Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Ram-Leela

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is unduly criticized ... His movies are very theatrical and that doesn't suit everyone's taste. Also in projecting scale he ends up missing out on depth (an exception perhaps was 'Black' with stellar performances by Rani Mukherjee and Amitabh Bachhan)

The movie 'Ram-Leela' wasn't a bad movie at all, with spirited performances from the entire cast - Supriya Pathak stood out, with the feel of her character quite 'Shakespearean'! The beginning is straight out of 'the absurd'. The Indian kitsch was quite stylized. 

With focus entirely on Gujarat I could see overtly covert political messages in the movie. 

Few songs were memorable, choreography was top notch. Although some places the pace of narration was so high as to feel artificial, overly-dramatized and flawed. The ending could have been different. 

Nonetheless, overall a vivid, colorful and creative entertainment package especially worth watching once, on the big screen!


In the movie 'Ram-Leela' Sanjay Leela Bhansali has a done a great job as I feel this movie has a through and through if only covertly politically laden message behind it. Let me try and explain ... What do you do if you want people to shun a behaviour? You ratchet up the level of that behaviour to the extreme (violence) and portray its ill-consequences to them ala Anthony Burgess's 'A Clockwork Orange' (which was a violent guilt trip for both parties). Gujjus are not violent per se but that is what is depicted here as hyper-violence in order to perhaps send out a message that don't turn violent under your leadership (hat-tip to Modi who else - the finger cutting and all that brutality) ... If you shun cycles of revengeful violence against each other "Toh Rann mein phool khilenge" as the dialogue by the little boy says (2 communities could as well have been Hindu-Muslim). But here the irony is that both groups are Gujjus indirectly saying that violence is not something to embrace and as a result it spreads like plague even within communities (Shias-Sunnis? within Muslims). This is the gist so I think it has many other components but this aspect made me realize it was intelligent film-making albeit wrapped up in Bhansali colors... 

At one point the movie has a dialogue: "Abhi aage elections aa raha hain, judge well!!". The right people need to decide and shun the path of violence!! Do you agree or am I imagining things ...

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