Ravanasura: Merciless Almighty
Star Cast: Ravi Teja, Sushanth, Jayaram, Murali Sharma, Anur Emmanuel, Megha Akash, Daksha Nagarkar, and Pujitha Ponnada.
Written by Sudheer Varma & Srikanth Vissa
Cinematography by Vijay Kartik Kannan, and G k Vishnu
Edited by Naveen Nooli
Music Composed by Harshavardhan Rameshwar and Bheems Ceciroleo
Directed by Sudheer Varma
Who is Ravanasura? Some say, “A Misguided Philosopher, Scholar.” Some call him, “Ultimate Demon”. Some tend to think of him as a “Womanizer”, “Arrogant Fool”, “Educated brute” and “Intelligent Giant”. And in a few iterations of Ramayana, he is called a “Gentle Lover” and a “Prolific Master of Sexual Art”. Many know about him as a “Great Devotee” of Shiva. But what makes him Ravanasura from Ravana Brahma? He is the son of sage Vishrava, who is the son of sage Pulastya, who is the son of Lord Brahma. His mother is Rakshasi Kaikesi. So, he belongs to the lineage of Brahma and Asuras. He learned from his father – Vedas and his mother – devotion. Since, his brother Kubera cheats on them by joining hands with Devaraj Indra and Devathas. He decides to wage a war on every Devaloka and becomes the Demon King, whom everyone fears.
Well, his intelligence had no bounds hence, he used to be called Dasakanta. He could think in ten possible and probable ways at a time. Graphical representation of this gave him ten heads and made him a ten-headed monster. But he knew how to not let his head be severed under any circumstances – hence infinite heads used to appear in front of his enemies. That is, while he had one head like every human, he knew how to fool his opponents with his intelligence, magic, and science. His opponents feared fighting him, as his past Glory stories used to break their confidence even before they entered the battlefield. King Ram, did not fear him and decided to do whatever it needs to win the battle. Hence, Ravana lost to someone whom he took for granted. Hence, he became Ravanasura and similarly, film Ravanasura makers also took the audience for granted.
They wanted to show an anti-hero who uses prosthetics to disguise as someone and complete his crimes. But apart from that they did not give him a character. It looks like they just wanted to show a generic hero behaving like a generic villain. Always, a hero will have a backstory. Even in mythology Ravana Brahma before becoming Ravanasura had a backstory. He used to be an obedient student, a great scholar with no ego, and an ultimate devotee. He got to know about how Asuras, his mother’s lineage, has been suffering in the hands of Devathas. His mother being ill-treated by her “sisters” or “co-wives”, especially by Kubera’s mother made him vengeful, and being praised by Shiva, made him arrogant. This made him Egoistic, he gives in to his desires and cares for no one. Even with a reason for being so egoistic and vengeful, Ravana Brahma being Ravanasura had to die in the hands of Ram, a genuine do-gooder. Some credit Ravana, as an “ethical man” for not touching Sita, forcefully, when he could. For a good adaptation of Ravana’s character into a film, watch Raavanan , by Mani Rathnam. Even though Mastercraftsman failed in establishing a strong connection with his content, his ideas about how Ravana can be a hero, in today’s world are top-class.
So, what did this Ravanasura team try? They tried to just make a hero look like an anti-hero that too with all regular scenes. You can scream out the next twist and turn, as soon scene starts to unfold. You can even guess the backstory from the moment, we see Ravi Teja’s father (Ramachandra Brahma). The parallels to show him as Joker, excited me, but that just seems preference of the director, visually, than the writer’s imaginative work. Joker suffers from being called a loser from a young age and grows into a villain, who enjoys destruction, as he faces failure at every step. Still, Batman doesn’t look at him like Saketh or Hanumantha Rao in this film. What’s wrong can never be made right because of the reason behind it. Ravi Teja might not be killed on-screen but Ravanasura kind of character needed a much more bloody ending with Ravi Teja barely, surviving.
While there are many Asuras who committed sins, the King of Asuras, cannot be let free because he had a good reason to execute those Asuras. He is still a monster, an even bigger one than them. At least, Ravanasura title needed a hero acting like an utmost ruthless villain who leaves all ethics behind him. When he puts an electric drill into the throat of his lover, she should have questioned him. She doesn’t. When he tries to rape or act as if raping Harika, she should have questioned him, about his motives. She doesn’t. At least, she should’ve been able to get too close to unraveling his identity and look to kill him. When she could enjoy killing an innocent woman, because she threatened to bring out her secret, she should’ve been ruthless enough to try to kill him or clever enough to catch his act. In this film, every villain is dumb because Hanumantha Rao keeps telling them about the trick of prosthetics but they just ignore him to fall prey.
Ravanasura made King Ram, Lord Rama. Yes, if Ravanasura never existed, Ram would have been another great King like Dasarath or Harischandra. He became Lord because he never feared the Demon who threatened the entire world. Taking such a premise, Ravanasura needed Ram to be villain in his story. Means, a man who is so pure and so clear in his intentions like Batman should have become Ram for Joker as Ravana. Instead, here Saketh becomes Vibhishana and Kumbhakarna by helping Ravansura in his mission, directly and indirectly. And Janaki doesn’t look like she ended up in Ashoka Vatika by chance. The planning of Ravanasura needed to be meticulous. When there is no rape attempt, then sperm spill doesn’t prove that a rape attempt has happened. If someone can walk-in into a Commissioner’s office with a gun in his pocket, then every City commissioner should start counting their days. If a struggling Lawyer can afford prosthetics, then he should start Ravana Tussauds Museum but not sit at Kanaka Mahalakshmi’s office looking for her grace and wait at their Vaikunta door to trap Vishnu someday. If an educated Lawyer cannot find any help from her junior lawyer, why should she even consider employing him? Why can’t a Lawyer set out of the trap set by another lawyer as ruthlessly as he can? Are Prosthetics so prominent without VFX help that people can even get bulky, tall, or short?
Even if we set all logic aside, Ravanasura fails in even being a thriller. The story follows the templates we saw in Gentleman , Ganesh , and Baazigar . We are still in the 1990’s but in a nightmarish version of them. Vinci Da  movie had a psycho on the loose and hence, these logical loopholes worked for them. Here, scenes just follow the original but don’t give them any meaning. It all seems like the writer has been asked to wrap up 10 scenes worth of content in one scene at times and 2 scenes worth of content for 30 scenes in another instance. Frames of Sudheer Varma work with great sparkle on occasions like a visual parallel to Joker and ten-headed Ravana. But otherwise, they just seem stitched together by a craftsman who is strong technically. The ambition behind those sparkling visuals screams that the original Ravanasura has been hidden somewhere behind the rocks of amateurish writing. Hope someday that Ravana wakes up in some well-versed writer’s pen or laptop but this time, he himself went into a deep sleep and sent Mahiravana to act as him. Maybe the magic of Prosthetics.
Theatrical Trailer: Ravanasura Review