Last night I watched the newly retitled Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela at a very purple preview theatre in Juhu called Sunny Super Sound. Let me just admit upfront I went in wanting to like this film. Everything about it promised grand romance – Sanjay Leela Bhansali style – and let me tell you, the man did not disappoint!
Starring a well-oiled Ranveer Singh, a smoking hot Deepika Padukone, brilliantly ominous Supriya Pathak and solid supporting cast of Richa Chadda and Gulshan Devaiah, this is SLB’s Bollywood adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet set between two warring clans in Gujrat. But he does it rather uniquely. So much so that my 10 word Google+ review would be: Modern Day Bollywood Baz Luhrmann Romeo & Juliet – fresh and unexpected!
So instead of the Montagues and Capulets you have the Rajadis and the Saneras. And instead of your shy innocent Juliet you have the flirty firecracker Leela (Deepika). Ram (Ranveer) is a quirky mix of sleazy road-side “Romeo” and Bollywood brave-heart while the rest of the warring men folk and their stoic power-women complete the massively colorful set!
Now read on for all the many things that caught my eye, warmed my heart or impressed me much and undoubtedly go watch the film.
1. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s opening dedication, as expected, goes out to his mother Leela and someone named Lady Popo. (I can’t figure out who that is so if you know, definitely leave me a comment.)
2. Ranveer Singh makes his big fat chiseled-ab Bollywood entrance on a motorbike and proceeds to unabashedly Tatad Tatad up a storm – one pelvic thrust at a time. Luckily I went with two Gujrati girlfriends so can tell you things like, “Ranveer makes that purple kediyu look so hot!” A kediyu, FYI is the traditional shirt he’s wearing – pretty much a rural staple.
3. The opening song also shows hoards of bejewelled village belles swooning over Ranveer Singh and all sporting cellphones! This was unexpected, almost odd at first, until I realized what SLB was trying to do. What would modern day village life be like? Well now we know!
4. The film’s dialogue is snappy and smart. In fact there are several lines in the movie that I can see myself quoting repeatedly (case in point every time someone said cheers last night, but we’ll come to that later.) The first flirty line by Ranveer that made me laugh was, “abhi to tension, uske baad full attention!”
5. Baa. Man she is one scary lady. The Sanera’s matriarch played to bone-chilling perfection by Supriya Pathak is what dark legends are made of. Had I met her before Halloween, she would have been my very first choice for dress up. “Shooting, smuggling, killing you know na, what I mean?”
6. Deepika Padukone’s holi entrance is a visual treat. I mean aside from the fact that she looks simply stunning throughout the film, this particular scene almost feels like a clever throwback to Balam Pichkari from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. And since I’m such a sucker for those old school reincarnation flicks I was quite delighted to have thought of it myself :)
7. I suppose I should warn you right about now that this is not the kind romance where two innocent youths woo each other by running through the dessert and tossing themselves languidly into haystacks, oh no. They get right to it! There’s a fair amount of kissy-face, possible sexting and some epically raunchy dance moves. But if you’re willing to put your shock, surprise (and sometimes indignation) behind, I promise you’ll enjoy it a whole lot more. In other words, Ishqyaun Dhishqyaun.
8. Oh and can you say Devdas throwback? I think Deepika pulls of the sexy slink-around extremely well. (I’m also told the black thread around her waist is very authentic gujju evil eye stuff.)
9. Speaking of which I particularly liked the whole village girl tattoo thing they had going on. Some of them were particularly bold and intricate while others just the simple but elegant three dots. Oh and the two supporting “sisterly” roles were played beautifully in these avatars by Richa Chadda and Barkha Bisht.
10. “Teri bottom is garden jaise hai, meri shaadi ho jayegi magar yeh yahi rahegi!” LOL.
11. “Bara Batamaaz, besharam aur khudgarz hota hai, magar pyar to aise hi hota hai.” Ain’t that the truth.
12. “Leela Jaisi koi nahin!” Try saying this instead of cheers next time you’re having a big night out with your pals. I guarantee its super fun :) also in this case absolutely true for Dippy, she’s knocked this one out of the park and how.
13. By intermission I had learnt this Gujju truth: apparently it is a commonly held belief that Gujrati girls should never trust a man with no chest hair. Did you know that?!
14. Badla in Hindi could mean one of two things. Revenge or Change. Sanjay Leela Bhansali uses this pun to perfection in a passionate monologue by Ranveer.
15. Deepika gets equally poetic in her pain with dialogues like, “jab Ram naam ka raag lage tab paani mein bhi aag lage.”
16. Oh and hold everything, Priyanka Chopra makes a guest appearance for a super hot item number.
“Ram chahe Leela chahe Leela chahe Ram, in dono ke love mein duniya ka kya kaam? Inka to funda hai simple sa yaar, goli maaro to panga, ankh maro to pyaar!” Yup, the song and lyrics are both awesome too.
17. “Aap kya jaano aashiqon ki dushmani.” aka love hurts.
18. SLB also does a brilliant var-ghoda procession of the Ramlila as it would believably be played out village-style. Ranveer Singh narrates the story from on top of a truck with a microphone on Diwali :) *cue dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Lord Ram.*
19. “Humari dushmani no more.” again be prepared this pun and whole lot of peacock meowing throughout the film (and no they were not real birds all CGI so PETA can relax :)
20. “Love story itni bhi kaatil nahin honi chahiye ki innocent log maare jaaye.” It’s lines like these that will make me watch this movie twice.
21. And finally the music. Again my Gujrati girlfriends commented that the soundtrack was super authentic. Bhansali poured his heart into the film with a generous backdrop of folk music. Incorporating the Gujarati aarti Riddhi De Siddhi De and using raas, garbo, doha and chundd throughout the film to give it an authentic Gujrati feel. (I do apologize in advance for any spelling errors in my Gujrati!)
Watch. Watch if you love Bollywood. Watch if you love Deepika. Watch if you love Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Watch if you want to be oddly entertained by Ranveer. Mostly just watch because this is what big fat Bollywood dreams are made of and remember for us it’s ALL about the temporary suspension of disbelief :)