We could just say that upcoming film Ramleela is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and leave it at that. After all, the story is a classic and always works well in an adaptation or as a reinterpretation (which has been done many, many times). But there is so much more that makes Ramleela one of the most highly anticipated films of the year. There is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s characteristically lavish direction; there is the sizzling chemistry between the good looking lead pair, opulent sets, beautiful costumes and much more in store.
Film – Ramleela (Release date-15 November 2013)
Starring – Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Richa Chaddha, Gulshan Devaiah, Abhimanyu Shekhar Singh, Supriya Pathak, Barkha Bisht Sengupta, Sharad Kelkar, and Prinyanka Chopra in a special appearance.
Producer – Kishore Lulla, Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Director – Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Story/Screenplay – Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Siddharth-Garima
Music – Monty Sharma, Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Plot – So at first one wonders what Romeo & Juliet have to with the traditional staging of scenes from the Ramayana around Dusshera each year. Then we find out that the protagonists in the film are named Ram and Leela; played by Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone respectively. So here we have another set of conjoined love-story names in the fashion of Laila-Majnu, Heer-Ranjha, Shirin-Farhad and so on.
The story of Romeo and Juliet is well known – a young man and woman fall madly in love, going against the enmity that exists between their two families. We also know that the star crossed lovers are doomed – Romeo and Juliet is the definitive tragic love story. One is anxious to see what Sanjay Leela Bhansali will offer up in his treatment of the classic tale, since he seems to be in control of pretty much every aspect of the film. Not only is he the director, he is also co-producer, one of the screenplay writers, co-editor and one of the music directors of the film.
Ramleela is set in Gujarat, in a “town like no other” – from the trailer it appears that all the kedia wearing men and ghaghra wearing women are unusually trigger happy. Even the tagline of the film is ‘Goliyon ki raasleela’ – suggesting the badlands of UP more than the largely peaceful people of Gujarat. The movie is supposedly set against the backdrop of the “dacoit heartlands of Gujarat” – er… what heartlands would those be exactly? Perhaps actually watching Ramleela will reveal more.
The movie first made it to the headlines when Kareena Kapoor, who was originally cast for the role of Leela, walked out of the film citing problems with dates and remuneration. The film was to star Priyanka Chopra after this, and it was Deepika who finally landed the role. The film was again in the news when Ranveer was injured on the sets of Gunday and shooting was interrupted for some time. Then it was Deepika’s turn to be injured on the sets. She however had to carry on shooting despite pain because of the expensive sets put up at film city for the shooting of a song.
The rustic desi avatar of the lead pair – with Ranveer’s mustachioed look and Deepika’s beautiful ghaghras will be something else to watch out for – after all, beautiful outfits, expensive and elaborate sets and visual magnificence are USPs of Bhansali films.
The recently launched Ramleela trailer got more than 4 lakh views within 4 hours of its release on 16 September. If the historical-bodice-ripper-romance-novel type poster is anything to go by, the crackling chemistry between the lead pair will be something to watch out for. According to the lead actor as well, it will be this chemistry between him and his leading lady that will be the mainstay of the film. Well this is certainly a film that I will want to catch – first day, first show if possible.
Image Source: Poster – Fair Use For Review