Watch how Aishwarya Rai seamlessly recreated scenes with Vikram and Prithviraj for Raavan and Raavanan
Back in 2010, Mani Ratnam decided to pull off a rare experiment. On the same day, he released Raavanan and Raavan. While the former was in Tamil, the latter was in Hindi. Instead of simply dubbing the movie in different languages or giving the audiences subtitles, he decided to completely reshoot the movie with different actors. However, there was one thing common in both, Aishwarya Rai.
Raavanan was a tale inspired by the Hindu mythological text of Ramayana. Vikram played a character inspired by Lankan king Raavan while Prithviraj played a character inspired by Lord Ram. In the Hindi version, Vikram crossed over to play Prithviraj's character while Abhishek Bachchan was bought on board as the antagonist. Aishwarya Rai, however, played a character based on Sita in both the versions.+
A cinephile Instagram account has shared a side-by-side edit of Aishwarya in Raavanan and Raavan. In one, she is seen dancing with Vikram and with Prithviraj in the other. Fans were also impressed by the graceful choreography by Shobana Chandrakumar Pillai.
A fan commented, "Same actress...but aish looks much younger with prithvi...sucha range." "I also felt that this choreography done by someone that I familiar..now I got that that style..only one ..the one and only shobhana ma'am," wrote a second fan. Another comment read, "For the longest time I was hoping someone would make side by side clips of Raavan and Raavanan. The fact that Mani Sir made the entire movie twice and each scene looks so perfectly similar albeit with different actors is truly fascinating to me!"
Raavan did not end up being a box office success and received mixed review from critics. Last year, speaking on the film's 10th anniversary, Abhishek had talked about his experience shooting for the movie with his wife. “My 8th film with the missus. She was an absolute trooper during the making of the film. The dedication, and sheer strength it took for her to perform the complexities of her role is just awe inspiring. And she did it all with her trademark smile. To think that she had to perform each scene (regardless of how emotionally and physically challenging) baffles me. And to do it twice each time- as we were shooting the Hindi and Tamil versions simultaneously. Huge salute,” he wrote in a post.
Aishwarya and Mani Ratnam are reportedly working together again on Ponniyin Selvan. The film is a historical epic based on Kalki Krishnamurthy's novel.