Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mani Ratnam|
|Produced by||Mani Ratnam
|Written by||Vijay Krishna Acharya
|Screenplay by||Mani Ratnam|
|Music by||A. R. Rahman|
|Edited by||A. Sreekar Prasad|
|Distributed by||Reliance BIG Pictures
|Budget||₹300 million (US$4.5 million)|
|Box office||₹286 million (US$4.2 million)|
Raavan is a 2010 Indian Hindi epic adventure film co written, co produced, and directed 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 and other regional languages. The film's score and soundtrack is composed by A. R. Rahman. The film was released on 18 June 2010. The film's premiere was held in London on 16 June 2010. The film received negative reviews and was a box-office flop, which was a much different result compared to the Tamil version.
Beera Munda, a bandit, jumps off a cliff into the water. His gang distracts the police and police vehicles are set on fire. Ragini Sharma, on a boating trip, is kidnapped by Beera. Dev Pratap Sharma, her husband and a superintendent of police, is informed of her abduction.
A montage showcases Beera's story. He is seen as a local hero, who runs a parallel government, with his brothers, Mangal and Hariya, and is considered a terrorist by the police. He kidnaps Ragini to avenge the death of his sister Jamunia. Ragini refuses to die at the bandit's hands and jumps off the cliff, but survives and Beera holds off her killing, as he sees it useless to kill someone who has no fear of death.
Dev and his team enter the forests with the aid of a forest guard, Sanjeevani Kumar, but they are unable to find Beera. Beera and Mangal infiltrate the police tents when Dev is not present and come upon Inspector Hemant , Dev's junior and his assistant. They kidnaps Hemant, take him to their hideout and bury him in the ground with only his head sticking out.
Ragini discovers Hemant in this condition and reproaches Beera and Mangal for such inhuman acts. Beera tells the story of his sister's death; Dev had led an encounter against Beera during Jamunia's wedding. Dev's shot grazed Beera in the neck. Beera escaped, but Hemant captured and took Jamunia 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. The next day, she committed suicide by drowning in a nearby well. Hearing Beera's story, Ragini feels sorry for him. The two also starts developing feelings for each other. While Beera reveals his feelings openly to Ragini, she tries to hide hers as she is still devoted to Dev.
Sanjeevani Kumar sneaks into the place where Ragini is kept. He tells her of Dev's search for her, but Mangal comes from behind and captures Sanjeevani. He is taken as prisoner in front of Beera and tells him to return Ragini to Dev, or be responsible for the destruction of his people. Beera bluntly refuses the advice.
Hariya convinces Beera to allow him to offer a truce to Dev. He goes with Sanjeevani to their camp. Dev initially agrees, but when Hariya comes out in the open, Dev kills him, revealing that the destruction of Beera is more important to him than saving his wife.
Enraged at his brother's death, Beera sets the police tents on fire in an ambush attack with his gang. Dev and Beera come face to face for a final confrontation on an old mountain bridge. Dev fights Beera with brute force, but Beera outwits him. Beera saves Dev from falling to his death because his wife was waiting for him. Beera releases Ragini and she and Dev re-unite. However, Dev yells at an invisible Beera, vowing to return and destroy him.
While on their way home, Dev accuses Ragini of infidelity and claims it was Beera who told him of it. Infuriated, Ragini leaves Dev to meet Beera through Mangal. They however realize Dev lied, hoping Ragini would lead him to his hideout. Dev appears with a police team and confront the duo, reminding Beera of his vow. Ragini stands in front of Beera to save him, but Beera pushes her out of the line of fire and is shot multiple times. Ragini's true feelings surface when she tries to save Beera with all her might. Content that she too has feelings for him, Beera falls off the cliff to his death with a smile.
- Abhishek Bachchan as Beera Munda
- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Ragini Sharma
- Govinda as Sanjeevani Kumar
- Vikram as Dev Pratap Sharma
- Ravi Kishan as Mangal
- Priyamani as Jamuni
- Nikhil Dwivedi as Hemant
- Ajay Gehi as Hariya 'Hari' 
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. However, the film began its last schedule in August 2009. The film finished filming and went into post production by October 2009. Manikandan was hired as the film's DOP or cinematographer, however he walked out in May 2009 and was replaced by Santosh Sivan.
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. Dancer Astad Deboo choreographed a passionate chase scene and tandav dance between Abhishek and Aishwarya for the film. Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee designed Aishwarya Rai's costumes in the film.
Raavan has been shot in numerous locations around India including the forests of Karnataka (Tumkur), Kerala (Athirappilly Falls), Ooty, Dharmapuri (Hogenakkal Falls), Jhansi, Kolkata, Mahabaleshwar and in the Malshej Ghats in Maharashtra.
Among Indian film critics, 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" 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". 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." 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". 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". 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". 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". 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."
Among US and UK film critics sampled on the Rotten Tomatoes aggregate site, Raavan rated 64%, with eleven reviews. Cath Clarke of The Guardian gave the film a rating of 2/5 and found it sexist, 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." 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."
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", 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."
Raavan opened "below expectations" at the Indian box office, with the Hindi version earning Rs 60.1 million on its opening day. and 0.3 million through its first week. In North America, Raavan opened in 120 theaters and ranked No. 15 on the domestic weekend box office chart with $760. As of 24 June, it had collected $3,314 in this market. The film was declared a flop by Box Office India.
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. It 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. The soundtrack also features three more additional songs that were featured in the movie. However the official track listing has only 6 songs. The soundtrack is especially noted for the use of rich instruments, Indian as well as Middle Eastern.
Awards and nominations
- 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
- Best Actor in a Negative Role - Abhishek Bachchan
- Raavan, Film Journal International Blue Sheets
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