Rama Ravanan is actually blessed with something that most films lack these days - a solid story that could make all the difference in film making. Based on Kamala Suraiyya's novel Manomi, the film attempts to sketch the life of a young Sinhalese girl who is a hapless victim, like millions of others, of the Srilankan Civil War.
Rama Ravanan starts off with a militant attack in Srilanka and soon shifts over to Indian, to a small village somewhere on the Kerala - Tamil Nadu border. A leading LTTE activist Thiruchelvam (Suresh Gopi) who has had a narrow escape from Lanka, takes refuge in the village in a deserted house. Lost in memories, Thiruchelvam remembers the few days that he had spent there years back.
The mansion isn't new, since he had been there once, planning a terrorist operation. Living nearby was Annadurai (Nedumudi Venu), a former resident of war ridden Lanka who had started life all afresh. Manomi (Mithra Kurien) who visits Annadurai after having lost her family in the war, happens to meet Thiruchelvam and within no time, love strikes. This is one such love that has to be headed towards doom, as Manomi soon realizes. Thiruchelvam leaves, spurning her love.
Time has passed since, and Thiruchelvam wonders where Manomi should be. The story does have an emotional depth that could move a few hearts, but the incoherence that has crept in, while transacting it on to the screen is quite distressing. This is why, the film doesn't move you as much as it should have, and at best it leaves you cold and a bit numb. The premise as such, demands several journeys back and forth time, and at times, it turns out to be extremely confusing.
My disappointment with the film is even greater, since I was really hoping that this film would work. So when the narrative appears incomprehensible, courtesy the jumbled writing, I was left wondering as to kind of difference a tighter script could have made to the whole film. The film does dwell on the futility of war and on a deeper level it should have made an attempt to explore personal conflicts as well. Because essentially Kamala tells the story of an ill destined love against the backdrop of a bloody battle.
The performances from the lead actors are even, but Lena in a brief role as an LTTE activist Malli, truly sparkles. Mithra does a respectable job of living up to the expectations associated with the author backed role. Suresh Gopi strangely seems to maintain a low profile through out.
Manomi as a story deserved a much better treatment than the one meted out to it in Rama Ravanan. As such it appears half baked, and makes you wish on several occasions, that a bit more vitality was injected into it which could have made it a simple tale, that was well told as well.