Tag Archives: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

#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.


#1 Sanjay Leela Bhansali – Guzaarish (2010)

“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”
~ Anne Frank

This film was not to be missed while it was in theatres. Mostly because of Hrithik Roshan’s well appreciated performance. It was my fortune that today I ran into the idea of watching the film and I had it in my collection.

The film does not spend a lot of time in exposition at the start. We travel with the lead character and go back and forth in his memories till the very end to learn more about his condition. The first watershed moment – when Ethan decides to/ files his petition came to me a little earlier than I had thought. But of course with a powerful title sequence, the inability to control on Ethan’s life was justified.

Hrithik spends most of the time on the bed or on the wheelchair. The little while when he dreams about his past or his non-existent present, are moments to cherish. Through a perfect cast of the protagonist, the makers were able to achieve the vast void between what could have been and what there actually is.

My father argues that SLB treats his film like visual poetry. He indulges himself in the look of the film and the treatment to such great depths that the story has to compromise.

Sophia (Played by Aishwarya Rai) intrigued me the most. And I believe it was recognized with a Filmfare nomination for the best actress as well. Besides that so many characters, including the protagonist lacked the And that is where maybe the movie fails to grip the audience. And I wonder what a great risk it would be to make such a film. And how much conviction it would take to pursue making films in such a manner.

I learnt more about the characters from the frames and compositions rather than what came out of their mouth or what they did in the film. Cinema is a visual medium and the justice to the script, whether it is cinematography wise or shot selection wise is highly commendable.

As I contemplate some more, it makes me wonder about the uncertainty of our existence. A man, who has conquered everything, is just waiting to crumble someday and he does, to such a high beyond measure. We live in a world that is a mere delusion of control. We are as handicapped as Ethan. We are unable to control circumstances. Realising this, at least at once, I value my fragile life a little more.