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Two young lovers are compatible in every way - they even agree that marriage is futile. However, their emotions are not so easily managed, especially when they witness the unconditional love of the older couple with whom they live.
An Inspector is assigned to track down a large sum of stolen money. His investigations lead him to a couple of small time crooks, a village belle, a murder, an absconding suspect, and an international drug dealer.
Divya, a woman grieving over the death of her lover, is convinced into an arranged marriage with Chandra Kumar. Over a year the couple attempt to adjust to each other's presence and live with each other.
Dev Prakash Subramaniam is assigned the task of apprehending a bandit, Veeraiya, and accordingly re-locates with his wife, Ragini. Shortly thereafter, while investigating another matter, he will be notified that his wife has been abducted by Veeraiya. He, in the company of several well-armed policemen, and guided by a forest guard, will relentlessly pursue this elusive bandit who is both revered and feared by the local residents; while Ragini will find out the real reason behind her abduction.Written by
Mani Ratnam's Raavanan is a visual masterpiece, a great work of art and almost nothing beyond that. Till more than half of the film, it is about its marvelous cinematography, eye popping locations, excellent acting, technical perfection, polished and gritty narration and visualization and good editing.
The story of Raavanan runs parallel to epic Ramayana but as the film progresses there is a bold twist to the original story. We are directly introduced to the central story with a nicely edited prologue. Veeraiyya, a bandit and a 'protector' figure for the tribal, kidnaps Raagini (Aishwarya Rai) wife of Dev, a senior police officer, to settle some scores. We are shown the past of Veera through brief montages shown in between. The love between Dev and Raagini is shown hurriedly within the space of a love song. The non linear structure of the narration is notable. From then on it is a long journey through the forest. We have a jumping & drinking Hanuman, a Kumbhakarnan, Vibheeshanan and Shoorpanaka in the film. There not much happening in the first half. Its the second half of the film that strikes a chord on you emotionally. This is where that bold twist on Ramayana which was being build up all over first half happens. One wonders who is Ram and who is Raavanan.
After seeing Vikram act this role out, I am certain nobody could have done Veera any better(didn't see Raavan though). Aishwarya Rai looked enchanting, and has done justice to her half baked character Raagini. Prithviraj looked perfect for the role as a honest but ruthless cop. Acting was generally great. Cinematography was outstanding. The soundtracks sounded a bit weird in Tamil. I got used to the Hindi version (tracks were originally composed in Hindi, I think, as the Hindi songs were released a month before the Tamil). I loved them all especially folkish+electronic Ranjha Ranjha, Sufi-ish Behene De and a powerful but short Beera Beera. Some may say its not Rahman's best but I personally think its a very good album. Mani Ratnam, who was dubbed Steven Spielberg of India, has mainly focused on the style over subject. A little more hard work on the script was needed. It is made clear that Dev's hunt for Veera is not just about Raagini. What is it then? There wasn't a decent space to show Veera's love for Raagini, grow. There were a lot of things missing in the movie. But I was blown away by the visual artistry of the movie.
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