Now, i know that the movie was released in November last year. I wrote the review in November but never got the chance to post it, thanks to a plaster! Here goes!
I will not be using that insanely long title since it seems very artificial. So, on with the review.
Given that it’s a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, it has elaborate sets, amazing characters and music. The sets and landscapes and the sheer scope are massive and elegant in design, reminiscent of Hum Dil de Chuke Sanam, except for some bad co-ordination in a few dance sequences. The first forty minutes or so lay out like a musical and the rest like a tragedy. Given that it’s inspired by Romeo and Juliet, that’s pretty much what I’d expect.
For a short introduction on the film, it revolves around two feuding families, whose names I don’t remember. The feud is apparently hundreds of years old and no reason is given for it, which in this case is a good thing. Both the families live a street away and have a business of guns. A lot of guns. Funnily enough, even though the whole concept of such a place seems absurd and laughable, it’s actually quite believable. You start to believe that somewhere, in some part of India or the world, some place like this exists.
The lead characters, Ram(Ranveer Singh), the non gun loving, stud and a bit horny if I may, son of the head of the Randir family and Leela(Deepika Padukone), the sharp tongued, headstrong daughter of the leader of the Sandi family. Given both of their backstories, they make quite the dynamic couple. Both the characters are perfect for the narrative as well as each other, and you end up enjoying and relation to them.
The movie, in the first sixty minutes is fast paced. Everything happens so quickly but never feels the slightest bit rushed. These sixty minutes build up the relationship between Ram (Ranveer Singh) and Leela (Deepika Padukone), all the way from meeting up to falling in love to the inevitable run away and elope.
The next twenty so minutes drag on, not because they were bad, but because they were clichéd. It is in these twenty minutes that acting experience shows. Ranveer Singh, who is a relatively new actor portrays the character quite stiffly (he was amazing otherwise) whereas Deepika Padukone embodies her character perfectly. She did the best with the turn her character had taken and it was superb.
The remaining part of the movie is the tragedy. Of how both of them are separated, with Ram’s character doing a 180 and Ranveer Singh very confidently portraying a man that is broken underneath his courage and big words. Deepika Padukone similarly portrays the changes in her character smoothly, similar to Ranveer’s, making for what is quite possibly her best performance in quite a while.
While the tragedy is a something that everyone can easily figure out, it has enough deviations from the original formulae that it never feels overdone or familiar. The ending is what really got to me. I won’t divulge it here, rather I’d like to discuss it on a different post after a couple months, but it was amazing. It was the ending that the characters, the village, the narrative and the audience deserved and got. Frankly, the way such an overdone thing was handled, I was impressed to say the least.
Now given that it’s a SLB film, it had some crisp dialogue and sharp lyrics. They made sense, moved the story forward and gave insights on even the supporting cast. None were too over the top or flashy. Simple, like they should be. The lyrics WOW! I did have a tough time understanding them, simply because I never knew such words even existed.
Just like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was grand in the tale it told about the indomitable human spirit, Ram Leela is grand in sheer scope and ambition of what it tried to tell and the scale of the production. While not as amazing as many of the movies this year like Lunchbox, Gravity, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, this movie is amazing in its own right.