It certainly must be rocket science, otherwise how can one explain the conflicting and bizarre feedback for the latest Mani Ratnam movie Raavan. Sample this, most Hindi audiences hate this movie, it’s a huge hit in its Tamil version down south, western critics have hailed it as a masterpiece while our popular Indian critics have trashed it. A small minority swear by this movie and a majority simply hate this movie. How is it possible that one movie can evoke such extreme reactions?
What Mani Ratnam has made is something far more controversial than the original man with ten heads. It is a debatable point whether Raavan was a bad man or a victim of circumstances, but the debate whether Raavan the movie is good or bad is even more confusing. Let me make my stand clear at the outset, I loved this movie, probably I am the only one to have watched it thrice already within the first week of release, twice in Hindi and once in Tamil, also not to forget the songs in Telugu that I play in my car daily. I have experienced it in all languages and am probably at an advantage compared to many of my other friends when it comes to interpreting this movie. Interpreting, wait a minute, what is this interpreting business? Aren’t movies meant for us to suspend disbelief and enjoy ourselves? Well, that’s where the crux of the matter lies. Let me explain further.