Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Prithvi's 'Aadujeevitham' still on : Blessy


The director quashed rumours saying that he had replaced Prithvi with Vikram.

Director Blessy has squashed the rumours saying that he had dropped his Prithviraj project, titled Aadujeevitham'. A section of the media had even reported that Blessy had replaced Prithviraj with Tamil superstar Vikram.

Blessy made it clear that Aadujeevitham' is very much on and that he would do the film with Vikram only after the completion of this. Prithviraj has to shed about 20 kg for the film and the actor is busy working on that, said Blessy.

The film is based on an acclaimed novel by Benyamin. It is about the lonely life of Mujeeb, a young shepherd. Prithvi plays this character.

Source : http://www.filmydum.com/top-stories/1437/prithvis-aadujeevitham-still-on-blessy

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WHO IS ATM THIRUDAN?


ATM Thirudan is the name of the film that is directed by Joshi. The film was originally titled Naan Ninaithathai Mudippavan but the director opted for the name change for reasons best known to him. The film is being made in Tamil and Malayalam and has Prithviraj, Naren, Jayasuriya, Bhavana and Samrutha Sunil in the lead roles.

The film revolves around Prithviraj, who plays a computer scientist. He masterminds a plan and steals crores of rupees from the bank ATM and distributes it to the poor. Naren plays the CBI officer and Jayasuriya, the police officer in search of the criminal.

Shaji has wielded the camera for ATM Thirudan and Rajaraja has penned the dialogues. M Jayachandran has scored the music for the film.

Source : http://www.behindwoods.com/tamil-movie-news-1/jun-10-04/atm-thirudan-prithviraj-30-06-10.html

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Prithviraj again with Santhosh Sivan


Prithviraj is passing through sunny times in his career with his latest flicks like ‘Raavanan’ and ‘Pokkiri Raja’ earning him much of the accolades. The actor who has just completed his ‘Anwar’ with Amal Neerad will be seen again with the world famous cinematographer -director Santhosh Sivan.

His new flick titled ‘Urumy’ will have Prithvi donning the lead. The movie will be scripted by Sankar Ramakrishnan who is an associate to hit maker Renjith. Shankar had earlier scripted and directed the short ‘Island Express’ in the collection ‘Kerala CafĂ©’. The other members of the cast and crew of the movie are yet to be announced.

Prithviraj had earlier been with Santhosh Shivan for the hit movie ‘Anandha Bhadram’.

Source : http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/malayalam/article/58198.html

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Raavanan - revisiting an epic


The “ten-headed freak” has finally surged into the town after the copious amount of hype surrounding him. But, will the Tamil “Raavanan” succeed in conquering the box office?

Adaptations

Mani Ratnam comes up with yet another modern day adaptation of an Indian epic after Rajnikanth's “Dalapati” which was apparently a Mahabharata rip off. This time it's the Ramayana. Each character of Mani's can be co-related with that of Valmiki's and Mani has succeeded in getting his casting bang on target. Vikram as the monstrous Veeraiah (Raavanan) proves his acting genius yet again. He comes around as a true performer. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, as the charming Ragini (Sita) mesmerises you with her pristine beauty. At times, it even overshadows her remarkable performance. And the handsome Prithviraj with a well-toned physique fits in well into the role of the shrewd Police Officer Dev (Lord Rama). He succeeds in exhibiting the shades of grey in his character with ease.

It is good to see veterans like Karthik and Prabhu back in action. Though they've got their yesteryear brilliance still intact, they go overboard at times. Especially Karthik, as the forest guard (a caricature of Hanuman) could have been more subtle. Mani has managed to effectively incorporate even the smallest but crucial characters from the ancient epic into his plot namely those of Soorpanaka (Priyamani), Vibeeshanan (Munna), Lakshmanan (Hemanth).

But it is the cinematography which elevates this movie to a different level. Whether it is the introduction to Veera, or the picturisation of the Usurey Poguthey number, the lens of Santhosh Sivan and Manikandan literally teleport us to the jungle realm. The picturesque water-falls, deep gorges and the dense flora leave the audience dumb-struck. Samir Chanda has to be commended for his captivating art-work. Some of the daredevil stunts performed by the lead characters are amazing. Especially the duel between Veera and Dev on the hanging bridge sums up to a nail-biting climax. A.R. Rahman comes up with yet another immortal piece of work for Mani. His jungle beats, melancholic howls, and the chartbuster songs are in unison with the movie's feel.

Not magical

Despite its technical brilliance, dependable star-cast and world-class music, “Raavanan” proves to be “a film by Mani Ratnam” sans Mani's magic. The lack of depth in the characterisation and obscurity in the Veera-Ragini relationship prove to be a major drawback. Suhasini's dialogues could have been more appealing. Mani's yesteryear classics such as “Dalapati”, “Nayakan” and “Guru” had those magical moments which made those movies immortal. Unfortunately, such moments are nowhere to be seen in “Raavanan”. Mani misses the trick this time around. Watch it for Vikram's acting genius, Rahman's musical wizardry and some fascinating photography.

Movie: Raavanan

Cast: Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Prithviraj, Prabhu, Kartik

J.M.Deepak Kumaar, V Year, Information Technology, Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering

Source : http://www.thehindu.com/arts/cinema/article482175.ece

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Mamta romance Prithviraj in Kulu Manali




Last week after working round the clock for the promotions of Raavanan in Kerala, Prithviraj went on a hush-hush trip to Kulu Manali.

Prithvi was in Kulu Manali to romance with Mamta for a song for their forthcoming Amal Neerad’s Anwar. The song was picturised by Anwar in never seen before locations.

Says Mamta: “It was really Kool to shoot in Kullu Manali. Had an adventure out there shooting a song for Anwar. It was tough and learnt what life could be without water, electricity or cell towers. We were shooting in a very remote place.”

Source : http://sify.com/movies/malayalam/fullstory.php?id=14947089

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Raavanan Makes Huge Money in Kerala


The critical reviews are mixed, but the votes from the far south have pushed Raavanan to the top. The film has made a huge amount of money in that state, grossing about a sum of Rs 1.67 Crore in the opening week. The number of screens in Kerala was only 66, but thanks to the aggressive marketing promos done by both Vikram and Prithviraj, the film has done great.

The film has done more than 18 lakhs Rupees from Ernakulam?s Shenoys and Padma screens. The main reason for this has been sighted as the promos done by the two handsome stars that went over to the theaters and mingled with the people.

Though the collections from the Hindi version of the movie has not been up to the mark, the Tamil version has gained huge amount of interest in people thanks to the hero Prithviraj, who is considered to be the uncrowned prince of Mollywood. Thanks to the stunning end of the film, and the insane fight on the bridge and breathtaking scenes, the film is doing great. And the added promotions done by them added to their credibility. Overall the film is doing great.

Source : http://www.indiglamour.com/s3cms/article/04/Raavanan-Makes-Huge-Money-in-Kerala201006

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Ranking based on Chennai Box Office Collections from June 25th 2010 to June 27th 2010



Cast: Vikram, Aishwarya Rai, Priyamani, Prithviraj, Prabhu, Karthik, Munna, Ranjitha.
Direction: Mani Ratnam
Music: A R Rahman
Production: Madras Talkies

Mani might have drawn inspiration from the character of the demon king Raavanan, but Vikram’s character in the movie comes across as a do-gooder. The ensemble star cast and the impeccable cinematography stands out in the high voltage drama.

Trade Talk:

The initial weekends are completely booked, leaving fans disappointed for unavailability of tickets.

Public Talk:
Mani has managed to wow his fans, despite the fact that movie is marred with logical flaws. Cinematography, music and the cast are the reasons.

No. Weeks Completed: 1
No. Shows in Chennai over this weekend: 364
Average Theatre Occupancy over this weekend: 85%
Collection over this weekend in Chennai: Rs. 81,43,348
Total collections in Chennai: Rs.2.55 Crore

Verdict: Good Opening

Source : http://www.behindwoods.com/tamil-movies-slide-shows/movie-4/top-ten-movies/tamil-cinema-topten-movie-raavanan.html

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Ravanan - The Vulnerable Veera


With oscillating interests and subdued expectations, I went to see the movie "Ravanan". The thamizh version of Mani Rathnam's movie.

A movie that has an awesome and a break taking presence on your senses.

The story has its roots in the Ramanaya, the epic close to every Hindu's heart. Ram is played by Prithvi Raj, the young police officer, who is transferred close to a forest area only for capturing the notorious criminal "Veera". Seetha, is Aishwarya Rai. "Ragini" as called in the movie - wife of Prithvi Raj. Ravanan, is played by Vikram. The criminal hiding in the forest and who is searched for by the Police.

The first scene opens up with Vikram standing high and mighty on top of a hill and plunging deep down into the cliff into the water. His presence reverberates through the audience and whistles and claps echo around.

The story starts with Veera abducting Ragini from her boat. She is then blindfolded and taken to Veera's hideout in the mountain where Veera plans to kill Ragini to avenge his sister's death. But while he is at it, Ragini boldly confronts him with her fearlessness and lashes out at him saying that no one but she is responsible for her own life and that he does not have the right to take her life away. With that she drops down from the cliff into the yawning valley below where the water flows. Veera searches for her down the cliff to find her floating on top of a tree and slowly falling into the water. And at that instant, he falls in love with her. A beautiful moment indeed! Captured well by the camera and Rehman's music.

What follows from then is Ramayana. Dev (Prithvi Raj) follows with his commandos into the forest to rescue his wife. Ragini tries escaping many times only to be captured by Veera again. But after a few attempts, Ragini realizes that Veera has fallen in love with her. She is given a saree from one of the women in the village. She is given a name "Kurvamma" by Veera. She is given the freedom to roam around. Ragini stays for her Dev to come and rescue her.

Though Veera abducts Ragini to avenge the death of his sister who was humiliated by the police, he falls in love. At a "maatraan thotattu maligai" (a jasmine in another man's garden). He never touches her. He never forces her. All he wants her was to decide to stay back in the little village in the forest. He tells this surrounded by little children on a coracle with Ragini standing on the shore. A beautiful way of communicating love. Ragini is just lost for words.

Does Dev find Ragini? - As per Ramayana, he must indeed! After all, he is the disciplined and brave police officer who values duty more than anything in his life. But now, arises many more questions. Is duty more important to Dev than love? More than his wife? More than sensitivity? Ragini does ask him whether he has come to the forest to rescue her or to catch Veera. Did Seetha ever have this question for Rama?

Is Veera the bad man? - As per Ramayana, he is indeed! After all, he has abducted another man's wife. But now, come the queasy questions. Is a man who is sensitive to a woman, bad? Is a man who does not touch a hair of his lover, wicked? Is a man, who in his most vulnerable self, proclaims that he wants to meet Dev and ask him why he met Ragini before he did, a villain? Is a man, who saves Dev when the latter is hanging on a falling bridge, only for the woman he has fallen in love with, selfish?

Who does Ragini choose? - As per Ramayana, she chooses her Dev indeed! After all, she considers Dev as her God. But then, she could not avoid tears from slipping out from her eyes when she learns how brutally Veera's sister was molested by some policemen who are reporting to Dev. She could not stop from staring at Veera when he was dancing merrily with his clan to celebrate a victory. She could not stop from praying to God pleading him to give her strength to hate the evil and not fall for the good in them. She could not believe it when her husband says the Veera spoke ill of her. She could not shoot Veera when the latter gives her the gun to hold it when he is searching for her husband in the cliff. She could not hide the tremor in her eyes, the cry from her lips or the shake in her hands that were desperately trying to catch the falling Veera.

Ramayana is an epic. Rama is God. Ravana is a villain. Seetha is the impeccable wife.

But every coin has two sides. There is a Ravana in a Ram. There is a Ram in a Ravana. And any Sita would oscillate between the two...Ragini is no exception. And that's why a whisper escapes from Veera's soul when his body is falling down the cliff. A whisper that says that he will be back to love her again...

The movie began with Veera sliding down the cliff. The movie ends with him slipping down its edge.

The first one with life, the second, without life.
The first one without love, the second with love.
He really did fall in love…didn’t he?

Many people in the theatre were glued to their seats even after the end. And many more were engaged in a discussion about the movie even after 12:30 in the night when the theatre starting emptying.

I am tempted to watch it another time too :-)

The actors have played their parts so well that it is tough to believe that they are not the characters themselves. Vikram's performance was outstanding. The man has rawness, a larger than life presence, and the ability to standout as powerful yet vulnerable. Standing ovation to this hero who lives the character he plays.

Aishwarya Rai has matured in this movie. She is no more the nubile hip shaking doll that men would love to play with in their dreams. She is a woman with a mature sensuality. She knows what she is doing and she is doing it well.

Prithvi Raj - This actor has blossomed into a very handsome hunk in this movie. The role of a police officer suits him very well. With his slanting eyes and muscled shoulders, he reflects sensuality and power. A song :-)

Prabhu, Karthik, and Priya mani have done their parts very well too.

The hero who needs many accolades is the camera. The awesome beauty of Adhirampally falls and the lush greenery of the forests transport us to a different world. The color of forest, the color of water, the color of sandalwood, the color of Rai's eyes, the color of love, the color of life - a fine performance, dear cameraman.

Rehman has done his part in the situational songs. The more you hear them, the more you will like them.

And, the Director takes the crown! I have fallen in love again Mani Rathnam. With your creativity, your sensitivity, your stories...

Ravanan - a movie that will make us peer back into history, will allow you to unravel the mystery of time that has slowly eroded the rights and wrongs of the forgone years, and will let us play with the lovely mystic ball called life...and death.

In love with Ravanan,
Kalps ;-)

Source : http://kalpscolumn.blogspot.com/2010/06/ravanan-vulnerable-veera.html?spref=tw

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Has Prithvi been chucked out of Blessy's 'Aadujeevitham' ?


A rumour that young superstar Prithviraj has been chucked out of Blessy's new film 'Aadujeevitham' has rocked Malluwood.

Reports by certain sections of the media claim that Prithvi would no longer be a part of the project, for which he has been reportedly shedding weight.

The news claims that instead of Prithvi, Tamil superstar Vikram would play the lead in 'Aadujeevitham'.

Vikram had recently expressed his desire to be part of a good Malayalam film, and had said that the budget or his remuneration would not be a consideration if the script is good.

Blessy's film sounds like the ideal relaunch pad for Vikram who had earlier acted in small roles in Malayalam films, before he discovered superstardom in Tamil.

Neither Blessy nor Vikram or Prithviraj have reacted to the rumours.

Source : http://www.nowrunning.com/news/malayalam/has-prithvi-been-chucked-out-of-blessys-aadujeevitham/32605/story.htm

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Stop pirate CD circulation : Suhasini



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Save 'Raavanan', says Suhasini


Suhasini today called on Chennai Commissioner of Police T Rajendran to stop the flow of pirated DVDs of the movie 'Raavanan', produced and directed by the actress's husband Mani Ratnam.

Talking to journalists after lodging the complaint, Suhasini said, "Pirated DVDs of the movie were brought to Chennai from Puducherry and other neighbouring States. We have also lodged a complaint to Puducherry Chief Minister Vaithilingam."

She added: "The police chief has immediately requested his subordinates to look into the issue". Suhasini also denied the alleged involvement of the people in the film industry in bringing out the pirated versions.

Source : http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/tamil/article/58135.html

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Prithviraj as Dev is outstanding : Hindustan Times


Raavanan

Language: Tamil (with English subtitles in Delhi and Mumbai)
Cast: Vikram, Aishwarya Rai, Prithvi Raj, Prabhu, Karthik A
Direction: Mani Ratnam
Rating: 4 stars

They don’t call him Mani Ratnam for nothing. Raavanan’s story is as familiar as a recurring childhood dream. So Ratnam simply did what he does best: make the characters more nuanced. And that has led to myriad possibilities. Ratnam’s Ram — Dev — has more flaws than the evil Raavan could ever have with all his 10 heads. And Prithviraj as Dev is outstanding — he looks good, acts tough and is ruthless to the point of being heartless. And the combination rocks. So forget the Hindi version of the movie; the story’s soul has been installed properly in the Tamil version.

The subtext of the Maoist-tribal issue is subtly thrown into the plot-boiler. But the Tamil version connects better with the story of forest brigand Veerappan and the special task force that hunted him down.

Raavanan is a 14-day journey in the forest, where Dev is on the trail of Veera who has abducted his wife Raagini to avenge his sister’s death. It turns out to be a journey into the hearts and minds of the three. You find yourself rooting for the bad guy who’s just lost not only his will to kill but also his heart. When he asks his brother “How do you kill someone who has no fear?”, you feel for him.

Vikram as Veera is menacing and masculine, yet vulnerable. Aishwarya makes this one count with her performance — not just with looks. And it is the brilliant chemistry between the two — eat your heart Abhishek — that bring this version alive. At one point he asks her: “Would you have stayed with me if you weren’t married?” Silence is the only answer he gets, but it’s such a tantalisingly loaded silence.

Vairamuthu’s lyrics infuse zest into the narrative itself. Though the background score doesn’t stand out, a couple of songs hit the right spot.

Neither Ratnam nor Rahman is at the top of his game here, but they do with class what they can’t with form. The real star is Santosh Sivan, whose cinematography makes you feel as if you are living a Pablo Neruda poem in the rain forests of Chile. The surreal scenery and masterful sound makes up the rest. Raavanan is not the best-cut Ratnam but it’s definitely not a botch-up, as the Hindi version has seemed to many.

Source : http://www.hindustantimes.com/Om-Mani-Padme/Article1-563254.aspx

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Poonam Kaur opposite Prithviraj in 'The Thriller'


Punjabi model Poonam Kaur would be seen opposite Prithviraj in his new film 'The Thriller' to be directed by B Unnikrishnan.

'The Thriller' is reportedly based on the Paul Muthoot murder case that had rocked the state last year.

The shoot of the film would be held at Vizhinjam and Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram. There would also be a second schedule that would be shot abroad.

Besides Prithvi and Poonam, the film also stars another heroine who hasn't been finalized. Lalu Alex, Jagathy, Saikumar and Riyaz Khan form part of the supporting cast.

Source : http://www.nowrunning.com/news/malayalam/poonam-kaur-opposite-prithvi-in-the-thriller/32595/story.htm

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PRITHVIRAJ THE STAR… VIKRAM THE ACTOR…



Vikram and Prithviraj were interviewed by a national daily on their experiences in working in the Mani Ratnam directed Raavanan. Both the actors recalled how dangerous it was during the shooting. Prithviraj also recalled several risky stunt scenes and said he used to ask Aishwarya Rai if the wounds she had were real or made-up.

Vikram pointed out a scene in the film where he required to take a 100-ft dive into the Hogenakkal and revealed that the scene was filmed using the dupe Balram, as he did not want to take the risk. When asked which role was better? Vikram said, “Dev is the star and Veera, the actor.”

Source : http://www.behindwoods.com/tamil-movie-news-1/jun-10-04/vikram-mani-ratnam-24-06-10.html

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Mani's Raavanan rocks Kerala!


Mani Ratnam’s Raavanan featuring Vikram, Prithviraj and Aishwarya Rai is turning out to be a super hit in Kerala.

The film has taken a better opening than any recent Mammootty or Mohanlal films!

From 66 screens in Kerala, the film has grossed a whopping Rs 1.67 crore, with a distributor’s share of Rs 62 lakhs in its opening week (June 18 to 24).

In Ernakulam city from Shenoys and Padma the film has netted Rs 18, 65, 255, which is fantastic by any yardstick.

Says Suresh Shenoy of Shenoys Ernakulam: “Raavanan is doing extraordinary business in Kerala. People seem to like it for Vikram, Prithvi and Ash, especially the climax fight on the bridge and the stunning ending. People are also clapping for the camerawork of Santosh Sivan, which I have never seen for any other film.”

The aggressive promotions done by Vikram and Prithviraj paid off handsomely. They visited theatres screening the film in Ernakulam and mingled with the crowds who went ga-ga over them.

Adds Suresh Shenoy: “ During the interval break Vikram and Prithvi visited Shenoys which was houseful. They stood near the screen and Vikram spoke in Malayalam which had the crowd in raptures. I would say their promotions helped the film as they were all over the Malayalam channels which helped the film to get a fantastic opening.”

The collections from Hindi Raavan which opened in six screens in the state have been disappointing. Abhishek is not a star in Kerala where Bollywood stars like the Khans- Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir, and Hrithik Roshan rules.

Source : http://sify.com/movies/fullstory.php?id=14946787

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Pokkiri Raja rules box-office


The film starring Southern superstars Mammooty and Prithviraj has been lapped up by audience and critics alike

Pokkiri Raja, directed by debutant Vysakh, is doing brisk business at the box-office. The film has managed to live up to the hype surrounding it. This is the first time South superstars Mammootty and Prithviraj were coming together in equally important roles. Along with Shriya Saran, there was an impressive array of popular artistes. The plot had all the ingredients of a box-office success replete with a healthy dose of music, action, punchy dialogues and slapstick comedy.

Produced under the banner of Mulagupaadam Films by Tomichchan Mulagupaadam, Pokkiri Raja has been lapped up by ardent fans of Mammootty and Prithviraj and is still running at almost all the centres where it has been released.

Debutant director Vysakh, who is basking in the glory of his new-found success, spoke to Screen in a telephonic interview. Excerpts:

How do you feel now that your debut film is a big hit?
I’m very happy.

What, in your view, is the secret behind the film's success?
The plot, the film's treatment and the casting contributed to the movie's success. Pokkiri Raja witnessed a coming together of some of the most talented of people in the film industry and that created magic. Since I was a debutant, everyone gave me utmost support and put in their maximum efforts. The secret behind the film's success is teamwork.

What have been the film's collections?
Made at a total budget of 4.25 crore, the film's gross collection is about 16.5 crore. It has recorded the highest collections in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

Did you expect the film to be a huge success?
To be frank, yes I did. Hope I don't sound vain. I knew that my career and my life depended on the film and hence I wanted it to be a hit. With a good script, an impressive cast and a brilliant team of technicians, the film was bound to be a success.

What about your forthcoming film Seniors?

It's still in the discussion stage. The cast is also being finalised.

Source : http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pokkiri-raja-rules-boxoffice/637040/1

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Pooja of "THE THRILLER"




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Raavanan Review - Mouthshut.com

My Take:

1. Vikram!!!
The biggest reason why Ravanan is watchable is Vikram’s interpretation of the "Veera"/ "Ravanan" character. The basic difference between Abhiskek’s version and Vikram’s is this...Abhishek is a boy playing Beera, Vikram plays Veera like a Man. You have the same unintentionally hilarious scene where there are 10 villagers describing different aspects of the Veera character..but you know what...it is actually believable in the tamil version as Vikram actually adds complexity to his character, without making anything caricature’ish. Vikram’s Veera is above all else Noble. While the screenplay still lets him down, his facial expressions, his sheer masculinity, and warmth on the screen make Vikram very credible as a man people look up to, a defender of the very people he comes from. The other aspect of Vikram’s portrayal that i really liked is the fact that he comes across as a strong, almost invulnerable man with one achilles heel...his strong attraction to Raagini. While Abhishek made his attraction almost laughable with his manic behaviour, the very same mannerisms on Vikram make him look like a man who is struggling to hide his attraction for an unattainable lady, almost losingcontrol of his faculties every time he is around her! I loved the scene on the revolving boat, where Veera asks Raagini to stay back with him. This is a proud man who is asking for the moon..he knows she wont stay, yet he is helpless in the face of his desire. Tremendous work by Vikram!

2. Language, setting:
The rustic tamil spoken consistently by all of Veera’s people, and the rain drenched lush forests are MUCH more in sync with Ravanan than it was with Ravan.... i have to admit, while watching the hindi version, i spent half my time wondering where exactly the action was happening! In Ravanan, the setting is in tune with the characters and Veera’s community makes sense.

3. Dev and Raagini:
Prithivi Raj and Aishwarya, as Dev and Raagini in the tamil version, look far more in tune as a couple than Vikram and Aishwarya did in Raavan. A huge problem with Aishwarya’s looks is that very few men match up to her on an equal footing on screen. Salman Khan, Hrithik are some of the men in the past who have complimented her. Prithivraj too has the clean cut looks that sort of gel with Aishwarya’s on screen presence. Vikram does fabulously as a Ravanan who ASPIRES to be with Raagini, a bit in awe if you will,knowing that they dont quite fit together. Whereas Prithvi raj looks quite comfortable playing Aishwarya’s on screen husband. That being said, there are still HUGE problems with Dev/Prithiviraj’s characterization even in the tamil version, but atleast he looks the part..both in terms of his on screen paramour, AND in terms of providing a complete anti thesis to Vikram, with regards totheir appearance.

4. Music:
Inexplicably, even though the melody is the same, the lyrics arent that different, the music in Ravanan works much better. I think again the cultural suitability of the soundtrack, given that Rahman and Mani Rathnam (who must be ok’ing the tunes)are from the South,is what goes in favour of Ravanan.The "Katta Katta" song is incredibly catchy, the dance song is well choreographed and Vikram is a far more accomplished dancer..or i should say his steps just fit better with his characterisation than it did with Abhishek.

5. Veera/Ravanan and Raagini:
In the tamil version, the viewer has no difficulty believing that Veera is besotted with Raagini, that he finds himself vulnerable only when it comes to her. Alternately, Raagini does not display any attraction towards Veera. Yes, she does soften towards him as the movie progresses, but it is fairly clear that she wants to get backto her husband. The ambivalence that was there towards Abhishek, isnt seen in the tamil version, which actually works out well. This is closer to the original conceptualisation of Sita...which fits inbetter with the plot that Mani Rathnam has deviced for his movie.

All in all, while Ravanan still falls short of Mani Rathnam’s earlier works, it is not nearly as bad as i thought it was :) The tamil version has a good Veera/Ravanan, a beautiful Sita/Ragini, a good looking if poorly characterised Dev, and some interesting songs to fill in the gaps

Source : http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Ravanan_Movie-194048-1.html

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Raavanan Review from "Amitabh Bachchan"

Aishwarya and Prithviraj share a splendid chemistry on screen. These are two very good looking actors. A couple in synchronization yet not adequately shown together. Prithviraj plays Dev aptly and oozes with masculine appeal.
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read more : http://www.twitlonger.com/show/23a6lr

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Why did Mani avoid the Chennai media?


It is an old story that Mani Ratnam was banking a lot on the Hindi version of Raavan featuring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Vikram.

The Tamil version Raavanan with Vikram doing Abhishek’s character and Prithviraj stepping into Vikram character was just an adaption of the Hindi version. Villain in Telugu was a dubbing of the Tamil Raavanan.

Before release, Mani Ratnam gave top priority to the Hindi Raavan and totally played down the Tamil and Telugu versions. Says a veteran Tamil journalist: “Mani sir totally ignored the Tamil press, and he refused to give interviews to the local media. He took his Tamil audiences for granted”.

At the same time, upcountry journalists were given interviews and pampered with choice sound bytes. Some of them residing in Patna or Ahmedabad were given phone-in interviews, while local journalists waiting outside his office in Chennai were shooed away.

In the mean time, the director took initiative to hold a press meet along with Aishwarya Rai, Suhasini, Vikram and Priya Mani in Hyderabad, where only a dubbed Telugu version was releasing!

It was Vikram who saved the day to a certain extent for Tamil and Chennai based journalists by giving non-stop interviews on Raavanan.

Once Raavan released, the film was savaged by North Indian media, who said it was not only “boring but also had no content.” Noted trade analysts like Taran Adarsh and well known television critic Rajeev Masand gave only 1.5 marks out of 5 and trashed the film.

Another noted columnist called it “Mani Ratnam's Aag”, a reference to one of the biggest flops of the decade Ram Gopal Varma’s Aag!

At the same time, critics and the press down south who Mani had ignored in his eagerness to pander to the North Indian media, were far more kind and also respectful towards the filmmaker and his Raavanan.

Once it became clear that Raavan had bombed and Big B blamed the director “for bad editing”, Mani Ratnam’s Bollywood dreams turned into a nightmare. The media especially the internet is full of Raavan jokes, and how Abhishek ended up with egg on his face.

Meanwhile as a damage control measure, Mani did a U turn and is now trying to woo the local Chennai press by giving selective interviews on Raavanan, three days after the film’s release.

But by then it was too late as Raavanan too has started showing symptoms of an imminent fall at the box-office, as collections started plummeting in Tamil Nadu from Monday onwards.

Source : http://sify.com/movies/tamil/fullstory.php?id=14946571

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Prithviraj sidelined!


Actor Prithviraj might have played Aishwarya Rai’s husband in the recently-released Raavanan, but according to sources, the actor received ‘step-motherly treatment’ from the production team.

We heard that Prithviraj got a raw deal as he was not even invited to be part of the film’s promotions.

What’s more, the actor had to gatecrash the London premiere of the film. Sources say he ‘went on a personal tour to Scotland’ just two days before the premiere as his friends in Kerala started asking him about his plans for the movie’s promotion. We hear that the actor is still sore about being left out of the promotion of Villain (The Telugu version of Raavanan) as Ash and Vikram hogged the limelight in Hyderabad.The actor is now aggressively promoting the film in his home state Kerala with Vikram.

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/regional/news-interviews/Prithviraj-sidelined/articleshow/6086849.cms

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Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan, Vikram and Prithviraj at RAAVAN Post Premiere Party



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Raavan vs Raavanan


Raavan and Raavanan, like many other Mani Ratnam films, will be forever entrenched in the history of Indian cinema. It marks new heights for all those involved and raises the bar of expectations from Indian cinema by audiences worldwide. The bilingual saga has finally reached verdict day. The good, bad and the ugly has all been said and written about both versions. However, the prevailing opinion amongst critics and audiences, who have witnessed both Raavan and its Tamil counterpart, is that the latter triumphs over the former and impresses far more. At first, it's rather mind boggling to contemplate how a bilingual film, shot simultaneously, be differentiated to such an extent as to demand two very different reviews from both audiences and critics alike. However, as you continue to read this piece the 'how' will become very much apparent.

Dev vs Dev


Comparing the two portrayals of Dev Pratap Sharma is rather difficult because the two portrayals have been absolutely customized by the individual actors, namely Vikram in the Hindi version and Prithviraj in the Tamil version. To some extent you can explain the difference as intentional because the team openly spoke about the need to maintain some contrasts between Raavan and Raavanan as the audiences of each are rather unique. However, this explanation has its limits and the other possible explanation is that Vikram's portrayal of Dev had a bit too much of 'Beera' in it than intended.

The aim of Mani Ratnam's storyline is to portray that there is no black and white in this world. People often fall into the grey area, and Dev and Beera are perfect examples of such grey-shaded people. So yes, there was an extent of Beera that was to be reflected in Dev, however not to the extent we saw in the Hindi version. The simple explanation to this is that Vikram has also essayed the role of Veera (Beera in Hindi) in the Tamil version, and as the movie was shot simultaneously it's rather plausible that he let in a bit too much of Veera into Dev.

Comparison of just one dynamic scene in both films proves this suspicion true, and that would be the scene post Sakarai/Hariya's death where Beera/Veera heads to the police camps and starts causing havoc in his classic style. Dev emerges from his tent shocked, furious and ready to fight, weapon in hand. He sees Beera/Veera and sees the intent in his eyes to avenge the death of his brother. In that moment, Dev's emotions, in the Tamil version by Prithviraj, is a mixture of anger, frustration and most evident of them all is, pain. He's desperate to bring this to an end as he once again witnesses the magnitude of this raging war between Veera and him, except this time at very close quarters. Up until now he'd merely heard about Veera's ruthlessness but for the first time he faces it. Hence there's also an element of horror in his eyes. However, in the Hindi version Vikram's emotions are nothing of this sort. It's pure brutal anger. It's pure hunger to win. No such pain that you witness in the Tamil counterpart of this one scene. It reminds you more of the enraged Beera who's standing on the other side of the battlefield. This emotion confuses the audiences to an extent, however only when comparing the two portrayals is one able to truly grasp the true essence of Dev's emotions in this situation.

In this way there remains a marginal difference between Dev in Raavan and Dev in Raavanan. Perhaps shooting simultaneously was efficient but upon seeing the final product it definitely was not effective. A character such as Veera is not easy to slip in and out of and this becomes so very apparent when one sees Vikram as Dev. It may be argued that Veera was clearly the more demanding portrayal and overpowers and manipulates the perception of Dev that Vikram had. Despite the confusion, Vikram's portrayal is rather convincing hence you do question why Dev is reacting in ways that are even too farfetched for a grey-shaded character. This will be an obvious difference that those who witness both versions will point out.

Beera vs Veera



The biggest difference between the two versions, and perhaps the only difference that matters to the larger part of the audience, is the casting of Abhishek as the leading character of Beera in Hindi and Vikram as Veera in Tamil. Both actors couldn't have come from more opposite directions yet they're seen tackling the same role and comparisons are inevitable.

Upon seeing both version, the comparison seems rather pointless as Vikram shines as Veera in a way that Abhishek doesn't even come close to doing. He ignites the insane fire inside Veera with superb energy and perfection. Several, if not countless, scenes prove this sentiment well and truly. The most obvious of them being the initial scene on top of the cliff in which Ragini is brought to be killed by Beera. This scene marks the audiences' real introduction with Veera where he has a full-fledged conversation with Ragini and one truly uncovers the madman that is Veera.

In Vikram's portrayal you truly sit up and notice the man speaking on the screen, whilst with Abhishek's portrayal you immediately pick up several things that he's doing wrong. The most obvious of them being the terrible attempt at a 'gawaar' or 'illiterate' accent. It's almost laughable! He tried hard to grasp the rawness of Beera but fails miserably. As for Vikram, well there is no Vikram in this scene or in the entire duration of Raavanan. There's only Veera. You forget that this is an iconic actor who has already created history with countless other avatars. Whilst with Abhishek's version you're very much aware of the fact that this is Abhishek Bachchan acting as Beera. Therein lies the reason why Vikram triumphs with this character, he makes it his own.

In addition to failing to grasp the required accent, Abhishek does not come close to portraying the true madness of Beera in the way Vikram does. The scenes where Beera/Veera's thoughts are ten at a time and he goes off on a little madman tangent, makes it rather obvious that as hard as Abhishek tries to bring onscreen this level of insanity required of Beera, he doesn't come close to fulfilling the task.

It also becomes rather apparent when reading reviews of the Hindi version that critics have pointed out the main flaw in the movie as being Abhishek's performance and reviewers who've seen what the character was 'actually' meant to be portrayed as have found the Hindi counterpart twice as more disappointing to what they initially thought it was.

Ragini & Beera vs Ragini & Veera


Raavan/Raavnan relies heavily on the chemistry between Beera/Veera and Ragini which is of course of a very bizarre nature. And once again even in this category the Tamil version takes the lead as the chemistry between Abhishek and Aishwarya was simply off the mark when it comes to these two characters.

Perhaps the fact that their husband and wife status offscreen brought a sense of familiarity between Ragini and Beera undermined the required inferiority that existed between the two. It seems like both actors were holding back something the entire time, Abhishek more than Aishwarya who did her part more convincingly. If one hasn't seen the Tamil version they'll never pick up on this flaw. All those who do watch Raavanan and witness this very emotion between Vikram and Aishwarya will clearly be able to see what the Hindi version lacked.

However, it remains rather unclear as to whether this was a flaw in chemistry or just another flaw on part of Abhishek's performance because as discussed earlier, the emotions from Ash's side is perfectly executed. Although in contrast, it's not unheard of that actors perform far better when in company of a lesser familiar co-star with whom they can let their artistic expression flow rather than influence by hesitation or self consciousness. Perhaps that was the issue behind the lack of chemistry. Whatever the reason, the end result is chemistry that needed to be far better than it was.

Sanjeevani vs Gnanprakasam & Siddharth vs Singarasan


Govinda and Ravi Kishan bring in the plus points in the Hindi version as they triumph over their Tamil counterparts performed by Karthik and Prabhu. Whilst Ravi Kishen's portrayal is simply incomprehensible to the ordinary cinegoers as its level of perfection, Govinda comes onscreen in a way he's never been seen before. They both have a tendency to overshadow their costars at times particular Ravi Kishen whom you simply cannot get enough of. Karthik and Prabhu fail to captivate to the same extent. Their Hindi counterparts prove to be a much better comic relief.

That concludes the reasons as to how and why Raavan and Raavanan can be differentiated. To sum up the battle, it's without a doubt a win for Raavanan beating Raavan by miles! Mainly because the primary character of Beera/Veera's portrayal is simply not up to the mark in the Hindi version and having witnessed the Tamil version it will seem even more disappointing and flawed. In addition, the slightly confused portrayal of Dev in the Hindi version doesn't improve the situation either. At the same time, performances of Ravi Kishan and Govinda are not to be missed in the Hindi version. Ultimately, from an overall perspective, the Tamil version definitely prevails however if time permits, one mustn't miss out on the Hindi version completely as it does have some great offerings too that would be a shame to miss. So be a true cinegoer and try them both out, a double dose of Mani Ratnam can never be a bad thing afterall!

by : Prathna Tiwari

Source : http://www.bollyspice.com/view.php/5181-raavan-vs-raavanan.html

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Ananthabhadram Unseen Posters










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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vikram scores better than Abhishek Bachchan


Stories about Mani Ratnam's Raavan a.ka. Raavanan are far from over. Even though it has got moderate response, still the movie is making news. Now, critics have started scanning Abhishek Bachchan's and Vikram's performances about who has portrayed the lead role better?

t is understood that Tamil audience will rate Vikram acting as a best and Hindi audience will give thumbs-up to Abhishek's role. But the fact is, the fans who have seen both the version can only answer this question. Film critics have rated Abhishek's acting and dialogue delivery in the Raavan have not reached the expectations of the audience.

To add salt to the injury, Abhishek's diving stunt in the film was caught in the controversy, when the stuntman Balaram stated that it was performed by him and not by Abhishek. Whereas his counterpart Vikram performance has been appreciated in both the version and critics has rated his acting as outstanding.

Whom do you rate as a better, Vikram or Abhishek? drop your comments below.

Source : http://entertainment.oneindia.in/tamil/exclusive/2010/vikram-better-abhishek-230610.html

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Prithviraj is very lucky with Raavanan : Munna



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Prithviraj and Vikram at Cinemax Oberon, Kerala. (Promotions of Raavanan)


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Prithviraj and Vikram in Kochi, Kerala. (Promotions of Raavanan)



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Prithviraj likes older women!


The handsome hunk Prithviraj is making waves with the release of Mani Ratnam’s Raavanan in Tamil.

People who have seen both the versions of the film say: “Prithvi as the suave cop Dev in Tamil was better than Vikram’s Dev in the Hindi version”

Prithviraj has been getting a lot of accolades for his role in the film, which is another feather on his cap. On Tuesday (June 22) evening Prithvi and the Raavanan (Vikram) went to Obron mall in Kochi where Kerala’s first multiplex is situated.

The girls went crazy seeing them, and everybody wanted their autographs and wanted to take their pictures using their mobiles.

Prithviraj was the envy of all the males at the mall as he got “to romance Aishwarya Rai, said to be the most beautiful woman in India”. Later speaking to a Malayalam television channel, Prithviraj said though he was in awe of Ash initially, he got over it as Vikram used to tease him about it.

Prithvi also let the cat out of the bag when he said: “ It is not the first time that I’m romancing on screen somebody who is elder to me. I have romanced another heroine on screen who is elder to me. I cannot reveal her name as she will kill me.” Everybody including Vikram who was there for the television show, burst out laughing.

Source : http://sify.com/movies/tamil/fullstory.php?id=14946451

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Ram - Ravanan up close


After watching ‘Ravanan' play out on the screen and a chat with Vikram and Prithviraj, who play the lead roles along with Aiswarya Rai Bachchan, one wonders about the eternal right vs wrong debate with reference to the epic and Mani Ratnam's magnum opus

Ram/Ravanan and Ram (Vikram who dons two opposing roles in the Hindi and Tamil versions as the modern day Ram and Ravanan and Prithviraj Sukumaran, who plays Ram in Tamil) sat joking and chatting, fielding questions with light hearted banter during the exclusive interview with Metroplus at Kochi.

Sometimes getting serious, recollecting the memorable shooting days of ‘Raavan' and ‘Ravanan' and sometimes trying to shake off controversial questions in a polite teasing way, the two made a chummy pair at the penthouse of Dream Hotel.

Eye candy

Mani Ratnam's latest cinematic offering in three languages (in Telugu it's called ‘Villain' and it's the dubbed Tamil version) is certainly eye candy and beauty in its unalloyed version is seen in all three, via Manikandan's and Santhosh Sivan's camera. It's one long visual delight. Period.

Vikram has achieved a hat trick of sorts, his unforgettable ‘Anniyan' role will be eclipsed by ‘Ravanan's. And Prithviraj has proved that his arrogance matches his talent, and the road is all clear for his way to Numero Uno, provided directors use him well, and he polishes his dancing skills. When and how soon is the only question. Prithviraj as Dev, the SP whose wife Ragini is kidnapped by Veerayya, has made sure that he does not falter even in one scene. “His Tamil is really good,” chips in Vikram. “Oh no, it is still a ‘foreign' language for me,” Prithviraj says, trying hard to be modest. For Vikram, who got a plum plus opportunity playing both hero and anti hero, it is an opportunity of a lifetime, to display his histrionic skills and body. Which role is better? “Dev is the star and Veera, the actor,” he puts it, very diplomatically. So he got to be the ‘star actor'! Reliance Big Cinema releases it and it's Mani Ratnam's own production.

All those stunts were really risky, Vikram and Prithviraj point out. “Sometimes, we would ask Aiswarya whether the bruises were make-up or real,” says Vikram. Aiswarya's dubbing in Tamil is not bad at all, but she has very few dialogues, actions speak louder. It is to her credit that though nearly a decade older than Prithviraj, she makes a handsome pair with him. She also did the risky scenes very boldly, according to Vikram. “There was just a single wire as back up to support us and an accident can never be ruled out,” Prithviraj feels. Vikram chose to skip the controversy over the dive at Hogenekkal, but he said his dive (a very beautiful one, when the movie begins) was done by the proxy, Balram. One wonders whether the dive, in a long shot has to be done separately for both versions. Maybe. The scenes on a wooden bridge at the fag end of the movie do make you sit up and it's a very edge-of –seat type sequence, and they are nothing short of excellent. Most of the scenes are in dim light and dominated by water, when it is not the forests. One misses a few daylight sequences thrown in between just to highlight the other scenes.

Prabhu's Friar Tuck kind of image, Karthik in a Hanuman avatar, Priyamani as Veera's sister, put up good performances. Mani Ratnam has made allowances for the hated demon king, down the ages and given him the benefit of the doubt, long overdue. It is a truly human angle that needed to be explored. The grey between the white and black is often missed in real life. So, whether Dev or Veera is the real Ravana is debatable, in the modern Ramayana Mani Ratnam has crafted. While creating parallels to Sita, Ram, Ravana, Hanuman and the other puranic characters, Mani Ratnam perhaps had to compromise on the plot, for it lacks the finesse of say, ‘Kannathil Muthamittal' or ‘Roja', the subject of which is also kidnapping.

Pleasing visuals

Too much of a good thing, that's what the visuals are. Also, visuals plus good acting don't necessarily make a film good, if something is lacking in the plot or there is too much of background score. The viewer looks for a break from it all. Vairamuthu's lyrics are tuned by A R Rahman. The songs are okay.

As for the Hindu version, Vikram says he had to practise the dialogues hard. “And they say it is Hindi, all right,” he jokes, as Karthik, the Vikram Fans Association guy in Kerala, comes to tell us that they have to leave for the theatre for the film's promotion just before the afternoon show.

Source : http://beta.thehindu.com/arts/cinema/article482473.ece

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Prithviraj and Vikram at Cinemax, Oberon Mall, Kerala (Promotion of Raavanan)



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‘Raavanan’ tales


Acting in ‘Raavanan’ was a lifetime experience, said Vikram who played the lead role in Mani Ratnam’s bilingual mega film. “Getting a Mani Ratnam film itself is an honour,” he added, addressing the media along with actor Prithviraj in a press conference organised by Reliance.

“Raavanan gave a bigger platform for me and it was delightful experience to be introduced in the international film circuit as a Malayali actor,” said Prithviraj. The stars said that there has been an excellent response to the film from all the sides and urged that the film must be watched without any preconceived ideas. “Go to the theatres with an open and unbiased attitude and you will find the most engaging visual experience you have had,” said Prithviraj. Vikram, who acted in the Tamil and Hindi versions, said he is quite happy with his performance in the two films though it was a great challenge. “Simultaneously playing two contrasting characters was a difficult task but that is what you expect from an actor,” he said.

He also said that he performed the most risky stunts in his career for the action sequences in the film. “During the fight in the wooden bridge we were tied with just one wire and if that broke there was no chance to save yourself. I have done such fights for other movies and in one of them there was an accident when the wire broke. But in that film the height below was just 10 feet but in ‘Raavanan’ it was 500 feet. It’s not just this one; all the stunts in the film were highly risky,” said Vikram.

Both the actors said being a part of the film was one of the most exciting events in their careers.

Source : http://expressbuzz.com/cities/kochi/%E2%80%98raavanan%E2%80%99-tales/183783.html

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