Direction: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
So what do we know about Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s films? Bhansali creates a visual spectacle that (when done well) transports you to his make-believe world.
A viewer is overwhelmed by the opulence of the sets - the colour, the grandeur, involved in the tragedy that strikes the star-crossed lovers, ready to suspend rationale and inhabit the director’s universe for a few hours. The question is whether you remain engaged for all the time that you decide to suspend logic and participate in Bhansali’s flight of fantasy? While first half of ‘Ram-leela’ is an engrossing watch, the second half seems too long – the feuding families spend so much time trying to level scores that after a point you really don’t care.
‘Ram-leela’ is yet another Bollywood love saga inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. What really stands out in this one is how Bhansali has managed to deconstruct the typical Bollywood heroine – our female lead is aggressive and passionate. And it’s a pleasure to watch Deepika do away with the conventionally coy and shy and play the rebel.
Ranveer and Deepika and their smoldering chemistry make the first half immensely watchable. Their well-sculpted bodies as they romance and embrace is like poetry in motion. Torn apart by circumstances and years of hatred perpetuated between their families; it breaks your heart to see them apart. But then again, when actual tragedy strikes, you feel devoid of any emotion. Interim melodrama and the tedious pace of the second half robs you of any real pathos that you had felt for the ill-fated lovers.
The treatment for quite a few parts is reminiscent of what we had seen in ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ and ‘Devdas’. The ‘Nagada sang dhol’ song in ‘Ram-leela’ is like a remake of ‘Dholi taro’ song from ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, Ram’s (Ranveer Singh) drinking binge reminds you of Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Devdas’. Wasn’t Romeo’s greatest intoxication love? Surely a director of Bhansali’s caliber is capable of infusing his films with fresh ideas?
The item song by Priyanka Chopra, ‘Ram chahe Leela chahe’ is completely superfluous to the narrative. Not that Priyanka doesn’t look good in the song but the song seems inserted as an afterthought. A dance number by Deepika would have looked just as good and probably made more sense.
‘Ram-leela’ has strong females characters like Supriya Pathak Kapur, who plays the autocratic matriarch or Richa Chadda, who plays the feisty sister-in-law but the plot fails to do complete justice to their parts.
‘Goliyon Ka Raasleela Ram-leela’ is visually spectacular but the love story makes little impression.
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