Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 15th November, 2013
Time : 155 minutes
Director, Writer, Music : Sanjay Leela Bhansali; Co-writers : Siddharth-Garima
Starring : Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Supriya Pathak, Richa Chaddha, Gulshan Devaiah, Brakha Bisht, Abhimanyu Singh
1. Romeo, Oh Romeo…wherefore art thou : it’s a non-standard re-issue of the bard’s star-crossed lovers…the outline is the same but with enough Indian-ized twists added on to make sure the story doesn’t bore you. There are attempts to flee, an almost-rape, betrayal and a rise to the seat of power that keep the story part of it interesting.
2. Ye Kahaan aa gaye hum : its some remote village in the Rann of Kutch, where the 2 warring factions both deal in arms, smuggling, where guns are found in every able hand and bullets stored even in flour and under the drying red chillies.
3. La bella vita (Life is Beautiful) : The film is a visual delight, SLB doing what he does best, with towering statues, picturesque temples, a riot of colours, glorious multi-hued turbans and backless blouses.
4. The Curse of the Second-Half : Why doesn’t he call or sms ? If it was so easy to wipe out the other side, wouldn’t you have done so anyways ? Why the betrayal, when did that seed germinate since there were male heirs on either side ? The same characters who made sense a while back, now become puppets at some script-writers command, moving in strange, alien, unfathomable ways
5. Humne Tumko Dekha, Tumne Humko Dekha… : They fall in violent love, as in most Hindi films, moving from ‘Do I know you?’ to ‘I cant live without you!’ in about 5 screen minutes. Ranveer has the kind of buffed body, shown at every possible occasion, with as many square inches as possible (could you really tie a dhoti that low ?) that makes even the Gujju ben’s of their town lust for him, want to touch him, swoon over him. Deepika looks stunning as always – seems to have a mind of her own except when around her man. Both characters lose any remaining shred of credibility in the second half.
6. If music be the food of love…: The romance gets at least three songs. Then there is an item number, a finale song, another to introduce our hero with his multiple abs. The background music is excellent. Very loud, omnipresent but something different, with a nice local flavour. I even enjoyed most of the songs – different beats, glorious people, very aesthetically done / treated. The only issue was when performers, while doing something nice and very ethnic, would suddenly break out into a very Bollywood, filmy step. Nowhere more apparent than Priyanka’s item number
7. On the side, but not forgotten : Supriya Pathak as the woman head of one clan is excellent, evoking fear and respect with her rapid changes in mood, none more so than when she uses a betel nut cracker to lop a finger off. Richa Chaddha, as the daughter-in-law catches the eye…an assured performance, at least here even the character remains consistent. Barkha Bisht does the same role for the other clan, but with a touch less spice and a tad more emotion (at the end). Gulshan Devaiah is good too but let down by his role somewhat
8. Dialogue-baazi : Some very good humour keeps it light hearted for most of the first half, with snappy dialogue, crisp repartee in almost every frame. Then it all becomes bombastic, emotional, sentimental, weepy and loses it. The light touch of the first half is sorely missed in the second. And the length doesn’t help either, the movie could easily have been a half hour shorter.
9. What’s in a name : ‘Goliyon Ki Ras-leela’ - This entire bit of the film’s name was an after-thought, added on simply because the director, before announcing the project, didn’t bother to check that another person (my friend, Mukul Abhyankar) had already registered the title Ramleela. And then a combination of hubris and a desire to not pay up or change the title, led to this add-on line.