Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mani Ratnam|
Mani Ratnam |
Vijay Krishna Acharya|
|Screenplay by||Mani Ratnam|
|Music by||A. R. Rahman|
|Edited by||A. Sreekar Prasad|
Reliance BIG Pictures |
|Budget||₹300 million (US$4.2 million)|
|Box office||₹286 million (US$4.0 million)|
Raavan is a 2010 Indian Hindi epic adventure film co-written, co-produced, and directed by Mani Ratnam. It stars Vikram, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai in the lead roles. Govinda, Ravi Kishan, Nikhil Dwivedi, Tejaswini Kolhapure and Priyamani feature in key supporting roles. This film was the Bollywood debut of Tamil Superstar Vikram. It was simultaneously released in Tamil as Raavanan with a slightly different cast, which was also dubbed into Telugu and other regional languages. The film's score and soundtrack were composed by A. R. Rahman. The film was released on 18 June 2010. Its premiere was held in London on 16 June 2010.
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 kidnap 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. Then Beera reveals his feelings to Ragini, but 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 tries to save Beera with all her might, but Beera falls off the cliff to his death with a smile.
- Vikram as Dev Pratap Sharma IPS, Superintendent of Police
- Abhishek Bachchan as Beera Mundra
- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Ragini Sharma
- Govinda as Sanjeevani Kumar
- Ravi Kishan as Mangal
- Nikhil Dwivedi as Hemant 
- Tejaswini Kolhapure as Dulari
- Priyamani as Jamuni
- Ajay Gehi as Hariya 'Hari' 
Shooting began in Athirappilly Falls and the forest near the falls. The crew made 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. It finished filming and went into post production by October 2009.
This film has numerous action scenes and stunts performed by the actors. The stunts were directed by Mani Ratnam and choreographed by Peter Hein, who received a Filmfare action award for the Hindi versions of Ghajini and Anniyan.
Raavan was 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 The 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. 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 was 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.
The additional track performed by Rahman, titled "Jaare Ud Jaare", was not included in the CD. The song was cited to be an "instant composition": "The night before the launch, Rahman closeted himself in his Mumbai studio and worked through the night to compose the song." This song is believed to be included in the later stages.
The soundtrack also features three additional songs that were featured in the movie. However, the official track listing has only six 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 Archived 17 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Film Journal International Blue Sheets
- "Abhishek – 90 crore for three films means the Hindi Raavan sold at `30 crore. The business in Hindi was `38 crore. So from which angle was there a loss?". Film Journal International. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- "Raavan:Box Office 2010". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013.
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- Rangan, Baradwaj. "'Raavan' Review". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
- Masand, Rajeev. "'Raavan' is a bore of a film". IBN. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
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- Adarsh, Taran. "Raavan: Movie Review". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
- Venkatraghavan, Sukanya. "Raavan review". Filmfare. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
- Kazmi, Nikhat (17 June 2010). "Raavan review". Times of India. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
- Sen, Raja. "Raavan is unforgivably boring". Rediff. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
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- '"Raavan at Rotten Tomatoes
- Clarke, Cath (17 June 2010). "Film review: Raavan". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
- Lumenick, Lou (18 June 2010). "Bollywood to order, well-done with cheese". New York Post (Raavan Film Review). Retrieved 18 June 2010.
- Lovece, Frank. "Film Review: Raavan, Film Journal International, 18 June 2010
- Saltz, Rachel. "An Indian Epic With Bollywood Glamour", The New York Times 18 June 2010
- Thomas, Kevin. "Capsule movie reviews: '"Raavan, Los Angeles Times, 18 June 2010
- Adesara, Hetel (19 June 2010). "Box Office: Raavan Opening Day Collections Below Expectation". Businessofcinema.com. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
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- "Hits continue to evade Bollywood as Raavan flops". Rediff. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- "Rahman's midnight melody".
- "Winners of 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- "Nominations for 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Nominations for Zee Cine Awards 2011". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 7 January 2011.