Release Date : Nov 15,2013
Ram-Leela (aka) Ramleela review
Review by : Behindwoods Review Board
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Production: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Cast: Abhimanyu Shekhar Singh, Barkha Bisht Sengupta, Deepika Padukone, Gulshan Devaiah, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Richa Chadda, Sharad Kelkar, Supriya Pathak
Direction: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Screenplay: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Story: Siddharth Garima
Background score: Salim- Sulaiman
Cinematography: Ravi Varman
Dialogues: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Editing: Rajesh G.Pandey, Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Singers: Aditi Paul, Aditya Narayan, Arijit Singh, Bhoomi Trivedi, Osman Mir, Shail Hada, Shreya Ghoshal
Lyrics : Siddarth-Garima
Distribution: Eros International

It is no news that Sanjay Leela Bhansali (SLB) is a dreamer – grandiose sets, vibrant colors (he even manages to bring to screen different shades of black and white), conventional theatrics and often a warped sense of reality envelop his movies because the sense of time is blurred in his productions. So even if one has gripes about his movies being far removed from real life, one tends to enjoy the flamboyance of his creations and his casting decisions. In that essence, Goliyon Ki Rasleela, Ram – Leela is an achievement. But if you look beyond that, Ram Leela’s execution is only as strong as the bullet ridden bodies of the many Rajadi and Sanada folk strewn all over the movie.

Adapted from Romeo and Juliet, a story that has been brought to life gazillion times in numerous forms, Ram Leela is set somewhere Rajasthan rubs shoulders with Gujarat among two warring clans. SLB tries to bring the place some character with (ersatz but) beautifully designed sets, brilliant camerawork and costumes that evoke a collective sense of flamboyance. The trigger happy clans constantly shoot at each other even for trivial things and when love erupts between the feisty Leela and the boisterous Ram, all hell breaks loose.

During the first half, the movie hangs on the explosive chemistry created by Deepika and Ranvir. After an elaborate introductory song, Ranvir puts his chiseled (and often well oiled) body to use to woo Deepika, who falls for him hook, line and sinker without a doubt. The two will make you blush or cringe with their propinquity to each other’s lips and bodies and the movie sails through the first half setting the stage for the drama-infused sometimes long winding second.

After the supremely subtle performance in Lootera, Ranvir here seems to make a statement with his bare torso, waywardly dialogues and a general ‘tapori’ presence. His skills are put to good use but he doesn’t quite seem to have got a sense of the accent. But that is just as well, only a few characters in the movie (like the super talented Richa Chadda and the skillful Supriya Pathak) seem to have mastered it though. This movie might not give Ranvir a ticket to achieve commercial stardom but with this, he proves that he can pull off a role that throws him into the league of Akshay Kumar or Salman Khan.

And then there is the star of the movie, Deepika Padukone - quite literally. After the love story has seemingly gotten enmeshed in a series of drama and double crossing, a resolute Deepika tries to carry it off with her slender shoulders. She is resplendent in Anju Modi’s costumes that accentuate her curves rather flatteringly but it is the impudence she brings to her character as a Sanada girl that is worth the length of the movie. The maturity her character shows after a turning point in the plot is proof for Deepika’s improved acting abilities.

Sharad Kelkar, Gulshan Devaiah, Barkha Bisht, Abhimanyu Singh and Anshul Trivedi have all done their supporting roles able-handedly. In the thick of things when the drama of loss is high and emotions are running wild, Priyanka Chopra appears in an item song ‘Ram Chahe Leela’. She is quite becoming the name to watch out for in that circuit what with her well coordinated moves.

SLB pays attention to his tiny details (though he seemingly forgets in larger ones like the setting of the movie itself) so the shot after Ram cuts his hand and his blood is shown in the foreground, there are flies flitting around it. There is proof that you cannot blame SLB for not having a sense of reality. Talking of frames though, Ravi Varman remains the star of the movie’s aesthetics. The colors, often only a few solid ones, are ingeniously cut short of being overwhelming. The shots are picture perfect and beautifully evocative.

Songs blend well with the narrative but none of them linger after you leave the hall. Perhaps only Ang Laga De but that is because we have been force-fed the visuals of the song endlessly as a precursor.

SLB incorporates plot twists to increase the momentum of the movie during the second half. That works as a double-edged sword for the movie’s pace since we all know what happens in the story of the great bard’s Romeo – Juliet and hence you consider it an essential ruse to increase the length of the movie. Despite having been caught in all this drama, you never once feel for or with the characters of the movie but SLB is probably not aiming at it anyway. For him, cinema is larger than life. And it quite is, here.

Verdict: Typical Bhansali, but watch it for Deepika, who is atypical!
( 2.75 / 5.0 )


Ram-Leela (aka) Ramleela

Ram-Leela (aka) Ramleela is a Hindi movie with production by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, direction by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, cinematography by Ravi Varman, editing by Rajesh G.Pandey, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The cast of Ram-Leela (aka) Ramleela includes Abhimanyu Shekhar Singh, Barkha Bisht Sengupta, Deepika Padukone, Gulshan Devaiah, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Richa Chadda, Sharad Kelkar, Supriya Pathak.