Sanjay Leela Bhansali films are made on canvas, not filmstrips. Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (title changed after protests despite having no relation with the great Indian Epic Ramayan) is no exception.
It opens with the great Gujarati poet, Zaverchand Meghani’s ‘Mor bani thangat kare…’ and takes us to the beautiful landscapes of Kutchh, Gujarat promising to be a beautiful piece of craft.
However, you do realise this movie is not another Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) or at par sooner than you can say ‘Ram-Leela’, despite the same grand colourful sets and larger than life background.
For the first time you see Sanjay taking liberty of using somewhat filthy dialogues (‘Jigar pe mat Jaa nai to Trigger dabaa dungi’ as seen in trailers) and raunchy humour which is understandable looking at the trend in recent Hindi films.
Also the director doesn’t shy away from exaggeration at times, the gun-fight in the beginning and excessive booze (Gujarat being a dry state) is just unrealistic and out of place.
|GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA|
|Common story with predictable end. Not surprisingly different from SLB's previous movies based on various other classics or foreign plays/stories.|
|Deepika, Supriya and Ranveer are all very powerful and intense, Richa is exceptional again, Abhimanyu, Sharad and Barkha Bist do justice to their part.|
|Nearly flawless, smooth and artistic as ever. His direction style swivels between masala and over the top in first half to SLB’s original poetic and emotional in second half.|
|Grand, magnanimous and colourful, that’s how SLB movies have been, this one also joins the club, no stone left unturned as far as budget and production value goes.|
|Superb music, very melodious and soothing, the album ranges from timeless folk garba to contemporary and sensual.|
|SLB delivers a decent film with an everyday story backed by strong performances, beautiful music and picturesque sets and amazing cinematography. Review Scores by Saurin Shah.|
Vagabond Casanova Ram from the Rajaadi family and carefree lass Leela, daughter of mighty godmother Dhankor Saneda, fall in love at first sight, their love story is jolted by a calamity that strikes both the families. Will their love survive the storm or will revenge take over is what forms the second half of the movie.
Deepika truly has had the Midas touch this year with four blockbuster movies grossing a combined Rs. 5 Billion, and she has come out as a versatile actress playing different characters with ease and earning applauds.
She looks breathtakingly beautiful as Leela and she carries her character (and even the 30 kg Ghaghra) so well. Be it romantic scenes or intense drama; her performance is consistently top notch.
Ranveer as seen in his past films we know is capable of carrying films as the sole protagonist. He plays his Romeo part well and looks irresistible in ‘Ramji ki chaal…Tattad Tattad’ and it is no wonder that he has a huge female fan following all over; in the second half he puts up a good performance in the action and drama sequences.
Supriya Pathak deserves special accolades for the way she has portrayed the role of a ruthless godmother who goes soft in the end, a strong contender for supporting actress of the year award. The rest of the supporting cast deliver good performances, Homi Wadia is under utilised.
What stands out though is the performance of the man behind the camera, SLB gives his artistic best in cinematography, magnanimous sets with all the colours, grandeur and a lot of detail (notice the ‘Chayna maal shop’ and a poster of a popular Gujarati movie during the ‘Tattad Tattad’ song). The movie scores well on production values, direction, music and of course, choreography.
Talking of choreography, an integral part of SLB films, ‘Nagada Sang Dhol’ and ‘Tattad Tattad’ succeed in recreating the magic of ‘Dholi Taaro’ and ‘Dola Re’.
‘Ang Laga De’ is sensual and fits the situation while ‘Lahu Munh Lag Gaya’ shows the culture and garba in a beautiful way. The title song, Priyanka Chopra’s much hyped item number, fails to raise temperatures and looks unnecessary and ineffective.
Final verdict, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela is a good attempt and worth a watch for direction and its larger than life depiction of Gujarati culture and the unique Kutchh region.
You may find little sense in the plot following the interval especially the somewhat childish sequence that beckons the climax where the villain gets Saneda chief to sign papers ordering a massacre, but still it’s a nice watchable movie experience. Go for ‘Nagada Sang Dhol’ and beautiful white desert, and go for the powerful performances of the main cast.