Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela – Ram Leela’ doesn’t tell you anything new, that you don’t know already after watching Bollywood movies for two decades. Based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the ending. Rest of the film is also typical. Boy meets girl from rival family. Falls in lust. Then, in love. Elopes. Gets caught. Cries. Dies.
In a nutshell, that’s the review. But since, you have already started reading the post; let me elaborate on it a little bit more. Let me tell you in detail how illogical this movie is at parts, and how thin the plot (if any) is, and how getting to have a tub of cheese popcorn was the best part of watching this movie.
So, the story is based in the fictitious village of Ranjar in India, where people sell guns as openly and casually like your sabziwaala sells dhaniya. Why you ask? Oh, because there are two communities apparently – the Rajadis and Sanedas, who have enmity with each other from the time Shakespeare was actually conceptualizing Romeo & Juliet. So much enmity in fact, that India v/s Pakistan cricket match will look like a picture perfect postcard of a bunch of happy unicorns farting rainbows, in front of that. Here, police and panchayat systems are a joke, and the only thing that reign supreme are golis, gaalis and romancing in the gullies.
Young, underwear-revealing, muscle-flexing Rajadi playboy, who have a lot of family money, but still can’t buy chindi things like a razor to s(h)ave his life, aka Ram (Ranveer Singh), on one fine Holi day decides to go to the Saneda side, to romance Saneda women, for no apparent rhyme or reason. A round of applause for epic, practical decision making in life.
Amidst all the dancing and colors, and more colors, and some more colors, he meets Deepika Saneda Padukone, aka Leela, and BAM.. lust story begins in a nano second! So much lust in fact, that she comes and kisses a hairy stranger right in her house, standing few meters away from hitler mother, brother and an entire armed Saneda clan who shoots in the air every second, just for kicks. Who cares about logic (and dear life) when two hot people just want to do it like rabbits, correct?
And thus, begins the epic love story of two people from rival clans, where Rajadi boy copies texts from www.ghatiya-shayaris-of-the-era.com and sends to Saneda girl, all day long. He also risks his life at night and enters the house of his lover of maximum two days, just to get some more action. After all, Libido > Logic.
Anyway, so days pass by in this village with lots of bullet-fest between these two clans for no reason, even though they never hit a human target EVER. Ram and Leela in the meanwhile gets hot and heavy and breaks into a very inappropriate and awkward dance number called ‘Ishqyaun Dhishkyaun’ right in the middle of the afternoon inside Ram’s porn video parlor (Oh yes, allow me to inform you now, that studly stud Ram owns a sleazy video parlor. Now we all know where he learnt all his lusty moves from). With an entire armed Rajadi clan right outside the parlor, who can shoot a Saneda before a Saneda can even spell the word Saneda, our brave (and horny) Leela gives two hoots and gyrates to some Govinda like moves instead.
A little later, brothers of Ram and Leela gets killed (please don’t ask me how, because you wouldn’t believe me if I say Ram’s brother willingly held a beer bottle near his chest and asked his arch enemy i,e Leela’s brother to shoot the bottle). Ram’s brother dies, so Ram shoots Leela’s brother. So, now full-on war breaks out between the two communities, as if it wasn’t there already *shudder*. And as chicken as these lovers are, they decide to run away, leaving their grieving families behind. Leela accuses Ram of killing her brother, but the next moment, she elopes and starts making out with her brother’s killer, forgetting all about the accusations. Again, brownie points for sensitive and rational decisions in life.
And even if you do run away, pray tell, why wouldn’t you switch off your mobile phones? Why would you take refuge in a village few kilometers away from Ranjar, and not run off to a far away land? The horny morons get caught in a day, obviously. Leela is dragged back home and asked to marry some useless gujju from London, whereas Ram gets a grand welcome because he has taken the izzat of a Sanada woman.
Let’s just directly skip to the ending now, and tell you that they finally kill each other and this epic war between the two clans finally end. I’ll not tell you in detail what happens in between, because it is really bizarre, and you might think I’m exaggerating, but trust me it’s really difficult to make such stuff up. So, in a nutshell, this happens – Ram becomes a don of his clan; Leela, well, she too, becomes a don of her clan; but instead of ending the feud, they just decide to act like pigs and aggravate it more. Leela sign papers without reading, that orders a mass murder (yes, it is only logical to sign almost 6 pages of stamp paper if you want to order a hit, because just ordering a hit verbally is too mainstream); and finally, all this is topped by a dance number by Priyanka Chopra where she basically tries to say, ‘Miya biwi raazi toh kya karega kazi‘, but no one really gives her much attention.
Ram Leela has a pretty color palette that reminded me of all the crayons and the watercolors that I used to use, as a kid. But these entire visual treat by cinematographer Ravi Varman, and all the passion between Ram and Leela, and all the good acting, fails to hide the wafer thin illogical plot. Supriya Pathak is awesome as the fierce, calculating Sanada matriarch; and so is Richa Chaddha as Leela’s bhabhi. Ranveer Singh’s abs is drool worthy, just like Deepika Padukone’s lehengas. The music is decent, even though there’s some questionable choreography in the ‘Tattad Tattad’ and ‘Ishqyaun Dhishkyaun’ songs.
All in all, Ram-Leela is a bloody mess, literally and otherwise. If you’re the type who likes larger than life silly, romantic movies without a plot, then you might like it. But if you’re, let’s say, like me, then just stay home, grab a bowl of popcorn, and watch Ranveer Singh in Lootera instead.