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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela Movie Review

From HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM and DEVDAS to GUZAARISH, over the years Sanjay Leela Bhansali (SLB) has proved to be the perfectionist and the most creative director of Bollywood. What do we expect from GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA? well a colourful masterpiece, with hard-core drama, emotional quotients and chartbuster songs. So the question is does it live up to the expectations? Well it does and how!

GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA narrates the story of the rivalry between the Rajadis and the Sanedas and how the girl and boy (Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone) from both respective clans fall in love… And then, all hell breaks loose. The movie is an official adaptation on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a play which has been loosely adapted by many Bollywood movies, for instance, ISHAQZAADE. But there has been no adaptation as original as GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA is. How? Well for one, the setting and the spell bounding locations of Gujarat and Udaipur.

SLB encapsulates the Gujarati culture perfectly after HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM. In fact, the angle here was far more aggressive, violent and raunchy-which could have been risky to portray for a director of high caliber, but his direction was just flawless! In fact, the chase scenes were so captivating, it gave me goosebumps and kept me at the edge of my seat.

There are many more strong features of the movie and one of them is the jaw-dropping cinematography by Ravi Varman who in the past did the cinematography for films like BARFI, has excelled in this movie. It added beauty to the movie and enhanced the cinematic experience. At times, the film seemed so realistic, that I would react to the characters, something I rarely do! Another credits to the raunchy, catchy cum sharp dialogues by Siddharth-Garima, which stick to you at the end of the movie. A memorable dialogue for me is when Padukone tells Singh, “figure pe mat jaa, trigger daba dungi!”

The soundtrack is another successful feature of the movie. This is the second time SLB is composing after GUZAARISH and has done a great job. For me, the picks of the album are: lahu muh lag gaya, nagada sang dhol baje and tattad tattad, Which have become chartbuster tracks already! A special mention here to Monty Sharma for the engaging and energetic background score, which enhanced the atmosphere of the movie.

Now, on to the performances! To begin with, the performances of both Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone were fantastic, to say the least! Deepika essays the role of the spicy belle Leela with ease, in fact, her dialogue delivery was impactful and highly emotive. She has excelled after her superb performances in CHENNAI EXPRESS and COCKTAIL. There could have been no better Ram, than Ranveer Singh! After playing the thief and boisterous Bittu in BAND BAAJA BARAAT and LOOTERA respectively, he has proved that he is an actor, par excellence! The sequences where he was drunk, made the audience sympathise with his state and the good thing is he did not overact. Also, the performances of the supporting cast were action-packed! A specific mention to Supriya Pathak Kaur as Baahujoor, the main antagonist and Leela’s mother. This is the first time I’ve seen Supriya Pathak portray a villain, and how?! I have never seen a menacing villain as her in any of Bhansali’s movies! Surely, she’s the best actor in a negative role. Richa Chadda performed perfectly as Raseela, proving that she is here to stay! Gulshan Devaiyah, as Bhavani was fantastic! Abhimanyu Singh and Sharad Kelkar also do a good job. Priyanka Chopra danced well in the Ram chahe leela song, although it was not necessary for the movie.

On the whole, GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA seems to be one of Bhansali’s best work till date. It has actions, romance, dance, comedy action-packed performances… Everything a person wants from a movie, so my last word? The movie is a blockbuster and in my opinion, one of the best films of the year!

* * * * (4/5)

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Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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