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Deepika Padukone & Ranveer Singh in ‘Ram-leela’
When I was a kid, I remember going to the Ramleela for the very first time in the grounds in Old Delhi, full of excitement, anticipation, not knowing what I would be seeing. I came out, thoroughly mesmerized – the bands of monkeys, the giant Jatau bird, the ten-headed demon and the explosion of fireworks did it for me.
Now years later I went to another kind of Ramleela – Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Ramleela’, also known as Goliyon ki Rasleela, and I have to say, I was knocked out once again – but not quite.
Bhansali is such a master at creating a unique visual world, giving substance to what exists only in his mind, that I felt that same rush of excitement. ‘Ramleela’ is a beautiful, surreal canvas- and to see it is to enter a world of fabulous colors, of red chilies drying in the sun, of arid deserts and ramshackle towns, of great beauty, peacocks and shimmering water. There’s just such a feast for the eyes with this imaginary Gujarati town, the fabulous folk dances and the catchy music. The swashbuckling Ranveer Singh has a strong screen presence and the pitch perfect Deepika has never looked more gorgeous. There’s tremendous smoldering chemistry between the two – you can’t take your eyes off this beautiful couple.
Ram-leela – Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
The superb cinematography by Ravi Varman and music (by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Monty Verma) just make it all magnetic. The film has a zany blend of cultures, time zones and styles mixed up so it’s all kind of timeless and fun to watch. And men with earrings – this looks so good it could start a trend!
It’s a satisfying film experience with the mind and senses fully engaged. It sometimes feels like you’ve wandered into Anurag Kashyap territory with the bullets madly ricocheting all over the place. I’ve never before seen a couple romancing each other with guns. In fact, the way the guns star in this movie, the gun lobby in America would really love it!
Ram-leela: Guns and Drums
Sometimes, it even feels like Vishal Bharadwaj territory with the whimsical and the offbeat, touches of humor when you least expect it. Yet it is largely a Bhansali landscape and one to be savored and enjoyed. Superb performances by Deepika and Ranveer, as well as Supriya Pathak Kapur as Ba, the fearful matriarch of the clan.
The film, while a feast for the eyes and ears, kind of evaporates like a dream on waking – the love story just doesn’t touch you deeply. Bhansali has said it’s inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet yet it just doesn’t ring true. It doesn’t get you in the gut like other films inspired by the Bard, such as ‘Maqbool’ or ‘Om Kara’. There are so many tragic love stories where the ache stays with you days after the movie is over – ‘Ramleela’ is not one of them.
‘Ramleela’ – You get drawn in by the aesthetics, you almost over-dose on the colors, the music and the beauty but you never get fully engaged in the goings on.
It doesn’t get you in the heart.
What did YOU think of the movie? Please add your mini-review in the comments section!
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