Ram-Leela Review

Goliyon ki Raaslela, Ram-Leela

A rustic, raunchy and rowdy movie that you cannot stop watching By Meena Yeggina

CAST : Ranveer Singh as Ram Deepika Padukone as Leela Richa Chadda as Leela's sister-in-law Supriya Pathak as Leela's mother Sharad Kelkar as Leela's brother Gulshan Devaiah as Bhavani, Leela's cousin Barkha Bisht as Kesar, Ram's sister-in-law Abhimanyu Singh as Ram's brother Priyanka Chopra (Special appearance in the song "Ram Chahe Leela")

Directed by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Music by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
IPM Rating: ***/5, Family movie with kids above 13

A movie teeming with artistic affluence –– from music and visuals to dance and culture –– Goliyon ki Rasleela - Ram-Leela is an in-your-face love story ripe with sexual and violent tension that reveals a facet of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's direction that is vastly different from his usual subtle and sweet depiction of romance.

Inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the movie centers on the love story between Ram Rajri (Ranveer Singh) and Leela Senera (Deepika Padukone), who hail from two warring communities in a rustic village somewhere in Rann, Gujarat, in an unspecified time period. Although they consistently utilize Twitter and text messages as a means of communication, people of this town continue to be entrenched in ancient history in terms of thinking. Even after 500 years, their families continue to abhor and war with each other.

Throughout the film, Ram and Leela's forbidden love is not the kind that brings tears into your eyes, but the kind that is filled with raunchy humor and sexual tension. Well, what else can you expect from a couple born in families that are trigger happy and are also underworld criminals dealing in guns, drugs, and porn movies?

The first half is brilliantly shot, with both of the mesmerizing and powerful actors, whether the feisty Ranveer Singh or the bold, passionate Deepika, stealing the scenes.

In addition, Supriya Pathak as Leela's mother and the Godmother of their clan is such a pleasure to watch. She is amazing with her expressions, comic timing and dialogue delivery (kudos to Bhansali who could imagine her in this role). Richa Chadda, Abhimanyu Singh, Sharad Kelkar are all perfect complements to this film as well.

Second half takes unexpected turns and Ram and Leela get separated, each becoming heads of their warring groups. Ram from the beginning is against guns, war and violence. He is more into sex and porn, renting porn CDs, not giving a minute to think about the exploitation of women in these sex movies of course. It's amazing how youth in India are rotting with hours of watching such movies or spending their lives brawling and boozing, and celebrating festivals on the streets.

I remember reading somewhere that if youth (majority) in India had sufficient work to spend their time on, their young blood would not be wasted on the streets fighting religious and communal wars or watching porn movies and raping women. What future can we envision for a country where a police officer could be bribed with porn movie CDs?

Morals apart, the film is every bit worth watching. Deepika dances like a dream, looks super sexy and acts brilliantly. But in this movie Ranveer Singh steals the show. He is simply too good to be true and exhibits all the qualities of becoming a superstar superstar. His “tathad, tathad, tathad, is brilliantly choreographed and executed.

Some scenes are definitely thought provoking: Women crowning Ranveer as their leader for standing for their cause, a rape scene that happens in a porn adda where youth spend their nights (a crime leading to another. Porn cannot be taken easily as it leads to rapes and violence, especially in India where such crimes are taken lightly and go unpunished)and last scene which depicts that violence will only end in more violence and destruction; that no party can never really win with violence.

Music is simply mind-blowing. compared to the half westernized lyrics and music doled out by Vishal Sekhar, Pritam and the trio Shankar, Eshan and Loy, Bhansali's music is raw, ethnic and melodious, simply Indian and rich. Cinematography by Ravi Varman is visually mesmerizing. The rich colors and street scenes, the Udaipur Palace and Gangaur Ghat are a treat to the eyes and senses. Dances are a dream! Anju Modi's costume designing is simply remarkable.

Amidst all this drama, Priyanka is lost and her item song just comes and goes without much excitement.

You get so busy watching Deepika's beauty, Ranvir's muscles and naughtiness mixed with raunchy humor, ethnically rich dances, Supriya Pathak's canny humor and full-flavored melodies that you forget to observe the thin story line and the sheer stupidity and trigger happy villagers who seem to have nothing else to do except fight and kill each other at the drop of a gun (pun intended). Death is just a game. If even 10 percent of Indian villages are like this one, then India would be a graveyard very soon. We dont need a foreign enemy to do this for us.

Bhansali's maverick trick to give us a visual treat filled with power packed performances drenched in electrifying dances and melodious music in a celebration of cultures with Indian descent proves successful. You dont come out disappointed from this movie. A must watch! A raunchily sophisticated sensuous treat to your senses!