It has been over a decade since we got to watch a film in signature Sanjay Leela Bhansali style. After giving some beautiful portrayals of love stories like Khamoshi: The Musical (also his debut as a director), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and a rather colorful version of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s literary marvel, Devdas, there was something missing in the three other films that the director made. Of course, Black is a film that will remain very close to everyone’s hearts simply for all the emotions that it evoked in everyone on its release and took away most awards too, but for an inexplicable reason, first impression, in this case, the second and the third too, had become a lasting impression. Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-leela celebrates the return of Mr. Bhansali as he is known to everyone. The man with a very keen sense of art and aesthetics, that always takes everyone’s breath away.
Everyone loves a love story. That is something ALL of us have to agree with. And we’ll all agree that the best-known Shakespearean tragedy, Romeo and Juliet has been done-to death! So much so, that in the past year, three filmmakers have attempted a film each with a similar plot. Habib Faisal, whose Do Dooni Chaar was a fantastic watch, made Ishaqzaade; Manish Tiwary, best-known for Dil Dosti etc. made a very difficult to watch, Issaq; and now, this attempt by Mr. Bhansali. Yes, there is very little that you will enjoy in the film since you pretty much know the film’s plotline. Everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet, and it can only be tweaked to suit the modern-day flavor. Unfortunately, what I was expecting was something at the level of Baz Luhrmann’s retelling of the famous story in his Romeo+Juliet (1996) or Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, that had catapulted the respective careers of Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla when it released 2.5 decades ago. Alas, none of that happened. It is very fortunate that the film’s rather slow pace picked up post-interval. It is also very fortunate that the sets were designed so beautifully. And lastly, everyone is very fortunate that the film has been backed by some very good performances by Supriya Pathak Kapoor, by Deepika Padukone who has grown into becoming a very bankable actor in the past few years, by Richa Chaddha who made her presence felt in Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur I & II last year, and lastly by pretty-boy Ranveer Singh who tries very hard to be macho et suave but what you’re reminded of mostly is a shampoo brand that he is likely to endorse in the near-future.
Having said that, the film wins ’cause it soothes your visual senses immensely. The songs… oh so lovely! Especially, Lahu Muh Lag Gaya, that has been composed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali himself. Very few people know that he added another feather to his cap by turning music composer with his previous release, Guzaarish. While watching the film, the songs look lovelier, definitely. However, there was an issue with the transition. From meaningless blood-shed to a lot of coochie-cooing. And it is the biggest bone of contention in the whole film. An explanation is necessary in every frame. More so, apart from the aforementioned actors, there are so many other actors who you’ve been watching on television doing their usual stuff in the many soap operas, that for a minute it gets difficult to get back to the real moment and tell yourself that it is a film not an almost never-ending television drama. This may sound hilarious to many, and only a few gamers shall be able to understand this, but a certain scene in the film transported me to the time when Altair, an Assassin, executes the enemy. Lol.
Deepika Padukone looks so lovely and all the hardwork she has put in, translates wonderfully on screen, be it just the look, or the acting skills, or the dance that mostly comprises Garba. I am totally unsure what this film will decide for the lead actors, for it’s a tad-bit early to pass a judgment on that, but after Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-leela, the actress can be safely cast in any role, that is for sure. As for Ranveer Singh, there is so much that he still needs to show apart from flexing those muscles or showing the body or wearing his lungi so low that you’ll want to shy away at places. Honestly, he was more likeable in Lootera than this film. The enmity between the two opponents should have been explained, so what if it was a fictitious town we were talking about? At the same time, the beautiful Rann of Kutch should also have been given some more screen space.
If you do intend to watch this film, empty it of all the past movies that you have watched based on a similar plotline. Let’s celebrate the return of Sanjay Leela Bhansali as his usual self, just like we know him.