My Half-baked Thoughts on a Half-baked Movie


It’s very rare that a movie gets so bad for me that I end up switching off before the ending. I mean, I have sat through some real clunkers (Dil Bole Hadippa anyone?), but Raavan really takes the cake. In two words, my review would be practically unwatchable.

Movie Poster of Raavan

Movie Poster of Raavan

And yet, there really is no reason for this. The movie is directed by Mani Ratnam – one of the most famous, and talented directors. It stars good actors such as Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, the story is based on the Ramayana – one of India’s most popular epics, the music is by A.R.Rahman (Oscar award winning music composer who composed the music for Slumdog Millionaire) the cinematography is by Santosh Sivan who always does amazing work. Then where did everything go wrong? How could so many great talents together manage to make such a clunker?

Of all these great folks involved in the movie, the only thing that was not a disappointment was the beautiful cinematography. Rahman’s music starting from the opening track Beera was loud and not at all melodious (at least not to my ears).

The story to put it mildly sucks. Loosely based on the Hindu epic Ramayana, it is the story of Beera – a Robin Hood like thug who lives in the jungle. He kidnaps the wife of a top policeman who then marshalls his resources to catch Beera and rescue his wife. So far, so good…but then Abhishek Bachchan who plays Beera starts his over-acting. Aishwarya Rai (the wife), who is supposed to be scared on the inside but brave on the outside, just looks blandly beautiful wearing designer salwar kameezes by the (again genius) fashion designer – Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Beautiful Aishwarya Rai in Raavan

Beautiful Aishwarya Rai in Raavan

At first, Aishwarya (Ragini in the movie) hates Beera with a passion, and resists him. However, once she hears his sob-story about a sister who was raped and murdered by the police, she starts to understand him and feel for him. In the meantime her husband Dev along with a forest ranger (Govinda playing Hanuman) are on the track.

This entire sequence meanders for more than half the movie. Add in a few, well-choreographed song and dance sequences, and almost 2 hours are over with no sign of an ending in sight. At this point, I gave up on the movie.

The next day, I came in to work and caught the rest of the story from a more patient colleague of mine who was able to sit through the entire movie. Apparently, I had watched almost 3/4 of the movie and had ended up missing the last action-filled part.

Dev eventually manages to corner Beera on a rickety bridge. Dev manages to get back Ragini but Beera escapes.

And now comes the twist in the tale…

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 not anything else. They quickly realize Dev lied, hoping Ragini would lead him to his hideout. Dev appears with a police team and confront the duo. Ragini tries to save Beera, but he pushes her out of the line of fire. He is shot multiple times. Raagini’s true feelings comes to surface when she tries to save Beera with all her might. Content that Raagini too has feelings for him, Beera falls off the cliff to his death with a smile.

– Extract taken from Wikipedia as I haven’t seen this portion to comment on it.

I am not sure that I like this twist in the tale at all. Why on earth would Ragini leave her husband and struggle through the jungle to confront Beera? What on earth was she hoping to achieve? What would Dev had done if she had just gone ahead and left him without going back to Beera? Why would anyone say/do something so traumatic just to catch the bad guy. He is practically sending her back to the villain? Wasn’t there any other way he could catch Beera? And all this action happens in the last 10-15 minutes of the movie!!!

I just thought that this ending was the perfect insipidity to end an already insipid movie.

Am so glad that I didn’t stay up to watch it 🙂

What about you folks? Anyone watch the movie? Liked it/disliked it? Did you like the ending? How would you have liked the movie to end?

Plenty of questions for you readers 🙂

  • i just watched it, and to be totally honest, it has no plot
    and i like how they advertised arnold schwarzenegger being in the movie, but he was really just in it for maybe 1 minute.

    what did you guys think?

    • @movieswatcher: Arnie was in the movie? How come I missed that? Are you talking about Raavan, or Kambakth Ishq?

  • I didn’t watch Raavan but I did watch Raavana and (please don’t hate me0 I actually liked it. There were so many parts of the movie that I didn’t agree with but I fell in love with Vikram’s acting. I actually watched it twice 😀

    • @Vaishnavi: I have heard that Vikram has done a much better job than Abhishek. I am not surprised at all 🙂

  • Lee

    Raavan is a very good movie and got great reviews from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Times, etc.

    I liked Mani’s twist on the Ramayana which leaves you pondering the movitation of the characters. It is not a movie for people who like everything spelled out and it was in no way insipid. The director did not say he was making a literal adaptation of the myth but rather one where you could see some shades of it in modern characters.

  • I saw this… so I am that patient friend of yours! I hear that there was so much of it that was “cut” out and THAT is the reason for this disaster.

    Anyway I am sure of one thing, there won’t be another Junior B and Mani Ratnam in the near future. Big B has seen to that 🙂

    • @Veens: Probably a good thing too if they take a break from each other…

  • That bad huh?! I was really interested when I heard about the project and that Mani Ratnam was going to explore shades of gray for all the characters but then I saw the trailers … at the best of times I have a very low tolerance for Ash and the trailers cemented that I wouldnt be able to stand 3 hours of her (she does look beautiful in that screenshot though and that outfit is amazing!!)

    The ending does sound terribly contrived, which is what happens when you try to force a non-story through the Ramayana template. What a waste of potential.

    • @couchpapaya: You have echoed my thoughts on Ash. I also have a low tolerance for her. She is still hugely popular though. I was a bit hard on Pink Panther when I reviewed it ages ago, and I am still getting hate mail because of it.

  • Haha…I remember leaving the movie feeling completely dazed

    Come over to BookReviews at BookRack

  • I’m a big Bollywood fan, but from the sounds of it, I should be glad that I missed this one… Look at it this way, you did a good deed by saving me from the suffering, eh?

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