… that I didn’t put in or expand upon in my review, but deserve a post of their own. Spoilers beware!
First, a little crib. Could’ve done with fewer references to the number 10. Dude, we get it, okay?
The scene where Dev enters the hut where Ragini was kept, lets himself linger over the things that indicated her presence. I’m fairly certain that, on the odd Thursday night when he can’t sleep, Mani will play that scene along with the corresponding one from Roja on his DVD at home, smile that quiet smile of his and go to bed.
Lots of jumping off cliffs all over the place. In a love story, no less. Somewhere over the rainbow sky, Shakespeare’s smiling.
The moment where Veera lends a hand to save Dev on the bridge. It was quite puzzling — why would a man first set fire to a bridge, knock off a plank that would cause his opponent to plunge to his death and then save him at the last moment? Surely, to quote Vadivelu, edhuva irundhaalum pesi theethukkalaame? It occurs to me that the reason why he did this was twofold:
- Let’s face it, a fight on a burning bridge looks damn good and adds to the Ramayana parallel.
- If you’re gonna put an ironic spin on the Indru Poi Naalai Vaa exchange between Ram & Raavan, this is as good a place to do it as any.
There’s a shot early in the film when the cops walk through the jungle. The object in focus is an insect on a tree, while the people fade in and out. It’s a bit of showmanship, no doubt, but it adds a sly little commentary of its own.
The ending. It would’ve been all too easy to try and answer the obvious what-next question: What happens of Dev and Ragini? I’m sure you can name a bunch of movies that went down that road. But I’m so glad this one didn’t. In some ways, it is as personal an ending as that of Dil Se, where Mani chose to focus on what finally mattered in a story that was set in a larger canvas.
One last question: Given how obvious the parallels are and how well known the epic (Karthik even uses a proverb that draws from it — Vidiya vidiya Ramayanam kettu), how often did the characters wonder about this?