Ramayan has been telling generations after generations about the triumph of good over evil. History is written by the winner, and we forget that between black and white there is always gray. Raavan is an attempt to bring out this gray in the mythological tale, by placing it in a modern day scenario.
Beera (Abhishek) is loved by the people, feared by the people and wanted by the police. He lives in a beautiful rocky place where there are pretty carvings in the middle of a flowing river. Beera kidnaps Raghini (Aishwarya), SP Dev’ wife (Vikram) for revenge. The SP sets out to rescue the wife with inspector Hemant for company. An alcoholic, tree climbing forest officer Sanjeevni (Govinda) joins the rescue squad.
Meanwhile, Beera and Raghini develop a bond and Raghini discovers a human side to the monster as she hears his story.
The story progresses as black turns gray and white turns an even darker hue of gray.
The story wins when the audience wants Raavan to survive as opposed to Ram. But wait, the story takes a good 120 minutes to get to this point. The pace of the film is its weakness. It fails to grip the audience to the point of understanding what is going on and why.
Aishwarya Rai manages to look pretty and rain soaked, but, honestly she does a usual ‘aishwarya’ with bewildered looks, high pitched dialogue delivery and constant crying. Abhishek has done a great job, breaking out into maniacal laughter. Govinda is wonderful as the modern day Hanuman. I was surprised to see him hang by the trees and jump around with an innocent smile. Vikram is rather stiff as the SP, and at times, goes a bit overboard with underplay.Priyamani is a gorgeous curvy damsel, who plays Beera’s half-sister and a modern day Shurpanakha. Other than showing off her voluptuous mid-riff, she hasn’t got much to do.
What really makes the film worth the 2 odd hours is the cinematography. Although it’s always raining, the green, rocky valley is a delight to watch.
All in all, decent performances and great locales can only hold your attention for a while. If the story doesn’t progress at a pace it needs to, you find yourself shifting in your seat, waiting for your cellphone to catch network so that you can tweet while Aishwarya finishes sobbing and SP finishes yelling randomly.
I say: Avoid. I wish I wish I wish I could say otherwise.