The sole solace of Raavanan (Tamil) is that it’s a shade better than the Hindi version starring that Bollywood shaitan Abhishek Bachchan.
Sure, it’s the same stupid, boring, unappealing, shallow story that you see in the Hindi version with nary a difference.
It’s filmed in the same lush jungles too. Hey, that’s no surprise since the two versions were filmed simultaneously.
What’s the Difference?
But the principal difference between the two versions in this modern-day take on the Indian epic Ramayan is that Vikram brought some life to the principal character Veerayya (part Robin Hood and part dangerous criminal) in the Tamil version.
As the whole world knows by now, the lobotomized dodo Abhishek Bachchan butchered his role of Beera in the Hindi version and made him look like a character overdosing on Crack Cocaine.
While Vikram’s performance was welcome relief, it still didn’t do enough to make this movie watchable because the rest of this movie is unadulterated garbage.
Of course, Aishwarya Rai was her usual incompetent self in both versions attesting to the sordid fact that beauty trumps acting skills in the Indian movie business. What a shame!
Prithviraj was hopelessly inadequate as the police officer pursuing Veera, who has kidnapped his wife Ragini in retaliation for the brutal gang-rape (and subsequent suicide) of his step-sister Vennila (Priyamani) by the police.
Priyamani was alright in the Tamil version too and mercifully didn’t pee all over herself as she did in some of her recent Telugu films.
Mani Ratnam, the Villain
Without a shred of doubt, the arch villain of Raavanan is director Mani Ratnam for the shoddy screenplay and poorly fleshed out characters.
Raavanan is infantile, sophomoric stuff and not a movie one expects from a director with more than a quarter-century in the movie business.
For the most part, Indian film-makers are just unable to get their hands on a decent script. The bozos focus too much on hiring the big stars and ignore the basic requirement of a good script.
This leaves the hapless viewer trapped between the Scylla of poor acting and the Charybdis of a shoddy script with little hope of an entertaining 2-hours at the movies.
Raavanan is one of the most extraordinary characters in Indian mythology and to reduce him to such a pitiful caricature is an unpardonable, egregious, heinous sin for which Mani Ratnam will ever bear the guilt.
The dialogs were most banal and the music and picturization of the songs most ordinary.
And to all the idiots getting a hard-on over the photography, we say:
Subscribe to the National Geographic and stay home.
Folks, despite Raavanan being a shade better than Raavan (Hindi) it’s still not worth your time or money.
This movie is trash and worthy of your middle finger.
Do not even consider seeing this wretched garbage.