Raavan—the Review

59 Comments

“Bak Bak Bak….Cheeeki Cheeki Keech Keech”….a crazy looking man, caked in mud jumped out in front, dancing all around making silent growls.

“God you scared the living daylights out of me. For a second, I thought you were Raavan”, she gasped, putting on her best Oprah Winfrey-show-worthy accent.

“I am Raavan…..or as they say Veera Veera Veera….aur maine hamming se screen ko cheera”. His eyes opened wide.

“No I just meant that the way you sprung out from nowhere, I thought you were the dear-hunting, pavement-dweller-killing ex…..well never mind….but why are you jumping about, making faces like Crimemastergogo?”

“….I am Gilli Gilli Gilli……..Raavan…..paidaishi chor hoon aaya hoon to kuch leke jayoonga…chahe woh bicycle ho ya ek piece plastic”.

The director stepped out from behind the camera, an exasperated sound escaping his lips.

“Cut cut cut”

The man who called himself Raavan raised his hands in desperation.

“Come on wifey. Throw me a line here. I have been doing method acting, trying to get inside the head of a cross between Veerappan, Kobad Gandhy, Chattradhar Mahato and Ravana, caking myself with dung, haldi, mud, black paint, claiming  to have jumped from the top of a ninety-foot gorge (while my stunt double does it) and you have to suddenly get all Pink Panther on us.”

She looked exasperated.

“So what? Even I am trying to channelize Ms. God-Of-All-Things here, trying to show the brigands of Lalgarh or LalMaati or whatever this place is called are bigger heroes than policemen. But you just freaked me out man with your “Hey Cheetah Get Banana Hey Monkey Get Funky” acting, even more so than you do everyday when you wear that hairband of yours. Now don’t push me too much ya, the only reason I have consented to being abducted by you is because you are my husband and I am among the few people who will act opposite you, considering the state of your career. To be honest, this is a fate even worse than an Agnipariksha and a Patalpravesh. God, to think I could be walking in an off-shoulder Bali creation in Cannes right now than be here stuck on this goddamn set.”

The director walked up standing right between the two.

“Come on guys. Stop fighting.”

She turned towards the director, the irritation sharp in her voice.

“Sir, I am sick and tired of being drenched in water everyday. If I had known this whole movie takes place under a shower and in a gigantic bathtub, I would have put on more water-resistant L’Ordeal makeup. You know I am totally worth it.”

The director already had taken enough. Now he too attacked.

“Listen you two. How about some gratitude here? I got the best script-writer I could get for this movie, the guy who almost wrote the  Mithunda movie “Ravaanraaj”. For you Mr. anti-hero, I gave you the whole Prabhuji persona—–the anguished man whose sister has been “lamba kiya” by the villains. I gave you lines like “Chauda ghanta baad maregi” on the lines of “Tere maut ke date fix ki hai” and total originals like when you peek into the hero’s “tent” and say ——“Hum dekhe uske tamboo main kuch hain….photo” and “Raja ke tambu main rakshas ka phootoo” . And just to complete the picture, I  also gave you a “cheel-chaal ke chakka” henchman.”

She asked “Forget Raavan. Where is the hero right now ? Shouldn’t he be like here?”

The director turned away ” He is playing Raavan in the Tamil version.”

The man playing Raavan in the Hindi version shouted “Hey I thought we were making some friggin high art here. ‘The fair is foul and foul is fair, hover through the fog and filthy air’ thing, the kind of movie that would make me look cerebral.  But all you have are some fancy camera tricks and slow motion shots and nothing in terms of a story or acting or a novel treatment. Even I can realize that. For crying out loud, you are one of India’s most visionary directors, you made some of the best commercial movies of the last thirty years—what’s happened to you?”

At that moment the penny dropped. She knew the truth.

Screaming even higher than she had done in the entire movie, she let loose—-“Wait ….wait… that’s not the Director is it? Oh my God…….. it’s actually Mareech in disguise ! Oh no ! Ramu —-is that you?”

There was no response. Just the silence of an empty hall.

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59 thoughts on “Raavan—the Review

  1. This anyways was the best a gold digger actress & a forced star on the industry could do. Mani on the other hand could have done better. Only silver lining for the producer if that he can sell the shots (minus actors) to the tourism department to get enuf to feed him roti n namak after the fiasco.

  2. I don’t even want to watch it. Mani Ratnam is the most overrated director in Hindi movies. Every films of his seems somehow incomplete and inchoate. Dil Se was good for the most part, but ruined by editing. Yuva had some good parts, but also had Ajay Devgan playing a college student and Om Puri a Bengali politico. Guru was a hagiography. Seriously, I have given up on Ratnam – he’s getting more and more like RGV everyday. What would happen to him without Sivan and Manikandan?

    As for Abhishek and wife – any movie that does not have his father as part of a package deal is bound to fail. AB Sr. should have played a cameo here. 🙂

  3. @Brijesh:

    While “forced star” is a legit comment, “gold digger actress” is not. There is no basis for that, is there?

  4. LOLs…good one.

    She asked “Forget Raavan. Where is the hero right now ? Shouldn’t he be like here?”

    specially ‘he be like here’ …hilarious 😀

  5. @shan:

    Valid point.I didn’t intend to go for too literal a meaning though. But point taken.So lets replace ‘Gold Digger’ with a less offensive ‘Overrated Actress'(which also is a personal opinion!) and just say this review was indeed far more entertaining than the ‘attempted creativity’ which in retrospect was over hyped.

  6. “dear-hunting, pavement-dweller-killing ex”…hilariously brilliant….way to go Da!!!
    Ramu in disguise…Mareech….mythology never sounded this interesting.

    When even Rahman’s music sounds lacklustre then the film really doesnt have anything going for it. I dont know why MoneyRatlam spent money on Govinda as Hanuman…he could have made Abhishek do free ‘overtime’ using his Kaala Bandar getup from Dilli-6. The promotions could have been Abhishek in 2 roles, 11 heads and 1 tail in and as Raavan.

    p.s. I take offence to the unlawful and incorrect reference to Crimemaster Go-Go…I make better faces than ABBaby.

  7. Maoist armed the people and when gyaneshwari exp tragedy happened ..they disowned the Mahato gang. Initially mamta and her artists pointed fingers at unknown hand ..but after Mahato arrests they have turned silent.

  8. I fail to understand why Mani Ratnam persists with this non-actor Abhishekh Bachchan.
    Mani might be a Martin Scorcese but Abhi certainly is not Robert De Niro

  9. “Oh no ! Ramu —-is that you?” – Whatay finish!

    The treatment of Raavan could’ve catered only to the South Indian audience. This time Mani got it wrong, it because worse because this lead pair couldn’t compensate it by good acting. Lets hope the experience distances him from the Bachchan clan.

  10. mani hasn’t had a good movie since Kannathil Muthamittal. even guru was hollow in terms of story. one can blame the actors only to a certain extent. the directors got to take a lot of responsibility too.

  11. Fantastic ending…no, no not of the movie; but your review. Golden deer actually turns out to be Mareech…What analogy!!!

  12. Currently i am working in Chennai and the tamil version of this movie raavanan has also received lukewarm response from the audience over here…No surprise!!!…Thanks for the review…u saved my 200 bucks..:)

  13. You should watch the Tamil version. Has better acting, slightly better dialogues, Ash doesn’t shriek (as she’s dubbed over), and is edited a little differently too. Somehow the first three-quarters make a lot more sense. The ending is still a little out there, but then the plot hasn’t changed that much 🙂
    Of course, the biggest reason it works is Vikram as Veera. And you realize that Aby-baby has done his worst to copy him.

  14. I guess what’s written here sums the movie up and typically summarizes Bongs transcending or transformation in terms of writing movie reviews, right from Asumbhav where each and every aspect was made fun of to the more recent MNIK or Raavan where parody is being made from a more holistic perspective… I personally prefer for the former as a reader but later as a writer;

  15. like RGV’s drift to underworld and mafia in most of his movies in the last decade, you also drift towards the unabated hunger of prabuji rampage sometimes..for me that obstructed the flow,though on a reread i may change the opinion…

  16. after reading ur review there is no need to watch the movie….ur post seems more intersting than the actual film…….exceptionally hilarious……

  17. after reading ur review there is no need to watch the movie….ur post seems to be more interesting than the actual movie…….exceptionally hilarious……

  18. The ending is a super gem.

    Btw, I dont see the Ramu joke going for much longer, since most directors are going down his path.

    And frankly, how does Abhishek Bachchan face the mirror in the morning! I can understand for Tussar Kapoor, but always felt the Abhishek is capable of something else. Why this desperation to mis-act?

  19. Awesome!!.
    nowadays i wait for than crappy ones more than ever just to read your dig on them.:)
    How bout reviewing some cult classics of sunil shetty(long hair-monkey face-yellow suit-moaning) sometimes.Think about it.:)

  20. i like the comments to this post more than the post itself… the post is kinda julvenile and lame… couldn’t go past the first paragraph.

  21. Greatbong is losing it, this is one of the lamest review I have read of Raavan across a significant number of blogs. There is not even one smart observation or comment here, forget laughing I cringe every time greatbong refers to lambu aata , chutiya etc I mean common It was funny once twice but every blog is the same. This used to be a good blog( not great) but this is going down the drain.

  22. Is it that you just have to review every bad movie? If you don’t have the time, just let it pass sometimes…

    And I agree with Ankit – the Gundaa jokes are way past their expiry date.

  23. Keep ’em coming. I loved this one to the hilt. The Ramu Mareech analogy was something only you could’ve come up with.

    Cheers!

  24. not as funny review as some of your best ones.

    I liked your reviews of SRK movies best and of course your review of Jaani-Dushman type movies.

    This review and the review of Kites wasn’t very funny.

    I guess , some movies are so boring that one can’t even make fun of them.

    btw did anyone notice that the song Thok De Killi has a ring similar to chale-chalo of Lagaan . Esp when Raavan does beats his stick during the dance

  25. GB, I really enjoy reading your posts especially the movie review ones. Just wanted to know if it would be possible for you to review another Bollywood classic by the name ‘Tiranga’ (1992) starring the late Raj Kumar and Nana Patekar.

    It has some truly hilarious moments, and I believe would be a great candidate for a GB review.

    Thanks in advance if you decide to do so. And keep up the good work!

  26. Sorry GB, don’t believe you have done justice to this movie. I disagree on most points. Went to the theatre after reading your review, and was very pleasantly surprised. Ash and Abhishek, for a change did some acting here. The storyline (a well known one and hence infinitely more difficult to present to the audience) was very maturely handled without too much messing around…otherwise a common occurrence in Bollywood. The editing, the script…all of it well crafted. And some very neat modern twists in the story to put it in context…naming Govinda’s character Sanjeevani for one. And finally camera work….simply amazing…..

    Sad to see this review and infinitely sadder to see the comments above! Expected far better from you…

  27. Saw the movie yesterday night, thanks for the review the expectations were minimum, in the middle of the movie I shouted within myself, GB is a genius, but that did tend to change a bit at the later part of the second half, would have been left crestfallen had Ratnam gave the movie a Karan Johar kind of ending as it was shaping that way, but he did show bit of his class, yes the performances from the lead pair were close to abyss, but Raavan did have its moments & I guess the people may slowly accept the movie..but the script editing and acting should have been better in the first half..

    but the observations made on the location of shots,the continues rain, the large bath tubs, aish’s make up ordeals, her weird make up in an attempt to make us believe them as histrionics are top draw…

  28. GB, I have always been an ardent fan of your blogs. Your posts on the reviews of movies like “Karzz”, “Ghajini” and “Drona” had me rolling on the floor laughing. But lately, I feel that your quality of humor is going down. There are just too many sleazy dialogs, puns and innuendos, but the humor element is missing somehow. Hope to see some really great posts from you in the future.

  29. Greatbong, you used to write well – but that was a long time ago. Your review of this movie was just pointless, filled with random, repeated puns (L’ Ordeal is old, very old). Your desperation for being populist is overtaking your creativity – giving a title that says Raavan (A review), references to Mithunda, poking fun at Ramu – all these are juvenile and pathetic jabs that might go well with cheapskates. I want the old greatbong back – sharp, original and witty.

    I still read your archives.. 🙂

  30. GB, ignore those disappointed at not being able to LOL on the floor. They’ve probably never memorized the lyrics to Toybox’s Tarzan and Jane.

  31. Hi,
    Why have you stopped writing film reviews? It has been over two months that you wrote this. Eagerly waiting for your reviews on latest movies like “Peepli Live”, “Inception” etc. etc.

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