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Raavan has a star-studded premiere in London

— Photo: AP

GRAND SHOW:Director Mani Ratnam and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan share a lighter moment as Abhishek Bachchan looks on at the world premiere of

London: Mani Ratnam's much-awaited Raavan had a star-studded world premiere here on Wednesday night. It was attended by Bollywood bigwigs like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.

Hundreds of film buffs gathered at the premiere venue, the British Film Institute (BFI), in Southbank and cheered the film's star cast, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan and Vikram and others.

The film and its Tamil version, Ravanan, will be simultaneously released on Friday.

Abhishek, who plays the role of Beera Munda, said it had always been his endeavour to give “better and better performance.”

“Beera is a very contemporary person created by Mani. He has many facets and shades to his personality. He is a fun character, who is most unpredictable and can do anything. Ravaan is by far the most challenging film I have ever done — both physically and mentally,” he said.

Shah Rukh and his family were invited by the senior Bachchan to the premiere and Abhishek profusely thanked them for coming.

“Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you for coming! Love you. And now waiting for you to come and fire me![sic]” Abhishek wrote on his Twitter page.

Oscar-winner A.R. Rahman, who has composed music for Raavan, accompanied the star cast, which also included actors Govinda and Ravi Kishen.

Aishwarya, in a dark green sari and hair tied in a bun, walked down the red carpet with husband Abhishek. He looked dapper in a black suit.

Asked if filming Raavan was a taxing experience, the former Miss World said: “Mani Ratnam looked after our training by keeping us on our toes everyday.”

“The physical demand in this film was immense not only for the actors, but also the crew and technicians. It was a challenge we tried to rise to every single day at work,” she said.

Most of the film was shot in the dense forests of Kerala, Karnataka, Udhagamandalam and Malshej Chat, near Nasik in Maharashtra.

Ratnam, 54, who has made critically-acclaimed and commercially successful films like Roja, Dil Se, Bombay and Guru, said Raavan was done with spirit.

“It is just a few metres away... lets see it,” was all he said when asked whether Raavan was modern-day Ramayana. “It has been done with spirit. We have all worked hard.”

Asked why he chose Aishwarya for the lead role, he said, “She was right for it. Is there any other reason?” — PTI

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