Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela Movie Review by Taran Adarsh

With every film, Sanjay Leela Bhansali [SLB] takes the audience expectations to a higher altitude. The expectations from GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA are no less. The effervescent colors, the attention-grabbing visuals, the intense drama ingeniously intertwined in the screenplay, the alluring soundtrack and the electrifying chemistry between the lead pair has caught the attention of one and all. With GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA, SLB, one of the finest storytellers of our times, is all set to outclass himself…and also prove the skeptics and cynics wrong, who may’ve felt that he has lost his way while trying to court triumph.

You do know what to expect from an SLB film, since the supremely talented storyteller emits the right signals via the promos of his films. It’s no different with GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA: SLB has stirred the audience imagination by attempting a love story amidst guns and roses. Sure, SLB is inspired by William Shakespeare’s love saga ‘Romeo and Juliet’, but SLB makes sure he narrates the passionate love story of star-crossed lovers from warring families in his trademark individualistic style.

Set in Gujarat, GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA is SLB’s most ‘commercial’ film as a director. Also, his best work so far. Undoubtedly! It’s the kind of film that you carry back with you. The hi-octane drama, the blazing guns, the passionate romance, the haunting melodies, the heart-melting emotions… SLB is an exceptional director with a remarkable vision and GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA only bolsters the actuality.

GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA narrates the story of Ram [Ranveer Singh] and Leela [Deepika Padukone]. The hostility and resentment between their families is an open secret, but as luck would have it, Ram and Leela fall in love. When truth dawns upon the respective families, a storm ensues, their worlds collide and a bloody battle occurs…Can Ram and Leela carve their destinies amidst abhorrence and slaughter?

Agree, we have witnessed Shakespeare’s adaptation of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ innumerable times in the past, but SLB makes sure the execution of the written material — also the way the screenplay [Siddharth-Garima and SLB] progresses — is way diverse from similar storylines helmed by dream merchants here. The unconventionality he brings to every sequence, the colors he infuses in his frames, the aggressive lingo his characters mouth, the passion and sensuality he brings about in his characters, GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA not only has a spellbinding effect, but it ships you to an unfamiliar world absolutely. You may have an inkling of the plot, but you definitely don’t know how SLB will give an altogether innovative twirl to the premise.

Celebrated for being a stickler for exactness and meticulousness, SLB makes sure his vision of narrating a story belonging to two warring families is never diluted by unwanted sub-plots or characters. One can gauge the premise at the very outset, but SLB never loses the focal point or deviates from it till the culmination. What unfurls is certainly going to catch a lot of people unaware, for sure.

Hiccups? Yes, the length could’ve been controlled, towards the latter reels specifically. However, it’s a minor hiccup when one looks at the kind of effort that has gone into making every frame come alive.

One of the highpoints of GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA is, without doubt, its musical score [SLB, again]. Known for delivering musical gems in the past, the soundtrack of GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA is mesmeric, to put it in one word. Each of the songs befits the setting of the film, besides being seeped in melody. The fact that the tunes are on the loop says it all. ‘Lahu Munh Lag Gaya’, ‘Nagada Sang Dhol Baaje’, ‘Ishqyaun Dhishqyaun’, ‘Tattad Tattad’, ‘Ang Laga De’ and ‘Ram Chahe Leela’ are sure-fire hits already. Visually too, each of those songs is distinctively resplendent, with the choreography catching your eye as well. The background score [Monty Sharma] is top notch.

The DoP [Ravi Varman] captures SLB’s vision exquisitely and every frame has the unmistakable stamp of flawlessness. The production design [Wasiq Khan] is striking. Action [Sham Kaushal] is absolutely in sync with the demands of the script.

Who would’ve ever imagined Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone to set the screen ablaze when GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA was announced? But the chemistry between the two is defining in every sequence, with the actors complimenting each other fantastically. Ranveer, seen in a completely new avatar, had impressed in his earlier endeavors, but he outshines himself in this one. He has surfaced as a much better actor than he ever was, letting himself free of his inhibitions and experimenting with a role that’s actually intricate. He’s simply flawless.

This is Deepika’s year, for sure. Post RACE-2, YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI and CHENNAI EXPRESS, Deepika pulls yet another ace this time. Looking gorgeous as ever and cast in the most demanding role of her career thus far, she wins you over with an act that’s unblemished. Actually, the confidence she radiates while portraying this part makes you wonder whether SLB and his writers Siddharth-Garima had penned this character keeping Deepika in mind. The audience is sure to go into raptures while watching Deepika in GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA.

Every actor in the supporting cast is simply wonderful. Supriya Pathak [outstanding], Homi Wadia [super], Gulshan Devaiah [brilliant], Richa Chadda [fantastic], Abhimanyu Singh [first-rate], Sharad Kelkar [competent], Barkha Bisht [very good] and Raza Murad [competent], each actor gives his/her best to the enterprise. Priyanka Chopra sizzles in the item number.

On the whole, GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA ought to be watched for multiple reasons: the electrifying chemistry between its lead actors, the strong dramatic content, the scintillating musical score, the violent streak in the narrative and of course, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s execution of the material. This is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s most accomplished work to date. It’s a work of outstanding artistry. No two opinions about it. A masterpiece by the master craftsman Sanjay Leela Bhansali!

Rating: 4.5/5


  1. Author
    aryan 10 years ago

    Ram-Leela gets a new name, court withdraws restrain order

    New Delhi: A Delhi court Wednesday recalled its order restraining Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and EROS International Media Limited from using the title Ram-leela for their yet-to-be-released film starring Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. The movie is scheduled to be released on 15 November. Additional District Judge A.S. Jayachandra recalled Tuesday’s order saying he committed a mistake by passing the decision as he was not informed by the counsel for plaintiffs that the Delhi High Court has already refused to ban the release of the movie.

    Advocate Amit Sibal, appearing for Eros International Media Ltd, placed before the court the high court order which had earlier refused to ban the movie and imposed a cost of Rs.50,000 on an NGO which had moved the plea against the film. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali film will now be called Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela. This is the second time the film’s name has been changed. It was previously changed from Ramleela to Ram-Leela. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali told NDTV, “It appears that some misinformation is being carried out regarding the said film (Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela) which we would like to clarify and state that the said film is inspired and based on William Shakespeare’s work Romeo and Juliet.” The name change is a result of an order passed by the Delhi High Court on Wednesday (November 13, 2013) staying the release of the film. A petition filed against the film accused it of hurting religious sentiments and also said that, since the term Ram Leela is associated with Lord Ram, movie-goers would expect to be watching a religious film. The court’s order Tuesday came on a suit filed by six petitioners, including Prabhu Samaj Dharmik Ram Leela Committee, saying the movie hurt religious sentiments of Hindus as it contains sex, violence and vulgarity. The plea said the word Ram Leela is associated with Lord Rama and people will watch this movie with an expectation that it would be related to his life but the film will hurt their sentiments. It also said the name of the movie should be changed as it has nothing to do with mythology and that it was misleading.


  2. yakuza 10 years ago

    Harsh Jain ‏@Harsh_sanman 2h
    I left the match halfway to watch #RamLeela and I don’t regret a bit. @RanveerOfficial and @deepikapadukone are at their best. Kudos to SLB

  3. Author
    aryan 10 years ago

    Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ramleela Movie Review by Raja Sen

    Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela is a mess!

    According to Raja Sen, Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela is an overplotted, bloody mess.

    Begone, pretenders.

    Why must Bollywood try to claw vainly at the works of The Bard?

    Or, to be fair, why must directors overreach as they aim for instant literary endorsement?

    In the last year and a half, three directors (who have previously made one good film each) have tried to tell the classic tale of Romeo And Juliet and fatally floundered, creating painful works worthy of great embarrassment.

    Habib Faisal made the terrific Do Dooni Chaar and then gave us link to review the disgusting Ishaqzaade; Manish Tiwary made the interesting Dil Dosti Etc and then gave us the unwatchable Issaq; and finally Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who once made the impressive Khamoshi, has turned up a movie with a title almost as grotesque as its contents.

    May the brilliant Bhardwaj sic his bloodhounds upon you, foul fakers.

    Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela — an acronym of which unfailingly reminds me of Greater Kailash Residential associations — is a monstrously excessive film with a riot of colours, a girl who looks very pretty indeed and a daft hero, but despite that being the warning on the tin whenever you attempt (foolhardily) to buy into a Bhansali product, this can’t be what you bargained for. GKRR is an overplotted, bloody mess.

    Ranveer Singh, he of that dandruff song, plays Ram, and he does so head and shoulders more effeminately than you’ve seen any Hindi film hero.

    He throws in the dhak-dhak dance step, for example, and later appears oiled up and wearing a dhoti tied lower than Shilpa Shetty would a sari.

    He also speaks like a character written for Satish Kaushik in a David Dhawan movie, all poor puns and weird vocal tics and very lame dialogue. Singh pushes himself but the part is too imbecilic, and he only does well when falling down and looking up at the camera — simply because it reminds us of his lovely Lootera.

    Deepika Padukone plays his gal, Leela, a cleavage-thrusting princess who looks absolutely luminous but can’t quite handle the sheer, relentless raunch the part demands.

    She sells some of the dialogue impressively, but stumbles over the tu-tadaak overfamiliarity thrust onto her by the script, and performs the way SLB likes his ladies to: when she’s happy, she’s too happy; horny, too horny; sad, too pouty.

    She looks like a million bucks, however, and so resplendent is Padukone with screen presence that it feels like watching Angelina Jolie in a bad film — ie, it’s all pointless, but there is something worth staring at. Her hero might carry a water pistol, but this Leela packs the guns.

    Speaking of which, GKRR marks Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s discovery of arms and ammunition, one that leads to his attempting dialogue more suited to Anurag Kashyap: the result is very poor indeed, awful rhymes alternated with soap-operatic exposition.

    Performers like Supriya Pathak and Gulshan Devaiah are reduced to cardboard caricatures and hamming, and the ever-effective Richa Chaddha isn’t given elbow room.

    Somewhere in Rajasthan, there are a pair of warring families, and while even a typical Sarpunch-and-Judy show can be a blast despite the cliches surrounding it, this one plays out like a bad street-play with an unjustly fantastic budget.

    The frames look luscious, the palette is eyewateringly vivid, and cinematographer Ravi Varman clearly has more of a blast than any audience member ever can.

    Meanwhile the director, who has also written the film, keeps adding twists to thicken the plot and ends up with a loopy bloodbath that — in the end — serves no purpose whatsoever.

    Save perhaps to warn us that SLB can be quite a sadist when he wants to.

    Even the songs fall disappointingly short of memorable, and each of them sound like such a rehash of Bhansali’s own hits that it’s a wonder he — instead of turning composer here — didn’t simply license rights to his own glorious soundtracks of yore.

    At one point in this silly, wasteful, loud film with many a shifting accent, Ranveer Singh’s Ram, a leading man addicted to selfies, takes a picture of himself and Deepika’s Leela, proclaiming that it be announced immediately across Twitter (!) that Ram-Leela are now one.

    Go ahead, then, make his day: tweet this film’s score.

    Rating: 1/5


  4. sputnik 10 years ago

    Ram Leela Review by Pratim Gupta


    The ostentation of opulence. The oppression of opulence. The orgasm of opulence. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s unapologetic, unbridled, unadulterated opulence.

    But under that opulence there is some fine and fervent storytelling this time. After a long time. The Bhansali of yore. The Bhansali of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Self-indulgent but deliciously so. Overcooked but very edible.

    SLB always needs a source material to start infusing his vision to it. From Maitreyee Devi’s Na Hanyate (Hum Dil…) to The Miracle Worker (Black) to Dostoyevsky’s White Nights (Saawariya) he has often picked a foreign source (and not always credited them) as his canvas. Like with Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Devdas, this time it’s a more straightforward adaptation — of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

    The setting is the town of Raanjhad in Gujarat with the Montagues and the Capulets being replaced by the Rajadis and the Saneras. It’s a 500-year-old war where only guns do the talking and blood is the only medium of settlement. Even kids are chased around with rifles and shot at. “Maut ka dhanda karte karte jindagi ki keemat bhool gaye hain.”

    Two people, though, wish to spout water from the Kutch. But actually more than uniting their families, Ram and Leela want to get into each other’s pants, er ghagras. Forget their hands, they can’t keep their lips off each other. Their cheeks smear colour on each other in Holi, they discuss their lack of chest hair and make fun of each other’s sizes. There’s nothing unsaid: “Jo tereko chahiye… jo mereko chahiye…”

    The romance in this latest retelling of the world’s most-told love story is almost entirely sexual. The first time the two meet, they point guns at each other. While hers is a real gun, his is a toy one, which spurts water as they look at each other with hungry eyes. They seek sexual intimacy every time they meet, even when there’s a death in the family, even when they stare at death themselves. “Main toh teri joganiya, tu jog laga de re….”

    Bhansali’s erotica is so in-your-face and played out with so much panache by his leads that things stay sensual and never get raunchy and repulsive. That Ram and Leela’s love is born out of lust doesn’t hinder the core of the Bard’s two-against-the-world text. “Keh do saari duniya se, Ram ki sirf Leela hai.”

    It’s only after they are together that the writers introduce new twist-in-the-tale sub-plots in the second half which manage to throw the romance out of the balcony. Dead peacock (Incredible India tribute to Godfather’s horse?), a redundant item song (your Guess is right: exotic PeeCee) and chopped finger (Big Lebowski?) clutter the last hour. “Dushman se pyaar nibhana har kisi ki bas ki baat nahin hai.”

    That fatigue which sets in makes the film feel overlong but the finish is strong — there could have been only one culmination — and lends the love story the epicness it aspires for. “Soya tha nas nas mein… Ab ye jag gaya… Aye lahu munh lag gaya!”

    True to the tradition of an auteur (officially credited as director, music director, co-writer, co-editor), Bhansali brings his own world to his films. Here, the colour palette is reminiscent of Hum Dil…, the format of breaking into songs for anything and everything is from Saawariya and you can hear strains of the Devdas theme in certain scenes. But the elements all beautifully come together to celebrate the romance of Ram and Leela.

    Ranveer Singh as Ram and Deepika Padukone as Leela bring Bhansali’s dream alive. While he is the showy sort, she is as natural as ever. And between them they indulge in some zesty kissing!

    From the time he appears in that dandruff-dusting Tattad tattad, there is a rowdy streak in the way Ranveer plays Ram. Bhansali’s obviously in love with that carefully sculpted body and doesn’t need a plot point to take his shirt off. It’s when the Devdas toxins hit his system that the young star gets his timing and delivery a little wobbly.

    Deepika’s Leela is woven in the same SLB stitch as Aishwarya’s Nandini in Hum Dil…. As Ranveer says somewhere in the film, she is indeed “special edition”. After Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Chennai Express, this is Deepika’s hat-trick of brilliance this year and it won’t be too early to hail her as one of the great heroines of the Indian silver screen.

    Besides the leads, Bhansali gets together a stellar supporting cast, led by the vintage Supriya Pathak as the deliciously loud Mother Don. The likes of Richa Chadda, Gulshan Devaiah, Abhimanyu Singh, Sharad Kelkar and Jameel Khan ensure that it’s a superbly acted piece.

    Barfi!’s cinematographer Ravi Varman lights the frames in true-blue (no colours spared this time) Bhansali gorgeousness. The production design by Wasiq Khan, although often similar to SLB’s earlier films, is grand. The music is a lovely mix of thumping beats, noisy notes and dulcet melodies.

    His vision has made cinematic history. His vision has been booed. His vision has set sail to careers. His vision has shut down studios. But as a true artiste, the man’s stuck to his vision and has now put out something so pure and passionate. Let’s raise a toast, strike that, let’s raise our guns to the often flawed but unflinching vision of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Dhishqyaun!

    P.S.: The title is never mentioned in the review so as not to hurt anybody’s sentiments!Link

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