Raavan unveiled at Cannes
Mani Ratnam’s bilingual Raavan/Raavanan was screened to the media at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival on Monday. The event was attended by the lead stars of the movie - Vikram, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.india Updated: May 18, 2010 13:18 IST
A trailer of Mani Ratnam’s bilingual Raavan/Raavanan was screened to the media here today. Timed to coincide with the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, when journalists from the world over assemble here, the event was attended by the lead stars of the movie, Vikram, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.
Amit Khanna of Reliance Big Pictures, which has produced the films, described Mani Ratnam as arguably the best Indian director living today, and said that he and the rest believed in taking such rare movies as Raavan/Raavanan across the globe. Both the Hindi and Tamil versions will open in 58 countries in mid-June. He hoped that this world would help transcend barriers.
Suhasini, Mani Ratnam’s wife and the film’s co-producer and dialogue writer for the Tamil edition, said that it would help “us understand the grey parts that all of us have in us…None of us is completely white or black”. She was all praise for A.R. Rahman’s music, and said that it merged beautifully with the story. In fact, the music accentuated picture. Songs have a great role to play. They do take the plot forward.
Most Indian movies and stories can trace their origins to the two great epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, and Raavan/Raavanan was not different. It has been inspired by the Ramayana, though it really is not a take-off on that.
Incidentally, Ratnam shot both versions simultaneously, something he has never done before, and Vikram and Aishwarya play in both. Bachchan only in the Hindi version. He told the media that his part was his career’s most challenging, most difficult and most stimulating. It was physically exhausting, and Vikram agreed.
Rai felt that apart from the intricacies of essaying the Hindi and Tamil heroine all at the same time, the inhospitable jungle terrain where they shot Ratnam’s work posed its own hazards.
But at the end of it all, she and the rest found a sense of immense satisfaction and joy. Vikram agreed, and said in a private conversation with me that he dubbed for the Hindi version as well. “If Aishwarya could have dubbed for the Tamil edition, why not I for Hindi”, he quipped.
Raavan/Ravanan is the story of Dev and his wife, Ragini, a classical dancer, whose trials begin when he takes up a new posting in a small north Indian town. There the police do not execute the law, but Beera, who has changed the power equation.