Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Raavan !!!

This is about the spur-of-the-moment decision we are still rueing. Namely, turning a purposeful visit to the nearby Metropolis Mall to order a new pair of spectacles into an evening of fun at the multiplex. While on our way, I was wondering if we could meet some friends at the food court and catch up and K obliged by calling up his college friend A and his wife D. It transpired that they were in the parking lot of the mall by a happy coincidence, having already bought tickets for Mani Ratnam's Raavan. Although we had been wondering whether it'd be possible to catch a show of the film that evening and yet not be too late for dinner back home, we had till then not planned anything definite. By a dismal twist of fate, we decided to go for it. GKB citing exorbitant prices for the spectacles wouldn't have spoilt our evening. Raavan ended up doing just that.

What I remember about the film :

1) Beera smeared in shades of white, yellow and black.

2) Shrieks and screams, both of men and women. Mostly superfluous ones.

3) Ragini dancing whenever she's in the company of her husband. As if that's the way to build a real relationship with one's husband.

4) Some memorable acting by Ravi Kissen as Beera's brother. After Hello Inspector on Doordarshan, this is the second time that I like him.

5) Govinda as the forest guard. As if he was born to play that role.

6) Priyamani as the sister whose doomed marriage started it all. Very refreshing to all the senses. Hope to see more of her in future.

7) The lush, virgin green of the forests and hills, the frothy white of the majestic falls and the panoramic sweeps of the camera that took our breaths away. It was better than any of the 'Incredible India' ads we get to watch on TV sometimes.

8) Mediocre music by A.R. Rehman. He broke my heart.

9) A frustrating first half in which nothing was comprehensible, including Beera's 'Chaka chaka chaka chaka' and why the actors decided to do this film in the first place. I would like to believe Big B when he blames the editing. There's a lot of abrupt scene movement and it doesn't feel right somehow.

10) A somewhat more comprehensible second half and a Mani-esque end. Which makes me want to watch the Tamil version to excuse him and the film itself. It's supposed to be way better. And of course, lucid.

A little bit about publicity stunts related to the film. I find it disgraceful that Abhishek Bachchan should try to highlight his supposed mega dive from the hilltop just to grab the limelight. The former diving champion who actually did the stunt is evidently disgusted. Abhishek apparently even insisted on repeating the same story on CNN-IBN, narrating how his insurance people had refused to cover the whole thing, considering him to be taking an unnecessary risk and how even Ash dear didn't know about it until it was over and done with. Well, it was definitely an 'unnecessary risk'. Although my logic for saying that isn't quite what Bachchan Junior would like to be confronted with. The truth will out, sometime. I mean, does he seriously think his countrymen will swallow all that he says ?

As for Papa Bachchan slamming Mani Ratnam on Twitter...wellllll. When will the man grow up ?!

For once, I must confess here, I had believed in Pratim D.Gupta's review of the film in The Telegraph. Although I don't care a fig for what this man usually writes, sneering at anything and everything not quite upto the mark (come on ,it's Bollywood, for heaven's sake !!!), this time I had a sinking feeling that he was right. Especially since it's so pathetically evident that he's a huge fan of the director and would have liked to write a proper 'review' of this film at least (for a change).

Btw, you might want to check out all these reviews of the film.

As for me, I'm hoping to watch the Tamil version soon. Especially since I liked the photos of Vikram I found on the net. Without that strange haircut and without the grisly bear moustache, of course. He might have had tremendous screen presence but I wouldn't have fallen for a man with hair issues (pun definitely intended).

A much more presentable Vikram, methinks.
Photo source : the net.

So long.


Kaustav said...

I totally agree to your review of the film although I could have been more harsh, didnt like anything about it. Why should we watch the Tamil version? thats not meant for the bigger Indian junta.

Debanjana said...

Nicely written...thank god I didn't see the movie

Sudhiti said...

i like it. especially the witty, satiric parts.

pratim said...

"it's Bollywood, for heaven's sake"... isn't that an oxymoron that you are criticising a critic just because he doesn't want to support the "anything goes" mindset? :)

Casuarina said...

@ Pratim :

Hi! Nice to see you around. Especially since I make it a point to read your reviews regularly ;-)

I know it's fashionable to find fault with anything Bollywood. However, I personally feel cinema needs some amount of imagination and consequently, shouldn't be mired in preconceived notions of what ought and ought not to be. A 'reviewer' needs to empathise with the layman, whom Bollywood mostly addresses. If you feel Bollywood is about anything going, I'd think you were taking the wrong approach. The common man isn't a fool, you know. If he was, box-office outcomes wouldn't be determined by him.

As for your style of criticism, you're welcome to differ. But I personally feel appreciating the idea rather than the execution can make all the difference in the world sometimes. When many people come together to make a film, there's some hard work which goes into transforming a vision into reality. We need a little bit of kindness to do justice to someone else's perceptions..

And no, this isn't about Raavan, which I myself didn't exactly love. It's about Bollywood :-)


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