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Play Review – Raavan Ki Ramayan – Rating 4 Stars

By Aryeman

One line tagline – Monumental Masterstroke!

What’s the Play about?

Raavan Ki Ramayan is a dramatized and partly fictionalised version of the myths that surround the villainous character. The play dwells deep into the psyche of the misconstrued character and adds a humane touch to it. What emerges are some revelations which keep your mind ticking for more.

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Play review:

Flawed, complex and negative characters always make interesting fine stories. Raavan has always been portrayed as villainous and a complex character. The play surely throws light on the Ramayan through the viewpoint of this intriguing protagonist. Here Raavan emerges as a positive character, a firm believer of Lord Shiva and yes a chivalrous King too. In between his violent tendencies and massive ego, the additional shades that emerge are eye-openers.

Acting performance review:

Puneet Issar, who plays the titular role of Raavan brings forth the magnanimity and larger-than-life aura to the character. Kudos to Issar for giving a flawless, king-size performance.

Bhanu Pratap Singh Rana as Shiva fits the bill but somehow his dance movements in the opening scene were mechanical and not in sync. Also his mannerisms in certain scenes were too filmy and unnatural (with relevance to the character he portrays).

Shakti Singh has been a favourite and delight to watch on stage. As Shrupnakha, she manages to entice the audiences with her technically perfect emotions which make the audience empathise and yet get fooled with the character’s ulterior motives.

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Arjun Singh as Sumali (Nana Ji) is grace personified. Subtle yet effective, the true niche of a perfect actor.

Tarun Dang’s breakdown scene as Meghnad deserves accolades.

Gaurav Jakhu as Ram fails to exude the divinity and serenity of this popular character which Indian audiences are so accustomed to. Somehow the holistic aura of the pristine and most revered Godly character went amiss. Acting wise, the actor came stronger than  what the audiences have seen.

Latika Jain as the pious Sita is perfection personified. Be it the strong emotions or the mild flirtatious scene with Lord Ram, Latika’s expressive eye magic does more talking with great gusto. Loved the soft, lilting number she sings in one of the scenes too. Super talented for sure.

Nishtha Paliwal has always wowed me with her exquisite range and perfection to be the scene-stealer in most roles she has enacted. As Mandodri, she brings forth the pathos in full swing.

Writer-director Review:

Atul Satya Koushik has never played it safe. With every play of his which I have reviewed, I have realised that nearly every choice he makes, no matter how unusual, has a purpose — to forge a more meaningful bond between audience members and story. 

A sense of discovery always permeates with every production he comes up with. Koushik keeps audience members on their toes by peppering little visual surprises throughout. Another commendable aspect is his constant quest to unfurl the Indian heritage and make it more interesting, riveting and getting the audiences into a discussion mode.

With reference to his play, Raavan Ki Ramayan, the writer in him has lifted a loose seagull feather from the sand and scrawled his passionate words into Raavan’s untold secrets. On the direction front, what matters most is that every actor has that kick-ass scene which resonates deep into the audience’s heart…and that’s what Atul does with perfection.

What could have been better with this play?

  • The length needs to be shortened a bit since it’s a high-voltage theatrical experience with profound high-pitch dialogues
  • Lord Shiva’s opening dance
  • More serenity with Lord Ram’s character and dialogue delivery

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