoven into the narrative. (Karthik's character for example is straight out of the epic.)

Oh, what can you say about the performances! If Vikram stuns you with a myriad of emotions crossing his face in a matter of seconds, Aishwarya Rai mesmerizes you with her portrayal of a brave, yet helpless woman starting to doubt where her loyalty really lies. While Karthik and Prabhu, especially the former are a sheer delight to watch, Priyamani tugs at your heartstrings in the shortest of cameos.

Rahman's music, especially the rich and powerful background score goes a long way in helping the movie attain almost cult status.

On the flip side, though there are so many positives, 2 hours seems too short a runtime to give proper character sketches and the romance between Dev and Ragini seems too half baked to make an impact.

So when the lights dim in the theatre, just sit back, relax and let the master spin a magic web around you and transport you on a wonderful, mouth watering, cinematic journey that is going to take some forgetting!


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