Bollywood does Romeo and Juliet
Release Date: November 15, 2013
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Who should watch this movie: Folks who want to take the first step in exploring the world of Bollywood. Folks who already love Bollywood.
When should you watch this movie: When you are awake and energized and have 2.5 hours to commit to this movie.
The sell: This contemporary take on the classic R+J tragedy starts with a literal bang i.e. a gunfight, and it doesn’t slow down. The first half of Ram-Leela is everything an inexperienced viewer imagines a Bollywood movie to be: Bright, musical, over the top, and kitschy. It’s witty, overly dramatic and disarmingly lighthearted given the gunfight in the opening scene. However, at approximately the midpoint of the film, things take a turn. Though the action is still bright and musical, the content turns dark and complex. Suddenly, it’s no longer an adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous play, it’s a serious look at family relationships and love in a time of conflict. It delves into feelings of guilt, commitment, and torn loyalties. With truly remarkable performances by both Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh (my favorite IRL celeb couple), Ram-Leela demands to be taken seriously. Trust me, you will want to download the soundtrack.