Ramayana – Review
Posted by Editor on October 16, 2010 | No Comments
FILM – Ramayana
PRODUCER – Deepa Sahi, Maya Digital Media
DIRECTOR – Chetan Desai
SCREENPLAY – Chetan Desai and Rituraj Tripathi
DIALOGUES – Rituraj Tripathi
VOICES – Manoj Bajpai, Juhi Chawla, Ashutosh Rana, Mukesh Rishi
MUSIC – Sharang Dev Pandit
‘Bakwaas’ is hindi slang for ‘rubbish’. It is difficult to imagine the word ‘rubbish’ figuring in Homer’s Illiad yet it passes muster in the epic tale of Ramayana set in Satyug, a time even much before Illiad’s…
It does not define the film, a visually arresting even if inconsistent effort. But, it is a minor (or even major depending on how one looks at it) point. It speaks of the laziness and myopic creativity applied to most things in our films.
The new 3D version of Ramayana has spanking looking panaromic visuals but wooden protagonists. This, stitched together by an even more wooden screenplay, patchy and appallingly shallow. The epic tale of defining values and heroism, of social and moral codes which drive our society even today is reduced to but an empty tale of events that (supposedly) happened eons ago.
It is surprising to note that the very dynamics of good and evil that drive this epic tale are missing. The heroism of Rama and the evil of Raavan is too strait-jacketted and formulaic to do justice to the ethic of the myth. Jumping from plot point to plot point, it seems to be in a race with itself to cover all lest the spirit of Sage Valmiki haunt the makers and put a ‘shraap’ (curse) on them for making perennially substandard films. The example of Ramayana, however shows that maybe, they just might not Valmiki’s spirits to rise to the challenge after all. Hollow and lacklustre, the epic seems like a shadowy tale of myth that grandma may have told you in your childhood.
The voices of Manoj Bajpai and Mukesh Rishi fit perfect on the characters of Raam and Hanuman especially with the soft intonations and variations that Bajpai invests makes the otherwise inhuman Raam relatable. However, Ashutosh Rana’s Raavan is caricaturish, much like the character and Juhi Chawla’s rendition of Sita is funny, quite like her Kurkure ads.
Visually snappy, in places where long and wide shots of jungles, scenery and palaces are concerned, the animation suddenly becomes listless when it comes to the human figures and their relationships. A much sore point, as Ramayana is as much about human relationships as much as morals. With neither coming alive in the film, it seems like a colossal waste not only manpower and talent but an epic that is extremely important to the Indian ethos and these days politics too.