As much as anyone would like to believe, the epic tale of Romeo and Juliet can never grow old or can never be called ‘done-to-death’, unless of course it is amateurishly-told. This year, the master of grandeur, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, shall present a version of the famous Shakespearean tragedy, as Ram-leela. The film is quite unlike the other films that this ace-director has made in the past – from the touching Khamoshi – The Musical, to the very intense and riveting Guzaarish, with of course an exception in a Saawariya that cine-goers didn’t quite appreciate, if at all they watched the film. You, however, must admit that Saawariya too, was superb as far the cinematography and direction is concerned.
Ram-leela stars the alleged Bollywood couple, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. While we are quite uncertain about the off-screen affair, the onscreen affair is the latest talk of the town. And for good reason too. The trailers, the songs, all signify love in the way the filmmaker has been known to show it in his films. The purest, most beautiful feeling, perhaps, always needs a justified treatment, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali scores with it everytime.
As a child, when I watched Khamoshi – The Musical, I was deeply touched. Nana Patekar and Seema Biswas in a challenging role such as that, to watching the then reigning queen, Manisha Koirala emote and act in the role she portrayed. Of course, who can forget the cuteness and the charm that Salman Khan brought to his role? The couple’s chemistry in the scintillating song, Baahon Ke Darmiyaan must still move many hearts. Avid listeners of the ’90s songs shall agree completely. The film has, however, displeased many fans of Nana Patekar who had probably typecast the supremely-talented actor in his usual roles that he had been doing throughout his career until Khamoshi – The Musical happened. Salman Khan continued his charm as Sameer (the hawa ka jhonka in Nandini’s life) in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and delivered most maturely when pitted against Ajay Devgn (whose character, Vanraj, also became the kind of husband many Indian women started looking for). The film is still a benchmark for umpteen love stories. Along came a more colorful, livelier version of Devdas, which quite altered the way a lot of film-lovers perceived the rather grey character that Devdas was.
Mr. Bhansali thence totally changed his idea of making films altogether, by making Black. There isn’t an explanation that this film deserves. From a beautiful story to remarkable performances, this film didn’t lack anything. The last two films that the filmmaker directed, Saawariya and Guzaarish, although good in their own right wasn’t too well-received by the Indian audience. For a film buff such as I, Guzaarish is and shall be one of the best roles that Hrithik Roshan has delivered in his decade-and-a-half long career.
On November 15, Ram-leela shall release and most definitely run to packed houses. From the scenic locales of Kutch and other areas in Gujarat, this one has the signature Bhansali flavor, something that is already working in its favor. Add to that a seemingly energetic performance by Ranveer Singh (Band Baaja Baarat, Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl) and the very lovely and talented Deepika Padukone (she already has three hits in her kitty this year, Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Chennai Express). Deepika, of course is looking gorgeous in the film and it’s quite safe to say that she hasn’t looked this pretty so far. Even her cotton sarees and dhaavanis didn’t quite do the trick as much as the ghaghra-cholis and the intricate jewelry shall do in Ram-leela. One is also looking forward to seeing Supriya Pathak in the film, who was last seen playing Ranbir Kapoor’s mother in Wake Up Sid. The songs are already a hit, the chemistry has been spoken about multiple times, so much so, that the couple must undergo continuous speculation for sharing such a great onscreen chemistry. It isn’t unknown to anyone that Mr. Bhansali’s last superhit film, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam started a torrid affair between Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai as well. Ranveer and Deepika may not be far behind. In my opinion, films should keep coming and pleasing the audience, whatever one’s personal life is about. Besides, who doesn’t like a nice love story… even if it must mean that the lovers unite in a parallel universe?
A lot of hopes are pinned onto this post-Diwali release. And I am quite certain that the film won’t disappoint in the least bit.