A stellar performance by the lead actors and tip-top cinematography makes the otherwise tedious and drab “Ravanan” worth a watch.
Directed by the seasoned Mani Ratnam, the film, a modern day take on the timeless epic Ramayana, explores the age-old tussle between good and evil in a new light. The script, co-written by Mani and his wife Suhasini, attempts to flay the traditionally held notions about Ram and Ravanan. Set in a picturesque tribal village, the film narrates the exploits of the local don Veeraiyya who kidnaps Ragini, the wife of the Superintendent of Police Dev Prakash, to avenge the rape of his sister Vennila. Vikram and Pritivraj, who don the modern day avatars of Ram and Ravanan, display considerable histrionic talent playing the lead roles of Veeraiyya and Dev Prakash. The film depicts Ram as hard-hearted and opportunistic, while Ravanan is portrayed as a kindhearted and magnanimous man. The movie draws a parallel between Ragini (Aishwarya Rai) and goddess Sita, Venilla (Priyamani) and Surpanaka, Gnanaprakasham (Karthik) and Lord Hanuman, and Singham (Prabhu) and Kumbhakarna.
The scintillating camera- work by V.Manikandan and Santhosh Sivan has breathlessly taken the medium of cinema a notch higher. The use of natural lighting in cinematography has created pure magic. The breathtaking greenery of the forest and the ethereal beauty of the waterfalls captured on camera is a feast for the eye. The impressive picturisation is complemented by an appealing background score. Synergy is achieved in the songs, ‘Usure Pogadhey’, ‘Kattu sirukki’ and ‘Keda keda kare adupalla’, penned by Vairamuthu and tuned by A.R Rahman. The resplendent art work by Samir Chanda further enhances the cinematic experience.
Sreekar Prasad’s slipshod editing seems to be the only weak link in the movie, apart from the rehashed script and the drab dialogues. The mad rush of images and the constant tossing of sequences from the past and present confuse the viewer and induce tedium. Although “Ravanan” is a far cry from Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus, “Roja” and “