'Raavan' was most challenging: Mani

Beyond boundaries: Bollywood makes its mark at Cannes

'Raavan' was most challenging: Mani

The filmmaker was present here alongwith the starcast of the film, which includes Vikram, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, to screen the trailer of the bilingual film.
“We shot both versions simultaneously, something I have never done before. This part was my career’s most challenging, most difficult and most stimulating experience. It was also physically exhausting,” said Mani Ratnam.

It was taxing for Aishwarya as well, who plays a modern day Sita in the movie and shares screen space with her actor husband in the Hindi version.
“Apart from the intricacies of essaying the Hindi and Tamil heroine at the same time, the inhospitable jungle terrain where we shot posed its own hazards,” she said.
Southern superstar Vikram, who acted alongside Aishwarya in both versions, has dubbed his own lines in Hindi as well as Tamil.

“If Aishwarya could have dubbed for the Tamil edition, why not I for Hindi,” he said.
‘Raavan’ is the story of Dev and his wife, Ragini, a classical dancer, whose trials begin when he takes up a new posting in a small north Indian town. There the police do not execute the law, but Beera, who has changed the power equation.
Mani Ratnam’s wife Suhasini, “Raavan’s” co-producer and dialogue writer for the Tamil edition, said that the film would help “us understand the grey parts that all of us have within. None of us is completely white or black”.

Praising Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman’s music in the film, she said: “It merges beautifully with the story. In fact, the music accentuates the picture. The songs have a great role to play. They take the plot forward.” Amit Khanna of Reliance Big Pictures, which has produced the films, said that both the Hindi and Tamil versions of ‘Raavan’ will open in 58 countries in mid-June.

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