From Saif Ali Khan to Abhishek Bachchan to Arvind Trivedi, actors who have played Raavan in their careers
The portrayal of this character gives immensely courageous opportunities to actors to expand their oeuvre and overshadow the protagonists of the tale. Arvind Trivedi, Chiyaan Vikram, Arjun Rampal have already done that.
Saif Ali Khan has taken the task of essaying the role of Raavan in Om Raut’s Adipurush opposite Ram, played by Prabhas. The mixed reactions to that teaser aside, It will be intriguing to see what Khan does to this magnanimous mythological character.
Raavan on celluloid is incomplete without the mention of Arvind Trivedi, the first and arguably, the most iconic Raavan in entertainment history. The towering physicality, the booming voice, and those intimidating eyes were perfectly complimented by a scintillating performance. The late actor owned every nuances of this iconic character.
In Mani Ratnam’s Raavan, Bachchan played Beera, an outlandish and outrageous outlaw whose more than just an evil. He’s as much a Robinhood as he’s a Raavan. Ratnam attempts to humanize this demon and by the anti-climax, the lines between <em>Sadhu</em> and <em>Shaitaan</em> are blurred. It becomes tough to deduce who’s black and who’s white. And the bloodshed at the disposal doesn’t even leave any mark for grey. It’s only red.
In the far more convincing Tamil version, Vikram is unhinged and uninhibited in this demonic character. In the Hindi version, he plays Ram. Here, he plays Raavan even better. He lets his eyes do the talking. There’s no need for dialogues after a while.
Anubhav Sinha and Shah Rukh Khan gave a modern, technological touch to the mythology. Raavan is now a computer-game character called Ra. One, and Ram is G. One, the cooler name for Jeevan. It’s actually a game of life and death in this film that’s slowly getting its due for the neat visual effects. Ra. One is faceless until he finds a model’s hoarding in the middle of an empty road at midnight. Arjun Rampal is that model, and the villain takes his shape and form. Rampal was both cool and menacing and nearly overshadowed Khan in this Sci-Fi attempt.