Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s films have always been high on passion. His films have given us visual references to his incredible imagination and storytelling prowess. And the mise-en-scene has always reflected his fetish for perfection!
‘Ram-leela’ from Bhansali, who has earlier produced dreams onscreen - ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, ‘Guzaarish’ and ‘Black’ – comes across as an uncanny piece of art from the ace filmmaker, with sounds of bullet riveting through the entire length of the film.
Based on William Shakepseare’s ‘Romeo-Juliet’, ‘Ram-Leela’ gives audiences a taste of a rustic love story woven with a string of bullets. As the title of the film suggests, ‘Goliyon ki rasleela Ram-Leela-’, Bhansali’s magnum opus is about daring bullets for the sake of love.
Ram (Ranveer Singh) hails from the Rajadi clan which deals in producing gun and bullets. His village is popular for being notorious where firing gun for even petty issues is a common affair. The Rajadis have a 500 year old enmity with a much wealthier and powerful Saneda clan, headed by Kanji Bhai who is guided by his mother and mukhiya (Supriya Pathak).
The Rajadis and the Sanedas only understand the language of violence, something Ram cannot really fathom. He attempts to put an end to bloodshed. He comes across Leela at her abode, a place where he quietly sneaks in along with his friends for fun.
Ram and Leela’s chance encounter paves the way for an eternal bond.
However, their respective families who have always bartered bullets for bullets fail to acknowledge Ram and Leela’s undying love.
Members from either side fall prey to the lust for power and detestable pride thereby triggering further hatred.
The film is good but could have been better, for expectations from Bhansali are sky high. The film has its own share of pluses and minuses. The visuals are indeed a treat to the eyes. The scenes are like paintings in motion; especially the one where Ram secretly meets Leela for the first time. It looks like a true tribute to Shakespeare. One must learn how to make best use of colours as Bhansali weaves magic on screen and helps you sway in his world.
However, there are certain portions that are a little too hard to believe. For example: Leela kisses Ram on his lips on the very first day she meets him. Also the two become an inseparable couple instantly. Another moment which is quite difficult to digest is when the mukhiya of Saneda (essayed by veteran actress Supriya Pathak), an otherwise ruthless woman, who does not refrain from breaking her own daughter’s finger by using a Betel nut cracker, suddenly realises her love for her only daughter Leela a few days later on seeing her injury. The filmmaker has also taken cinematic liberty to make sure nothing disrupts the flow of the narrative.
Nonetheless, Ranveer as Ram and Deepika as Leela have delivered one of the finest performances of their careers. Gulshan Devaiah as Bhavani, a power greedy nephew of the Saneda Mukhiya is also quite good and so is Richa Chadda who plays the role of Deepika’s sister-in-law. But the lady who stole the thunder was Supriya Pathak. She was impeccable in every scene!
The music composed by the filmmaker himself and Monty Sharma is refreshing. The Gujarati folk number that opens the film is an absolute treat to the ears. The rest of the songs- ‘Tattad Tattad’, ‘Nagada Sang Dhol Baaje’ are good. The number featuring Priyanka Chopra – ‘Ram Chahe Leela’ is a foot-tapping number with an unusual mix of tradition and modernity.
Ravi Varman, the director of photography has complimented the art director and helped Bhansali in producing a dream of sorts onscreen as far as the visuals are concerned.
Overall, the film is first-rate as it brings down the curtain with a universal message of peace and love.
You may watch the film if you love larger than life moments.