By Ananya Mukherjee
The metaphorical semblance of this modern age Ramayana was obvious to the point of being idiot proof. And neither Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s good looks, nor sonny Bachchan’s brand, coupled with scores by A R Rahman and cinematography by Santos Sivan could add any value to the loose and confused script. There are some great frames captured on camera albeit, but I would rather credit it to the natural beauty of location than the technical handiwork of the eyes behind the camera. No frames tell a story beyond the apparent.
The romance fails, the melodrama reeks with Bollywoodish stereotypical nuances, the dialogues have little intensity and you are often forced to mistake the good for the evil and vice versa. Whether, establishing this sense of grey between the Black Ravaan and the White Ram was Mani Ratnam’s deliberate intent or not is debatable, for if that were the case, Seeta maiiya aka Aishwarya would have little or no doubts of shifting loyalties.
In the end, you are left wondering how a great storyline with a good cast, a remarkable director, good music and inspiring photography can end up being a visual torture just because of a loose script and disconcerted blend of modernism with the great epic. Even Govinda’s comic timing as Hanuman doesn’t spice up the bland platter.
In short, Raavan is a great story badly told and disastrously presented.
Moral of the story? If you can't make gods out of actors, leave them alone for the worldly tales!