Ram Leela Film Review by Alpa Pandya
I’ve just got back from the movies and my Friday night was in the company of RamLeela. Whilst getting comfortable in my £9 seat (Cinemas are getting expensive) I knew I wouldn’t be watching a ‘normal’ Hindi film. In a normal Hindi film, if the story requires the heroine to run out of the house, she does just that but in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film there are no houses, only humongous havelis where the heroine runs down a spiral staircase, 90 yards of fabric trailing behind her, sweeping the floor getting stuck in 79 chandeliers, 84 doors and 71 windows.
She gets hysterical without reason and pulls down a few curtains (adding more fabric), tumbles over candles, so her dupatta catches fire, which finally drops into the fountain and she then reaches the big wrought iron gates of the haveli which are automatically flung open whilst she dramatically runs out into the bewilderedness. Sooooooooo amidst all these over dramatised scenes yet great cinematography do we have a story? HELL YEAH!!!! A story that will literally blow your mind away with gunshots blazing and plenty of glass bottles smashing!!!
A Gujarati adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet which has been filmed in Gondal, Ahmedabad and Rajkot Gujarat. The performances of the actors have all lived up. Supriya Pathak as Leela’s mother is haunting, comical and lethal all rolled into one. Ranveer Singh has got the Gujarati accent down pretty well. His chest is to die for (I did several times) However he overdid it with the baby oil which made me want to throw a towel at him at times and or do other things which I wont go into –
Admittedly my initial thoughts of Ranveer Singh when he first entered the Indian Film Industry were not much, didn’t like him and thought he was an average guy with nothing special to offer but after his performance in Lootere (even though the movie was a flop) he has proved he can act with bags of potential.
Deepika Padukone plays a strong-headed girl ‘Leela’ with confidence and moulds well into her character. She looks the part and carries off those chaniya cholis with elegance and grace adding sensuality and hotness which I’m sure the men will agree. The movie has romance in the not so subtle sense, which is fine however I did feel there was a bit too much of lip locking going on hmmmmmm too much kissing, got embarrassing with my mum sitting next to me!!! (at this point I could sense my mum reaching out for the remote control to flick the channel or to start a random conversation – which she did – Haa Haa about how Deepikas nails looked) ??? – Bless!!!! The dialogues carry a lot of sexual innuendos. In one of the scenes Ram makes it to Leela’s bedroom (alarmingly, in exactly six minutes after their first meeting), India’s shining I tell you!!
Sanjay Leela Bhansali has also composed the music to this film and I am in awe with the sounds of Rajasthani flavor blending in with Gujarati folk renditions together with soulful voices of Osman Mir, Bhoomi Trivedi, Shreya Ghoshal to name a few. All the tracks are a pleasure to lend an ear to however my personal favourite is ‘Mor Bani Thanghat Kare’ which is the song that opens the film and it is my Track Of The Week in this weeks ‘The Alpa Pandya Show’ .
Overall I enjoyed watching this costume drama Bollywood extravaganza, a great laugh some good witty dialogues with lots of colour which is a big change for SLB. I give it 8/10 – Go watch it and breathe in a bit of Gujarat!! X
Alpa Pandya – BBC Asian Network