The Raven Review
When the deaths from the short stories of a renowned author start coming alive, only one person can stop this lunatic fan from his killing spree; the writer of the demented work himself. Find out more in the review of The Raven.
Rating: 3/5 stars (Three stars)
Star Cast: John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans, Sam Hazeldine, Brendan Gleeson and Kevin McNally.
What’s Good: Interesting plot; witty dialogues and decent acting.
What’s Bad:The beginning is slow; the blood and gore are too much to take at times; lack of depth to the plot.
Verdict: An interesting watch if you are a fan of a different take on historic events.
Loo Break: Not really.
Watch or Not?: Watch it if you love suspense and dig ingenious takes on history.
Intrepid Pictures’ The Raven is an ingenious web of fiction and history, based on the life of poet and author, Edgar Allan Poe.
“It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee”
Edgar Allan Poe is the name that will ring in your ears when you hear these words. But what is amazing is that with the lucidity that he wrote such poems on love, life and death; he wrote grotesque and murderous short stories with the same ease.
Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack), a poet, a short story writer, an alcoholic, a loner but desperately in love with Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve), has stopped writing murder mysteries for a while. Unaware of the happenings in the world around him, he drowns himself in alcohol and the hope for a future with Emily. A double murder has suddenly brought attention to Poe’s stories and Detective Fields (Luke Evans) summons him for questioning. Soon another murder takes place in the exact fashion as described in his story. On one hand, Poe’s stories form the basis of a killer’s murders; while on the other hand, the very stories turn out to be clues for the investigators to catch the psychopath.
Soon the killer decides to make Poe’s involvement more obvious and asks him to follow his lead if he ever wishes to see the love of his life, Emily, alive again. Helpless, Poe starts taking clues off of the bodies of the victims of the murderer. Each murder leads him one step closer to Emily. It is Poe and Detective Fields responsibility to stop each and every story of Poe from turning into a gruesome reality. Can they stop this lunatic? Can Poe save Emily? More importantly, can Poe ever forgive himself for writing such brutal murders and giving inspiration to a sick man? These questions are answered as the mystery unravels.
The Raven Review: Script Analysis
For the non-literature fans, this is just another murder mystery waiting to be solved. But the title The Raven, the symbolic ravens flying all over the place, the poems, the poet: everything will make sense only to an ardent Edgar Poe fan. The beginning of the movie is a bit slow and the lack of drama initially might bother you, but with the entry of Detective Fields, the movie picks up pace.
Although the entire drama is a fiction, it has been put forth very craftily making it almost believable. The only point of contention would be in case of the blood and gore as those scenes raise the argument whether they were absolutely necessary in the movie or not.
The Raven Review: Star Performances
John Cusack is good as Edgar Allan Poe although his dialogues often tend to be inaudible. His overall performance is pretty decent. Luke Evans’ character of Detective Fields a bit clichéd but he has done well. Alice Eve has a brief but an impactful role as Emily Hamilton. Sam Hazeldine as Ivan, although has the smallest role, has made his mark. He is perfect for his role. The rest of the cast offers good support to the thrilling mystery.
The Raven Review: Direction & Technical Aspects
James McTeigue’s direction is pretty engaging although at times it does give a very Sherlock Holmes movie-feel, it is satisfying in the end. Screenplay writers Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare though, could’ve taken a more in-depth view of the entire story. Some parts were more highlighted than the others making the story abrupt at times. Like the part where the murderer asks Poe to write a story after each murder hasn’t been clarified well. The sets, the costumes, the music and the cinematography are worth appreciating.
The Raven Review: The Last Word
For those who cannot stomach blood and gore, The Raven is better avoided. But for the rest, The Raven is like a mystery novel which will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The Raven Trailer
The Raven releases in India on 18 May 2012.