Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ravan (Tamil)

FR: I'm speechless

I'd heard at a couple of places that the Tamil version of the latest Mani Ratnam movie, Ravan, is much better than the Hindi version. Blindly assuming that all theaters screening Ravan in Pune would show subtitled copies, I booked tickets at City Pride Kothrud. What happened next is easy to guess. Five minutes into the movie and I realized, crappy doo, there are no subtitles! I'd dragged Mom along for this one and I half expected her to kill me right in the middle. She quite liked it though. And me... The very fact that I've posted the trailer here instead of a standard movie poster should say something about the effect it had on me.

I'd like to admit first off that this review is going to be incomplete since I've no idea about the dialogues. However, I can't stop myself from voicing my thoughts on this movie and hence this post.  When I watched the Hindi and Tamil trailers, I felt it was more believable in Tamil. In Hindi, it just felt adapted. Moving on to the plot, the movie starts off with Ragini(Aishwarya) getting kidnapped by Beera (Vikram). Dev is a police officer and Ragini is his wife. Beera kidnaps Ragini to avenge Dev as he holds him responsible for his sister's wrecked wedding and suicide.

The battle lines are drawn at the beginning. Handsome Ram's beautiful wife Sita has been kidnapped by Ravan. Ram plunges into the forest to search for his beloved wife. Or is his sole aim to capture Beera and win medals? While Sita haplessly tries to screech and plead her way out of the situation, she sees a hitherto unseen side of Ravan. Sita's loyalty to her husband is tested by seeing the gray in each man's character. Ultimately which one will she choose? Between a good partner and a good crime fighter, which one will you choose?

The cinematography is superb and most of the scenes in the first half leave you breathless. While Aishwarya is looking stunning, Prithviraj looks handsome and apt for the role. The scene stealer though is undoubtedly, Vikram. I saw raw power in Beera. A little crazy and very aggressive, Beera scares and amazes at the same time. Perhaps, because I haven't seen Vikram in any other role, Ihis portrayal of Beera seemed even more real to me. I can't wait to see the Hindi version in which he has played the role of Ram. I don't think I'll be able to stomach it, so powerful is his performance of the deliciously mental Ravan.

A special mention of the music which is, again, much more effective in the Tamil version. The reason I use the word effective is because, I somehow associate tribal life with tribal music. The background music and the songs in this movie give it a more rhythmic tribal feeling. I won't praise Rahman because I don't know that much about music. I'll definitely admit though, that the music worked for this movie. The whole package is simply awesome.The reason I loved this movie was because its central theme is, there is no pure good and pure evil. If Ravan can act compassionately, then Ram can be cruel too. Which one will you choose? I still haven't got the answer. Moreover, I simply got carried along like a feather in a storm. This journey through the dense forests of India is likely to be more exciting than any wildlife safari.

Most importantly, I observed that language is a hindrance only when acting is amiss. With superb performances from all 3 protagonists, there was very little I missed, although I'm sure when I see the movie with subtitles, I'll definitely enjoy it more. Ultimately, I'd just like to say that I didn't regret watching this movie in Tamil. In fact, far from it.


  1. I think it's actually good that you didn't get to see it with the sub-titles.

    I think they compete for your attention with other elements in the shot and detract from the viewing experience. You may not have noticed the cinematography in much detail if the movie had been sub-titled. But this is not to say that the dubbing is any better.

  2. Yeah I think so too.. The viewing experience was too good.. Now will watch it with subs on DVD :D