#2 Sanjay Leela Bhansali – Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela

If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.
~ Winston Churchill

I think it was just a week ago when Robert De Niro visited India and had a discussion on his performance in Raging Bull. He spoke about how important it is in film not to overact, and the emotions flow through your body effortlessly. Sometimes less is more! And I watched Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela today, which was totally against this school of thought.

Shakespeare is the most filmed author ever in any language. Indian cinema has adapted the works of ‘The Bard of Avon’ quite interestingly – Angoor (1982), Maqbool (2003), Omkara (2006) to name a few declared adaptations. However, as it is rightly said, there are only 8 stories in the world which are nudged just a bit to suit the requirements of time. Adaptations literally declare the story. We know how it ends. That’s what makes adaptations so interesting. All of us know the story, but the main challenge is to make it sound as fresh as new!

In the matter of freshness, using two extremely fresh faces worked in favour of the film. Deepika Padukon was brilliant as the desi Juliet, Ranveer Singh was, ummm… He simply existed in the film. I thought the set up of the film was indeed very promising! The first ten minutes were extremely lively and I was pretty much involved in the film. Until, Ranveer Singh’s entry. I feel the film went completely downhill from there on.

Maybe his character (Ram) lacked depth. His wants were so vague and oscillating. He did not take responsibility of his actions. He appeared smart sometimes, but completely pea-brained in terms of using his authority. His performance had energy, but going in all the wrong directions.

Deepika’s character (Leela) was far more convincing. A passive flawed character, yet determined. She knew what she wanted and she exceeded her limitations for getting it. At every point of the film, the situation was forced upon her. Every decision was taken for her without  her total consent. Is this how SLB wanted to portray women in India?

Exaggerated use of colours, sets and dialogues. At many points lyricism was made contemporary through SMS quatrains pretty convincingly. Colours added the effect and emphasized the mood. Dialogues to a certain extent were overboard.

The message of Romeo and Juliet was how families can divide relationships. Ramleela taught me better ways of using my phone like locking my device with complicated codes, using Twitter from a Nokia Asha and not leaving my phone on silent for weeks when my girlfriend is mad at me. Families are not keeping you apart you dumbass Ram, it is your inability to act mainly due to watching too much of porn.

 

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