Director Srinivasa Prasad deserves a huge round of applause for selecting Prachanda Ravana (a play written 50 years ago by Kanagal Prabakara Shastri) as his debut movie. He also deserves praise for making the film without deviating from the original script. He presents the movie with the same devotion that the play has received since five decades. Since several generations have grown up watching the play, the hype around its film version was huge. The movie emanates a mythological feel that we all have been craving for since a long time. Although the story was written half a century ago, its treatment makes the movie outstanding.
We all know Ravana as the evil King of Lanka who abducted Seetha and was later killed by Sri Rama. But very little is known about Ravana before this episode. Prachanda Ravana portrays this humane side of the Asura king which is its USP.
The movie begins with Ravana doing penance, driven by his deep desire to meet Lord Shiva and get his blessings. Shiva is resolute that he will not appear before Ravana although the vibrations emanating from his penance reach Mount Kailasha, Shiva's abode.
Ravana, determined at meeting Shiva at any cost, decides to cut his head and give it as an offering to Shiva. Shiva, pleased with Ravana's dedication, blesses him and gives him his Atma Lingam. Although he loses the Atma Lingam to the clever Lord Ganesha, Ravana prays again to Lord Brahma and gets the boon of eternal life. This leads to Ravana becoming intoxicated with power, so much so that he even abducts Seetha, not bothered about the fact that she is Rama's wife or the feelings of his chief wife Mandodhari.
The rest of the story is known to all, namely the Sundara Kanda episode of Hanuman followed by the battle between good and evil.
Devaraj as Ravana has portrayed the character in all splendour, displaying the power and strength of the character. Full marks for his performance. Sudharani as Mandodhari has also done a fine job. Rajeshwari as Seetha and Bharat Bhagavathar as Anjaneya have performed their roles with panache.
The movie is packed with strong dialogues, but the script is slack at some places, possibly because it follows the original story too closely without making modification for today's technology and tastes.The grand sets and beautiful music (by Vajrappa and Mysore Gopi) add to the glitz of the film.
The director could have made better use of the latest SFX and the camera work also could have been better. But the film is a commendable effort, so the director and his team deserve credit for their hard work and fine result.
Banner : New Wave Productions
Director : Srinivasa Prasad
Producer : Girish and Lokesh
Music : Vajrappa and Mysore Gopi
Cast : Devaraj, Sudharani, Rajeshwari, Bharat Bhagavathar