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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mani Ratnam
Produced by Mani Ratnam
Screenplay by Mani Ratnam
Story by Valmiki
Starring Abhishek Bachchan
Aishwarya Rai
Ravi Kishan
Nikhil Dwivedi
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography Santosh Sivan
V. Manikandan
Editing by Sreekar prasd
Distributed by ShowMan Pictures
Madras Talkies
BlackMan Pictures
Release dates
  • 18 June 2010 (2010-06-18)
Running time 139 minutes[1]
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget INR300 million (US$5.0 million)[2]
Box office INR286 million (US$4.8 million)[3]

Raavan is a 2010 Indian thriller film directed, written and produced by Mani Ratnam. It stars Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Vikram in the lead roles while Govinda, Ravi Kishan, Nikhil Dwivedi, Priyamani and Tejaswini Kolhapure feature in key supporting roles. This film was the Bollywood debut of Vikram. It was simultaneously released in Tamil as Raavanan with a slightly different cast, which would also be dubbed into Telugu[4] and other regional languages. The film's score and soundtrack is composed by A. R. Rahman.[5][6] The film was released on 18 June 2010. The film's premiere was held in London on 16 June 2010.[7]


The film opens with shots showing Beera Munda (Abhishek Bachchan), a bandit, jumping off a cliff into the water. His gang is busy distracting the police and a few police vehicles are set ablaze.

Ragini Sharma (Aishwarya Rai), on a boating trip, is kidnapped by Beera. Dev Pratap Sharma (Vikram), her husband and a superintendent of police, is informed of her abduction.

A brief montage of shots showcases the story of Beera. He is seen as a local hero, a sort of Robin Hood - who runs a parallel government, with his brothers - Mangal (Ravi Kishan) and Hariya (Ajay Gehi). Though considered a terrorist by the local police, Beera is respected by the villagers. He kidnaps Ragini hoping to avenge the death of his sister Jamuni (Priyamani). Ragini refuses to die at the hands of a bandit and jumps off the cliff, but is unable to kill herself. This prompts Beera to postpone her killing, as it is useless to kill someone who has no fear of death.

Dev and his team enter the forests with the aid of Sanjeevani Kumar (Govinda), a forest guard. Despite searching deep in the forests, Dev is unable to hunt down Beera. Meanwhile, Beera and Mangal infiltrate the police tents when Dev is not present. By chance they stumble upon Inspector Hemant (Nikhil Dwivedi), Dev's junior and his assistant. Beera kidnaps Hemant and takes him to his hideout, where Mangal shaves off his hair, snatches all his clothes and pin him deep into the soil, only his head sticking out from the ground.

Ragini discovers Hemant in this condition and reproaches Beera and Mangal for such inhuman acts. Beera eventually tells Ragini the story of his sister's death; Dev had led an encounter against Beera during Jamuni's wedding. Dev's shot grazed Beera in the neck. Beera escaped, but Hemant captured and took Jamuni to the police station. She was kept in police custody all night and was serially raped by the policemen, when she refused to reveal Beera's whereabouts. Beera returns home to find Jamuni distraught and traumatized. The next day, she commits suicide by drowning in a nearby well.

Hearing Beera's history and the reason for his blood-thirst, Ragini feels sorry for him. Eventually, they both seem to develop some weakness for each other. While Beera reveals his feelings openly to Ragini, she tries to hide hers as she is still not sure about them.

Meanwhile, Sanjeevani Kumar sneaks into the place where Ragini was kept under watchful protection. He tells her of Dev's relentless search for her, but at that moment Mangal comes from behind and overpowers and captures Sanjeevani. He is taken as prisoner in front of Beera, whom he warns of the consequences of keeping another man's wife in his house. He also tells him to return Ragini to Dev, or be responsible for the destruction of his people. Beera bluntly refuses to follow his advice.

Unhappy that his brother is preparing for war, Hariya convinces Beera to allow him to offer a truce to Dev. Hariya goes with Sanjeevani to their camp. Dev initially seems to agree, but when Hariya comes out in the open, Dev shoots him to death. An enraged Beera sets the police tents on fire by an ambush attack with his gang. Dev and Beera come face to face for a final confrontation on an old, rickety mountain bridge. Dev fights Beera with brute force, but Beera manages to outwit him. He almost lets Dev fall to his death but saves him because his wife was waiting for him. Beera releases Ragini and leaves. Dev and Ragini re-unite after fourteen days. However, Dev yells at an invisible Beera, vowing to come back and destroy him.

While riding a train back to their hometown, Dev accuses Ragini of infidelity and informs her that it was Beera who told him so. Furious, Ragini leaves Dev to meet Beera through Mangal. When she does, she asks him what Beera had told Dev. Beera replies that he had said he protected Ragini for all the fourteen days and nothing else. They quickly realize Dev lied, hoping Ragini would lead him to his hideout. Dev appears with a police team and confront the duo, reminding Beera of the vow. Ragini stands in front of Beera to save him, but Beera pushes her out of the line of fire. He is shot multiple times. Ragini's true feelings comes to surface when she tries to save Beera with all her might. Content that Ragini too has feelings for him, Beera falls off the cliff to his death with a smile.



Shooting began in Athirappilly Falls and the forest nearby the falls.The crew make a huge set at the end of October 2008. During filming, Mani Ratnam became ill which delayed the filming for a few months in 2009.[10] However, the film began its last schedule in August 2009. The film finished filming and went into post production by October 2009.[11] Manikandan was hired as the film's DOP or cinematographer, however he walked out in May 2009 and was replaced by Santosh Sivan.[12][13]

This film have numerous action scenes and stunts performed by the actors. The stunts are directed by Mani Ratnam and are choreographed by Peter Hein, who received Filmfare action award for the Hindi version of Ghajini and Anniyan. The Kerala martial art Kalarippayattu is also featured in the film.[14] Dancer Astad Deboo choreographed a passionate chase scene and tandav dance between Abhishek and Aishwarya for the film.[15][16] Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee designed Aishwarya Rai's costumes in the film.[17]

Raavan has been shot in numerous locations around India including the forests of Karnataka (Tumkur), Kerala (Athirappilly Falls),[18] Ooty, Dharmapuri (Hogenakkal Falls), Jhansi, Kolkata, Mahabaleshwar and in the Malshej Ghats in Maharashtra.[19][20]


Critical response[edit]

Abhishek and Aishwarya at the London premiere

Among Indian film critics on the review-aggregation website ReviewGang, the film scored 4.5/10 based on 12 reviews.[21] Baradwaj Rangan of The New Indian Express rated the film 4/5 and said "Raavan falls for Sita (and vice versa) in an intriguingly idiosyncratic take on the Ramayana - if you can get past the lead performances, that is"[22] Rajeev Masand of IBN gave the film 1.5/5 and said, "Despite some eye-watering camerawork and a stunning action piece in the film's climax, the film -- especially its first half -- is a carelessly edited mess of long scenes that make little sense when strung together".[23] Noyon Jyoti Parasara of AOL rated it 2.5/5 and stated " Raavan is more a choreographed musical-cum-psychological drama but without proper character backing. What makes the movie worth watching is the peaks in the second half, of course apart from the imagery."[24] Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama rated it 1.5/5 and said, "On the whole, Raavan is a king-sized disappointment, in terms of content".[25] Sukanya Venkatraghavan of Filmfare rated the film 3/5 and said, "Raavan has its moments but it lacks depth. The first half is fairly riveting but the second half slowly slips into a coma".[26] Nikhat Kazmi of Times of India rated it favourably at 3.5/5 saying, "There are enough punches in the second half to keep the momentum going, but by and large, the film scores mostly on art and aesthete".[27] Raja Sen of Rediff rated it 2/5 and said, "Raavan truly and tragically fails us is in taking one of our greatest epics, and making it unforgivably boring".[28] Parimal Rohit of Buzzine Bollywood said, "Raavan is ultimately a clever film, as it pushed the envelope on how one goes about defining who is good and who is evil."[29]

Among US and UK film critics sampled on the Rotten Tomatoes aggregate site, Raavan rated 64%, with eleven reviews.[30] Cath Clarke of The Guardian gave the film a rating of 2/5 and found it sexist,[31] while New York Post critic Lou Lumenick wrote, "If you're not a fan of Bollywood movies – which have long resisted crossover attempts in this country despite the success of hybrids such as Slumdog Millionaire — Mani Ratnam's action melodrama Raavan probably isn't going to make a convert out of you."[32] However, Frank Lovece of Film Journal International found it a "cracklingly stylish, suspenseful psychological drama" with "a visual sense that evokes David Fincher at his darkest", and admired the dance numbers, "one taking place somewhat naturalistically at a wedding, the other essentially a stunning war dance."[33]

The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times likewise gave it positive reviews: Rachel Saltz of the former made it a Times "Critic's Pick" and lauded Ratnam as "a talented visual storyteller who directs action crisply and fills the screen with striking images" including "an eye-popping climactic battle",[34] while Kevin Thomas of the latter said the film "is replete with dizzying camerawork, myriad complications, violent mayhem, broad humor, [the] usual musical interludes, a cliffhanging climactic confrontation and a finish that strikes a note of poignancy."[35]

Box office[edit]

Raavan opened "below expectations" at the Indian box office, with the Hindi version earning Rs 60 million on its opening day.[36] and 238.3 million through its first week.[37] In North America, Raavan opened in 120 theaters and ranked No. 15 on the domestic weekend box office chart with $482,760. As of 24 June, it had collected $573,314 in this market.[38] The film was declared a flop by Box Office India.[39]


Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released 24 April 2010
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
A.M. Studios
Chennai, India
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 29:36
Label T-Series
Producer A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology
Ye Maaya Chesave

The soundtrack for the film is composed by A. R. Rahman with lyrics penned by Gulzar. It features six songs and an additional song that was performed by Rahman at the audio launch. It was released on 24 April 2010 by T-Series.

As Raavan became a major anticipated project, following the success of Rahman's previous album, several false rumours about the soundtrack of the film were disseminated to websites and magazines. Many songs claimed to be songs from Raavan, like "Pairon Pe Jannat Hain", "Kaadhale" etc. and another set of fake tracklists were spread through internet. The audio release was scheduled on March 2010[40] but since the release date of the film was changed, the audio release was changed to April last week.[41][42] The tracklist was officially published on 21 April and the music was launched officially on 24 April by Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan.[43] However, CDs were available in some stores on 23 April itself.

The soundtrack features 6 songs composed by A. R. Rahman with lyrics penned by Gulzar. During the audio release, an additional track was performed by Rahman, titled "Jaare Ud Jaare", which was not included in the CD. The song was cited to be an "instant composition" by Rahman, "The night before the launch, Rahman closeted himself in his Mumbai studio and worked through the night to compose the song", the source adds. This song is believed to be included in the later stages.[44] The soundtrack also features three more additional songs that were featured in the movie. However the official tracklist have only 6 songs. The soundtrack is especially noted for the use of rich instruments, Indian as well as Middle Eastern. Several new singers are introduced through this film.

Official track listing[edit]

Track # Song Artist(s) Length Notes
1 "Beera Beera" Vijay Prakash, Mustafa Kutoane 3:15 Additional vocals by Keerthi Sargathia, A. R. Rahman (uncredited)
2 "Behene De" Karthik 6:04 Additional vocals by Mohammad Irfan Ali
3 "Thok De Killi" Sukhwinder Singh, Am'nico 4:58
4 "Ranjha Ranjha" Rekha Bhardwaj, Javed Ali 5:54 Additional vocals by Anuradha Sriram,
Lyrics of the opening lines is adapted from Sufi poet Bulleh Shah's "Ranjha Ranjha Kardi"
Another version by Ila Arun and Richa Sharma was featured in the movie
5 "Khilli Re" Reena Bhardwaj 4:11 Backing vocals by Dr. Narayanan, Naresh Iyer, M. Kuldeep, Shweta Mohan, Gopika Purnima, Subhiksha, Sri Madhumita
6 "Kata Kata" Ila Arun, Sapna Awasthi, Kunal Ganjawala 5:11 Backing vocals by Suzanne D'Mello, Sujatha Majumdar, Nikitha Nigam, Dilshad Shaikh, R. N. Iyer, Arun Ingle, Chintamani Sohoni, Gowtham Bharadwaj

Additional tracks[edit]

Track # Song Artist(s)
1 "Yudh Yudh Yudh" Naresh Iyer, Rahul Nambiar, Dr. Narayan, Haricharan
2 "Jaare Ud Jaare" A. R. Rahman, Jali Fily Cissokho
3 "Kora" Jali Fily Cissokho
4 "Mayama (Bulgarian Vox)" Tsvetanka Vanmezova

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Bollywood Hungama 4/5 stars[45]
Rediff 4/5 stars[46]
Planet Bollywood 8/10 stars[47]
Music Aloud 9/10 stars[48]
Glamsham 4/5 stars[49]
The Hindustan Times 4/4 stars[50]
Apunkachoice 4/5 stars[51]
IBN Live 4/5 stars[52]

The soundtrack for the movie has received positive reviews, with most reviewers hailing the album to be one of Rahman's best recent works. The Hindu said, "Raavan is further proof that A.R. Rahman always saves some of his best stuff for old friend Mani Ratnam. There's no escaping Raavan. Or Rahman. They will get you." According to The Times of India, Raavan is an interesting audio track, although Rahman's earlier associations with Mani Ratnam remain unforgettable.[53] A review on Bollywood Hungama said, "There are number of gems in the album, most notably being "Ranjha Ranjha", "Beera Beera" and "Thok De Killi". Go for it, this one is not to be missed as it has Rahman coming up with one of his best soundtracks in recent times."[54] A review by The Hindustan Times said, The trio (Rahman, Gulzar and Mani) has brought out a lethal combination presenting a soundtrack that is fresh, high on energy and in tune with the soul of the movie.[55] Buzzine Bollywood said the soundtrack is one of the best of 2010 "due to its top-shelf talent" and "is a solid balance of powerfully rich instrumentals and beautifully soft melodies."[56] PlanetBollywood.com said, "Raavan is a fascinating and diverse soundtrack that deserves repeated listening to be fully appreciated. Forget anything else this year, you owe it to yourself to discover the music on offer here. There is a lot of experimentation as heard in "Beera" and "Thok Di Killi". Also that experimentation extends to the singers- just check out the amazing talent and fresh faces on show here, most of whom we have never heard before! Elsewhere you will find other reasons to rejoice in the music ("Ranjha Ranjha" and "Behene De") and although arguably it never consistently reaches Rahman’s best (the music doesn't always have multiple layers to peel away), Raavan is still his most varied, folksy and interesting soundtrack in a long while. Mani Ratnam is surely happy and so should you be. A strong contender for soundtrack of the year!"[57] According to Rediff's Sukanya Verma, "A. R. Rahman stays true to the element of Ratnam's vision as there's never any attempt to show off or introduce unnecessary elements. The outcome is exquisite. Or should I say expected."[58] A review by NDTV said, "The album is a musical treat and impresses thoroughly. When Rahman teams up with Gulzar and Mani Ratnam, the result is pure magic.[59]

Awards and nominations[edit]

6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards


  • Apsara Award for Best Cinematography - V. Manikandan (shared with Guzaarish)
  • Apsara Award for Best Re-recording - Tapan Nayak
  • Apsara Award for Best Visual Credits - Srinivas Karthik Kotamraju
  • Apsara Award for Best cinematography - Santosh Sivan


  • Apsara Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role (Female) - Priya Mani
2011 Zee Cine Awards



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  38. ^ Raavan at Box Office Mojo
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  42. ^ CT presents the list of movies that will rock screens in the coming weeks
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External links[edit]