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!