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  • 2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Bollywood’s latest adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is loud, camp, violent and ultimately soulless.

Set in present day Rajasthan, it follows the 500-year-old feud between two rural warring communities, the Rajadis and the Saneras. Ram ‘Montague’ (Ranveer Singh) and Leela ‘Capulet’ (Deepika Padukone) meet at a festival and are instantly smitten. When Ram shoots dead Leela’s brother in a gang-style encounter, it looks like our gym-toned lovers are doomed, since ‘fire and water cannot co-exist.’ Can Ram and Leela live happily ever after?

Director Bhansali (‘Devdas’) brings his trademark, Baz Luhrmann-inspired flamboyant style to every sequence, drowning it all in a shameless spectrum of bright hues, while persuading his beautiful cast to shout as much as possible. He succeeds in portraying the passion of illicit love, with the often semi-nude Singh and Padukone oozing sexual chemistry.

The result is enjoyable for its visual flair, but this is a shallow and overlong spin on ‘West Side Story’, itself based on the Bard’s classic tale of star-crossed lovers. Unlike the 1961 Hollywood musical, 'Ram-Leela' is colour over content, with the tragic denouement failing to stir the emotions. Bhansali also composed the film’s ten energetic songs, but he sure ain’t no Bernstein.

Written by Anil Sinanan

Release Details

  • Rated:12A
  • Release date:Friday 15 November 2013
  • Duration:170 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Sanjay Leela Bhansali
  • Screenwriter:Sanjay Leela Bhansali
  • Cast:
    • Deepika Padukone
    • Ranveer Singh
    • Richa Chadda
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