Golion Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela

[Cast: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Supriya Pathak; Music: Sanjay Leela Bhansali; Direction: Sanjay Leela Bhansali]
Romeo is not a strong willed guy. He is not altogether a good guy either. Contrary to general perception, Shakespeare portrays Romeo as the weak-willed guy prone to impulsive reactions. His feelings for Juliet are as much lust as it is love. Both are actually prisoners of circumstances and are driven more by basal emotions than love or even logical discretion.

That’s exactly the mood Bhansali has succeeded in creating in this entertaining adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. After having seen this, it feels that there is no one more suitable to adapt the Bard’s most famous work than Bhansali. The lavish sets, the melodrama, the preposterousness of the characters all right up Bhansali’s alley and he uses them up to the fullest in his quest for locating the story in a fictitious town in that resembles a fusion of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Of course, the milieu is preposterous, the characters and their behaviours are over-the-top. But doesn’t it what makes Brand Bhansali? You can’t walk into a horror movie and complain that it’s scary, can you? Expectedly, this setting actually makes the film more endearing and the 500-year-old story believable.

It’s a wonder how he made the actors perform in the middle of all those lavish and, sometimes laughable, sets. Ranveer and Deepika as the star-crossed lovers hog the limelight. But it’s Supriya Pathak as the terrifying Ba that stands out. Her arti dance was indeed terrifyingly picturised.

It’s inevitable that a film like this should be a musical. Bhansali has created some of the loudest songs of the season and make them all work. With spectacularly colourful settings, with Ravi Varman’s energetic cinematography, these songs vibrate with life.

Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela, a mouthful title thanks to the stupid Hindu fundamentalists, is what an inspired interpretation of classic should be. Many may frown upon thinking a classic has been tampered with, but Romeo and Juliet wasn’t born as a classic. It was a play the Bard wrote for the commoners and he strove to use the everyday expressions to make it appealing to the general public. Romeo even tolerates some sleazy remarks about woman by Mercutio. I think Bhansali tried to bring that side of the story by making his hero run an adult DVD store. Talking about inspired interpretation, there you have it.