Gujaratis are one of the most colourfully clad people of the Indian sub-continent. It is probably this reason that inspired Sanjay Leela Bhansali (SLB), a director of opulence in his craft, to choose Gujarat for his portrayal of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It could be hard to find one (from the Bollywood knowing Indians) who would doubt that SLB would dish out anything less than a magnum opus when contriving to explore Shakespeare’s most celebrated plot but there was call for grandeur and magnificence. This meant a rich backdrop, loud and palpable culture and strong theatrics. The first two having met in Gujarat, the final need was quenched with the selection of the two best actors of the industry and SLB’s favourites – Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. The trio were sufficient to make a mark in Bollywood history but SLB was cautious in his selection of the peripheral characters and carved a film adorably lasting with his team of superbly talented actors one of them being Supriya Pathak.
Mother of Leela (Deepika Padukone), Dhankor Baa (Supriya Pathak) is an efficient clan leader of the Sanera’s. The Saneras are regularly, relentlessly, restlessly embroiled in clan war for the last 500 years with the Rajadis. Yet there seems to be an environ of festivity in the village of Ranjaar where the two clans thrive and where ammunition shops line the market like the grocers and the vegetable sellers. There’s also the local police who are anything but caretakers of law. This being the case, the audience needs to be cautioned about the logical backlash that may come from within. Shut that voice up and you are sure to enjoy the rest.
It is Holi, the festival of colours and the brash, stunningly handsome and captivatingly charismatic Rajadi boy, Ram is emboldened in the spark of the moment to make his flirtatious advances on the Sanera chick Leela. Ram and Leela, the children from the opponent ruling families, have dared beyond limitations and let out their hearts to play a dangerous game and there’s no stopping them now. It is only fate who can stop them and there she comes alive and slashes out with her poison smeared tail and the dreams dripping molten love of the young sweethearts fall miserably to pieces.
In the wake of destiny they are now the new chieftains of their respective camps and by the tragic trait of clans have to stand opposed to each other. While both hearts bleed profusely and every moment of separation deepens the yearning of unison, they are doomed to the extremity where one and only ‘Death’ can consume up all pain. SLB’s adaptation of the immortal saga of love – ‘Romeo and Juliet’ has a flavour unique to the director himself. In his exclusive style, Bhansali pays homage to his source of inspiration in the balcony scene and yet again replicates the most celebrated ethos of the Shakespearean tragedy in the desperation of lovers that lead to their self-immolation. With a 7.6 on the IMDb scale, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela is definitely a one time watch if not a multi watcher for you.
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Producers: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Sandeep Singh, Kishore Lulla and Chetan Deolekar
Soundtrack: Sanjay Leela Bhansali