Its the most expected movie of this year and the promotional campaigns by the entire team of Raavanan has been going on and on in "News" Channels in the last fortnight. And where there is much hype(which indirectly signifies that's the only way to get back the money invested on the film) the film is to be made of poor quality. But in Raavanan the crux of the story, casting and almost everything is top-class but it fails to hit the audience.
1. First things first. Stunning Visuals.. Probably one of the best cinematography in recent times. you could get from the trailer, the quality of the camerawork and believe me its absolutely fantastic. Go and watch it in theater/get the best quality DVD to feel it(I would prefer going to theater). Santhosh Sivan has been a brilliant cameraman and I wonder why he hasn't been used so much in the industry. Particularly the Usire poguthey song and climax sequences were canned superbly. Part of the credit should go to those who chose such wonderful locations with lush green landscapes, waterfalls etc.
2. Aishwarya Rai's performance. Though she has a lesser physical activity compared to Vikram, she does her best in emoting for the scenes. I feel she has done by far her best performance in Raavanan. The movie revolves around her and she does a neat job. She has less dialogues but her eyes are made to talk more. Mani is best here.
3. Vikram as ever is at his best. Great dialogue delivery, body language. He proves he is a good actor but wasting 2 years for just a single project makes me question his choice of roles. He does what the character requires him to do.
Apart from these, no more highlights quite a lot of things that went horribly wrong.
May be Mani thought he could mesmerize the audience with just the visuals bombed badly. Story is a very predictable one. Vikram kidnaps Ash (Prithvi's wife) and Prithvi comes in search of her and he wins.. There is a twist in the climax which also becomes predictable (so should I call that a "twist"? ;) ) Prithvi has nothing much to do he keeps following Vikram throughout and wins over him.
Priyamani talked so much in the interviews and her character comes a mere 15 mins and that includes a 5 min song!!! I think Mani, after seeing Priyamani in Paruthiveeran thot she acts well in a gang rape scene and gives her a similar such sequence and she does well here too :)
Biggest let down was ARRs BGM .. Songs were not upto the standards(let alone Usire poguthey, kalvare) and his BGM was even poorer. This could probably be his worst ever composition for a Mani movie.
The climax was a little confusing. Is Ash falling in love with Vikram? Is Vikram in love with Aishwarya Rai? or probably is Mani also confused on this and thought that it would be best for the audience to decide?
Though the movie runs for over 2 hrs and 15 mins you feel as if you have watched a 3 hr movie. Very slow/poor screenplay, very cliched story, very predictable scenes makes you feel its not worth even a watch but I still recommend you to go for it just for the stunning visuals by Santhosh Sivan and for Aishwarya Rai.
2/5 for Mani's Raavanan..
P.S: I have not watched 'Raavan' yet but am sure AB would have definitely not performed as Vikram. So I guess, it should be still worse :)