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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bollywood Movie review: Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela- A psychedelic disaster!

Bollywood Movie review: Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela- A psychedelic disaster!
I went to see the movie Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela in Birmingham, Al for the opening night late night show. I knew it was a “Sanjay-Leela” film set in Saurashtra and with a title like Ram-Leela, I expected a colorful blockbuster with a historical spin but was I in for a psychedelic spinning migraine! Ouch! Ouch! OUCH! 

From the get go the movie was appalling! A ludicrously over-buffed “more Tarzan” and less romantic hero Ranveer Singh  bludgeoned across the screen hitting his head to the senseless “tadatt, tadatt” number while girls in bikini-styled chania-cholis swooned from balconies capturing his image on phones.  What an overly done sequence to build Ranveer’s macho image! 
 
What was the purpose of this entrance? Was it an advertisement for an “anti-dandruff shampoo”; a drug-induced seizure or was it a cue for the audience to run for their lives to avoid striking headache! I took no heed to this ominous message and sunk myself into the back of my seat and tried to quell my shrieking nerves with popcorn. But each frame revealed more scandalizing concepts. 
 
Supriya Pathak Kapur in the role of a “crazed dictatorial matriarch-Ba huzoor” (whose favorite pastime is taunting ex-pats and cutting her daughter’s finger.) is made to look ghoulish by using up all the left over kohl in the province of Saurashtra. 
 
Deepika has no role apart from exposing her slender torso in skimpy ghagra-cholis during “raas-garbha” performed to the beats of monstrous nagaadas, or reciting juvenile couplets.  I am amazed at the “chemistry” critics are gushing over in Indian media because the “romantico duo” was unable to conjure any sweet sensibility. No attempt was made to recreate the tension experienced by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet except that the couple use Leela’s balcony for their rendezvous. Strangely Juliet’s arbor is interpreted as a murky Rain forest café with a pond and peacocks.
 
Priyanka’s item number in a garish set was totally unnecessary!
 
This film leaves us with no doubt that there is an animosity (A much rehashed plot for Indian movies and by some weird similarity also found in Romeo and Juliet)between two turban clad, kohl eyed Guajarati communities but gives us no idea as to why they are constantly drawing guns at each other? Nauseating!
 
The movie bludgeons on without any sense, we get no insight into the Saurashtra landscape (because part of the movie is shot in Udaipur) or culture apart from the fact that they harvest red chili peppers and that bullets are carelessly strewn under papads or jars of pickles. Women only wear black, red or white and are gyrate in the dance scenes. Men folk are industriously occupied in making and watching porn films! Despite the bad global publicity India has received, Bhansali has introduced not “one” but two attempts at “gang-rape”! Shameful!!! 
 
The music is loud and soulless like the rest of the movie. Nothing tugs the heartstrings! 
 
The reference to the Hindu epic “Ramayana” is offensive! The only way the protagonist Ranveer Singh resembles “Lord Ram” is by donning a blue jacket! (Is this a pseudo-symbolic touch by dress designer Maxima Bas?)  Bizarre processions with effigy of Ravana, flying Hanuman drinking? vodka! and gargantuan dancing “Durga” heads do not enhance our religious, spiritual or cultural heritage but definitely degrade them!
 
Granted Sanjay Leela Bhansali has a right to enjoy his own “self-acclaimed loud Guajarati persona” but to thrust it in such mega proportions on rest of the world is totally unacceptable! Make commercial cinema. I have no problems with that but at least be somewhat responsible as to what impact you are making on our young impressionable audience. Draw from world literature but don’t distort facts and they are raped off their very soul and the aesthetics are lost in the morbid obsession with blood and death!
 
By Monita Soni
 
Recent posting: Hindus celebrate Navratri –festival of divine nine nights

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