Review: What new can a filmmaker do with William Shakespeare’s classic love story Romeo and Juliet? The answer is, if you are Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is technically sound and artistically astute as far as art and craft go, you just become impudent, set the story in Gujarat, sign Bollywood’s currently best actress Deepika Padukone (Leela), team her up with `I’ve-got-fire-in-my-loins’ actor Ranveer Singh (Ram) and then let them loose on one another.
So there’s the Sanada clan girl Leela who falls in love, or for the most part lust, with her enemy Ram, a Rajadi. Their clans have been at war for 500 years and the exaggeratedly trigger-happy lot that these turban-wearing folk have been portrayed as clearly underlines that no matter what one Ram or Leela feel, the rest of the clan only believe in mutiny.
So bullets fly, blood flows and bahus become victims of evil design. In between this warfare, Deepika and Ranveer touch, feel, kiss and cuddle and ensure you can feel their stirring. Quite unabashedly, the filmmaker uses his lead pair’s real and reel chemistry, fuses it with sexual tension and makes it compelling for you to partake in their love-hate relationship. For the most part, Ram-Leela, SLB’s most commercial work till date, has nice doses of raunch and ras (juice).
Since the plot is Shakespearan, the maker has the arduous task of telling you this story on an opulent scale. Vintage palaces and daunting deserts are fitted in with precision, giving you truly awe moments. The music and picturisation of ‘Tattad tattad’, ‘Lahu munh lag gaya‘ and ‘Nagada sang dhol‘ enrich your cinematic experience.
Deepika is breathtaking and in top form. Ranveer displays his six packs and histrionics with fair ease. This could be the start of his journey into superstardom. You have to also applaud Richa Chadda and Supriya Pathak Kapur for being the talent they are.