The Bollywood monkeys are out of the cage, again.
And their antics in the new Hindi film Raavan are evoking nothing but scorn, withering scorn, from some critics.
King-sized disappointment, waste, uninspiring, mediocre and silly are only some of the epithets Indian movie critics are hurling at Raavan (Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Vikram). Mani Ratnam is the director.
Here are excerpts from a few early reviews of Raavan:
The benchmarks only get higher and higher every time Mani Ratnam makes a film and RAAVAN, unfortunately, is a step down. Sorry, several steps down!…
Abhishek doesn’t look convincing for the part…. [SearchIndia.com’s comment: ha ha ha, who’s surprised]
On the whole, RAAVAN is a king-sized disappointment, in terms of content. From the business point of view, a Mani Ratnam film might ensure a healthy opening [at plexes mainly], but the weak script on one hand and the heavy price tag on the other will make RAAVAN see red.
The dialogues are highly uninspiring for a film that intends to tackle a subject of this stature. (Ash asks Vikram: Yeh Beera Robin Hood hai ya Raavan)….
Raavan is no Mani Ratnam signature film at all. It in fact looks like Mani attempting a Ram Gopal Verma (in terms of camera angles and direction) or even a Vishal Bhardawaj (feel, setting and twist of the film) while being inspired by Ghai’s Khalnayak (story)….
There is no punch in the script which doesn’t rise above clichés, no tenderness in the love between Dev and Ragini and no depth to Ragini or Dev’s character as they come across as silent spectators to Beera’s eccentric antics….
Ash holds one disgruntled expression on her face throughout and so does Vikram….
We assume Mani Ratnam went through a writer’s block this time around.
But the technical inventiveness, unparalleled in Indian cinema, is a waste.
The screenplay and performances, the two pillars of a good film, are poor and confused. The scenes have none of the gravitas and magic that define the best of director Mani Ratnam’s work. Here, he is too caught up in the spectacle. The idea, that of the myriad, contradictory qualities of the archetypal villain of Hindu mythology, Raavan, never really takes off in the film. Ratnam was concerned with who Raavan is and why he is what he is. In execution, the villain is a caricature….
Performances in the film are mediocre; some even silly….
It has been years since Ratnam made a masterpiece. His last few films don’t match his classics such as Iruvar, Mouna Raagam and Agninakshetram.