Ram Leela Review
Little, the greatest bard in history Shakespeare, would've known that there'd come another great man in the 21st century who would adapt his 16th century epic romantic tragedy Romeo & Juliet with as much romanticism as he had while writing it. There's been not one but two more attempts in the recent past to reenact the iconic play (Ishaqzaade and Issaq) however, none have been this complex in structure, dramatic is narrative and stunning in visuals as Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela.
Set in Gujarat, the film opens to showcase the warring clans of Rajadi and Saneda who declare war at the drop of a hat. Their enmity is inherent, going on since generations and both gun-toting parties are always at each other's throat. Amidst such a scenario do two star-crossed lovers Ram and Leela meet. It's love at first sight but they are doomed for belonging to the either sides of the warring kin. What happens then? Do they meet? Is there a happily ever after? If you've read Romeo & Juliet you know what it is but if you haven't you've got to watch the film to know what happens.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali had been sailing in the troubled waters since a while, his last two offerings Saawariya and Guzarish hadn't quite made their way to the hearts of the audience. May be this is SLB's way of making up for the slack or his sheer romanticism of the Shakespearean play that he literally puts his heart and soul into the making of this film.
Ram-Leela is a feast to the senses. The artistic imagery and the rich cultural backdrop are a visual delight. Right from the cinematography of S Ravi Varman who captures landscape of Rann of Kutch beautifully to the breath-taking choreography on various dance numbers by multiple choregraphers, everything abou the film spells genius.
But when there's ample good there's a slump too which comes in the case of a drag towards the second half. Despite having the drama quotient to the hilt, the pace of the film takes a slump with a few slow-mo shots coming in between. Some of the scenes could've been eliminated too but then it's a Jodhaa Akbar repeat case where Ashutosh Gowarikar too found himself in a problem of plenty.
SLB adapts the play and makes it his own thanks to the various twists he brings about in the plot. However, the over exploitation of the concept of Romeo and Juliet in Hindi cinema and also his uncanny resemblence to his previous works like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas fizzles the impact in several occassions, especially in case of the folk Gujarati music which literally at one point appears to be straight out of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
But it's the performances and the thrilling dramatic sequences that make up for the flaws perfectly. The filmmaker is know for extracting tremendous performances from his lead stars be it Ajay Devgn, Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan or Rani Mukerji, the man has given cinema some of the best essayed scenes. And the filmmaker repeats the same with both Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone.
It's every actress' dream to work with SLB and you really have to look at the way his camera romances Deepika Padukone to believe it. The actress is clearly at the top of her game by deliver top notch performance for the fourth time this year.
Ranveer Singh on the other hand is a perfect match to Deepika. The way he gets a hang of the Gujarati accent is laudable. The two share smoking, sizzling chemistry onscreen and it couldn't have been a better pair to bring out the passion in this romantic tale.
But it's not just the lead pair that proves to be the pillars of the film. The rest of the cast is equally brilliant right from Supriya Pathak who plays Dhankhor to the evil Gulshan Devaiyya, the protective brother played by Sharad Kelkar and last but not the least Richa Chadha who fits her role to the T.
Priyanka Chopra's item song is quite a dampner in the film having being inserted just for the commercial sakes. And that also brings us to the music composed by the filmmaker himself. There are way too many songs in the film to count, the number of which could've been reduced to make the runtime less tedious.
To sum it up, Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela has brilliance written all over it. One of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's finest. Yes, there are flaws but it isn't said for no reason that imperfections make a thing more real.
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