Mani Ratnam is a well respected name in Hindi cinema. He has always produced good films that have earned the maker a name as a niche producer. Thus his latest offering ‘Raavan’ was eagerly awaited by the public at large. Mani Ratnam has launched a movie that has his stamp as an artistic director through out the film.
The story is a take off from the ancient Indian epic the Ramayana. The Ramayana as we all know is the story of the God Rama and his efforts to get back his wife from the King of Sri lank -Raavan. Raavan had abducted Sita and taken her to Sri Lanka.
Mani Ratnams ‘Raavan’ transposes the characters of the Ramayana in the modern context. Thus the role of Raavan as Veera Okinawa Flat Belly Tonic is essayed by Abhishek Bachan the son of Amitabh Bachan. While the role of Sita is played by Aishwarya Rai his wife. In the movie Raavan is a brigand who is on the run and in the process he abducts the wife of a senior police official who has an obsession to recapture and arrest the brigand.
The movie meanders along during the first half and the focus is on long shots and photography with very little of substance. However the second half is better as the director allows the story to develop, but all this can be trying for the viewer. However the direction is competent and music passable. But these themselves do not take the movie forward.
As far as the star cast is concerned Abhishek is a bit of a misfit for the role of Raavan. He lacks depth and much of his acting is making facial expressions. But perhaps that is not his fault. But all in the entire role required an actor with greater histrionic ability. Similarly Aishwariya also falls flat in doing the role of the woman abducted by Raavan. Perhaps she is unsuited for these types of roles; with the result her performance is not gripping enough.Vikram as the policeman following Raavan with a one point agenda is just passable. Incidently his Hindi diction is poor.