Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Pioneer > Mani’s twisted Ramayan

    • Show time: Meenakshi Rao

      Stars:Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Chiyaan Vikram, Govinda
      Showing At: Odeon & others
      Rated: 4/10
    • Abhishek tells us that Mani Ratnam’s most favourite phrase on the sets always is: “Make it real.” Strange. Because Raavan is far, far, far and far away from even a hint of reality. And, if that is not enough, the strange animal-human characterisation of his lead hero in Abhishek (he roars, he hisses, he yaps and he gives a maniacal look, not to mention his eyes that dialate like a doctor would want them for corneal examination) kind of makes you wonder what went wrong with the otherwise compelling Mani.
    • Only, the tale was skewed. Was it an indictment of the State exploitation of the rural poor which gives rise to Naxalites? Was it showing how there is a Ram in every Raavan and Raavan in every Ram, as his Sita (Aish) discovers by the end of the film?

      Another matter though that Mani’s Ram looked and behaved more like Raavan and his Raavan, if he did not have that unexplained crazy streak in him, had shades of Ram — do-gooder, supremely sacrificial and a man of correctness. Another matter though that the real Raavan who was a pundit of knowledge, would turn in his grave hundred times if he were to know that a character played in his name was grossly illiterate!

      Then there was Hanuman too — what Govinda was doing as Hanuman will puzzle you for the rest of the time you will spend thinking about it.
    • Adaptation? Love Story? Naxalism? Hostage drama? Or just an unblended mix of all this? You never can make up your mind. That’s not what a Mani Ratnam film should be summed up as.

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