Thursday, June 24, 2010

Epic made epic again...

Do not continue reading if you haven't had the privilege of watching Mani Ratnam's latest venture.. and also if you've gotten sick of what i scribble ;)
Raavanan!!! Whatta movie.. shattered my writer's block.. hugely impressed by something after aayirathil oruvan.. here i'm writing away what I could infer from the movie..

The movie begins so.. from Aaranya kaandam where Seetha is abducted by Raavana..

इति उक्त्वा मैथिलीम् वाक्यम् प्रिय अर्हाम् प्रिय वादिनीम् |
अभिगम्य सुदुष्ट आत्मा राक्षसः काम मोहितः |
जग्राह रावणः सीताम् बुधः खे रोहिणीम् इव

In order to take revenge on Rama, Raavan kidnaps Seetha..
The movie begins where Aish(Ragini) ventures into the deep waters in the forest regions where Vikram(Veera) and his people live..
As a revenge on Prithvi(Dev)..

Veera keeps Ragini under lock and keys for a while.. he looks at her with great respect and as one with no measurable someone just like him.. he plans to keep her hidden form her husband for 14 hours ( analogous to 14 years of exile in the epic) and happens to extend the period to 14 days.. Mani, a man who is known to be careful even with the last detail about what he wishes to convey, does not neglect the mythological importance given to Raavana.. Raavana who is known to be the strongest devotee of lord Shiva, has great respect for women.. which Veera seems to have inherited pretty strongly..

Why does he kidnap Ragini?

इति उक्तो लक्ष्मणः तस्याः क्रुद्धो रामस्य पश्यतः |
उद्धृत्य खड्गम् चिच्छ्हेद कर्ण नासम् महाबलः ||

The whole Raavan against Ram warfare results from the actions performed by Ram's brother Lakshman, where they disrespect Raavan's sister Shurpanaka, smoothly played by Priyamani.. and even here mythology says Raavan is Shurpanaka's half-brother and so does the story conveyed by Mani holds the relationship between the two.. The scene where the police official insults Priyamani by holding her nose, fine detailing again..
As I could interpret, Raama's sin committed during the killing of Vali had been depicted but without Vali himself.. where Dev hides himself while shooting Veera..

So Veera kidnaps Ragini and she's let to be on her own terms, Veera falls in love without his knowledge and Ragini is treated by his people as one among them.. showered all the love and care.. still Ragini wants to reunite with Dev,which is obvious and she keeps missing him.. The scene where Veera asks Ragini whether Dev is God.. Mindblowing acting..
And there comes Sundara Kaanda where Hanuman plays messenger..

तत् त्रिकाल हितम् वाक्यम् धर्म्यम् अर्थ अनुबन्धि च |

मन्यस्व नर देवाय जानकी प्रतिदीयताम् ||

Hanuman tries to convince Raavan to send Seetha back with him and explains Rama's heritage..
Karthik(forest :D) meets Ragini at Veera's place and conveys Dev's message and assures her that Dev is safe and is constantly trying to rescue her.. Dev sends Karthik to cut a deal with Veera and hence the meeting takes place and is unsuccessful..

प्रसाद्य भ्रातरम् ज्येष्ठम् सान्त्वेनोपस्थितक्रमः |
देशकालार्थसम्वादि दृष्टलोकपरावः ||

Vibishna who is the more sensible of the two, tries to convince Raavan that what he did was a gruesome mistake.. to abduct someone else's wife is a sin of the highest degree and asks him to return her safely.. to which Raavan opposes and hence Vibishna joins Ram and his crew..
Vibishna played by Naren, is the well educated one of the two and convinces Veera to return Ragini to Dev, which Veera opposes and hence Naren tries to try and cut a deal with Dev and is shot by Dev.. This angers Veera and he decides to attack Dev..

The fight between Dev and Veera is a spectacle to the eye.. Camera does a divine job.. highlight of the whole movie..
Veera decides to leave Ragini to Dev, sacrifices his love, knowing it cannot last.. Dev accuses Ragini of not being truthful.. Ragini gets offended and leaves Dev to see Veera, Dev follows Ragini and finds Veera's hiding place and kills Veera..

स वज्र इव दुर्धर्षो वज्रिबाहुविसर्जितः |

कृतान्त इव चावार्यो न्यपतद्रावणोरसि
स विसृष्तो महावेगह् शरीरान्तकरः शरः |
च्छेद हृदयं तस्य रावणस्य दुरात्मनः ||

So ends the epic and the movie conceived from it..

As always Mani stopped to note the most intricate of the details..
Vikram stands tall, really tall with his acting which cannot be described..
Aish does justice..
Pritvi,Prabhu,Priya and Karthik have been tailored to fit in perfectly for their roles..
The two cameramen are GODS of the profession..
ARR makes magic with the strings(Kaatu sirukki brought goose pimples)
Suhasini with the dialogs..least amount of english I ever noticed in a modern day tamil movie.. amazing work with the pen..

Bottomline: Appreciate creativity, 2000 year existence of the epic.. 100 year existence of cinema.. It has taken 2100 years for a man to interpret the epic in his own way without killing the soul of it.. Mani delivers a master piece again..

Vignesh.. :)