Saturday, March 15, 2014

Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela

After waiting in anticipation of Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela for nearly six months, I finally got a chance to watch it a few days ago. Let me first make a confession. I am a big fan of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and I have loved every single film of his. From the resplendent radiance of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam to the golden grandeur of Devdas to the bewildering brilliance of Saawariya, each of his films has enthralled me in its own way. I have been accused of being hagiographic in my writings on films. I can accept that charge for other films given my ability to over-analyze situations but I do not agree with the same for his films. And as B. Rangan says, "Stop trying to figure out what the director intended, only he knows; besides, there’s no guarantee that what he wanted to make is actually what he’s ended up making and trust the tale, not the teller." The depth of Bhansali's films is so immense that I feel happy if I understand only a little portion of it. Of all the countless reviews of Ram Leela that I read after watching it, not one of them talked about the underlying theme of the movie. Without digressing further, let me talk about Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela.

Ram Leela is an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet - a tale of the romance of two lovers from two feuding families. Bhansali's Romeo is Ram and his Juliet is Leela (which is also his real-life mother's name). The film is set in rural Gujarat with two families being called Saneda and Rajadi. The film is the story of Ram and Leela caught in the melee of the warring clans who then eventually sacrifice themselves for peace between the two communities. The story's plot is a hackneyed one but as he does in other films, in Ram Leela too, Bhansali uses his deft and expansive imagination to give us a melange of colors that is a sheer visual treat for the eyes. No one can use the camera with such accomplishment the way he does.

Bhansali uses many recurring and vivid leitmotifs in Ram Leela. My favorite was the one on the peacock. In Hinduism, the peacock is associated with Lakshmi who is a deity representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion, and good luck. The feather of the peacock is also associated with Lord Krishna who was loved by his numerous gopis with whom he played Raas Leela. The peacock is a symbol of beauty, prosperity, royalty, love, compassion, soul, and peace. In Buddhism, a peacock symbolizes purity, and its feathers are used for purification ceremonies. In Bhansali's world, the peacock is a metaphor for love. His hero Ram is the peacock who spreads the message of love everywhere as at one point he says, "Make love, not war." I lost count of the times I saw something or the other related to a peacock in the movie. In fact, I felt this film was a tribute to the peacock. In the beginning title credits of the movie, Bhansali writes a eulogy for Late Jhaverchand Meghani for using his song Mor Bani Thangat Kare in the film. The film begins with that song which is a lyrical melody that signifies the happiness of the human heart in dancing like a peacock.
The movie opens and in the first scene, we see a group of women. In the background, we hear the screaming of a peacock. From there till the end, Bhansali adorns Ram Leela with the peacocks. When Ram meets Leela in the Romeo-and-Juliet-inspired balcony scene, a peacock is there right beside her which flies away when Ram enters. Later, when Ram enters Leela's rooms, the conversation they have is filled with peacock-related metaphors. Ram says, "Mor ko bhi vohi chahiye jo humein chahiye"; to which Leela replies, "Mor apna pankh kholte hai aur bas dance karte hai." Ram says, "Karne se pehle hum kapde kholte hai vo pankh kholte hai." Then Raseela knocks on the door and says, "Tera mor nikla nahi abhi tak", confirming that Ram is the peacock. The cushions and the pillows in Leela's room are all of the peacock color. Again, the song Mor Bani Thangat Kare plays in the background.
Peacock Cushions
At one point in the movie, Raseela says to Leela, "Main sab samajhti hun main tere kamre se kaunse more ka shor aata hai." In another scene, Ram comes to visit Leela again, we see that while going back to her room, Leela uses a tree and Ram also joins her. I mean when she has the stairs available to go back why will she climb the tree? Because peacocks and peahens climb the trees, they both do too as they are the embodiment of the love represented by the peacock.
Climbing trees like peacocks
Later in the movie, when Leela is forced to come back to her place, she recites a number of messages and one of them reads, "Morni bina mor kis kaam ka, yeh sindur hai Ram naam ka." At another point in the movie, when Dhankor invites Ram to her place, she sends a dead peacock to Ram and says, "Humare beech me mor bahut bolne lage the, lekin ab dushmani no more." Again, this unambiguously was referring to the fact that she is going to kill him as lately some peacocks (love) were speaking among them.
Morni bina mor kis kaam ka, yeh sindur hai Ram naam ka
Dead peacock
After Dhankor cuts Leela's finger and she is lying in her bed, Ram comes and puts a blood-stained mark on her window as if he has cut his finger too as he wants to go through the same pain Leela is going through. When she wakes up and goes out to the balcony, a peacock is seen fluttering its winds symbolizing that Ram is the peacock that came to visit her. This was my favorite scene in the movie.

Peacock flying away - The symbol of Ram
Another scene that demonstrated Bhansali's creative ingenuity was the rape that never happened. After Raseela is assaulted by Rajadi men, Dhankor sanctions the same for Kesar. When Saneda men are running after Kesar, Bhansali creates an enthralling sequence like that of the prey and the predator - just like there are goats in that scene. Again, a peacock is seen fluttering its feathers on a tree. I was stumped by this scene as to what it meant. The peacock's presence in that particular scene was bewildering because the peacock represents Ram and why is he there? Then, I thought about it a lot and I think that the peacock's presence in that scene was like Lord Krishna's in Mahabharata during Draupadi's cheer haran. As one might recall, Duryodhana had ordered the disrobement of Draupadi when the Pandavas lost the gamble and none of the adults raised a voice to stop that. Draupadi then prayed to Lord Krishna who protected her by providing her an endless piece of cloth. Think of the similarities here. Kesar's assault is ordered by Dhankor. Draupadi and Krishna were devar-bhabhi and the same holds for Kesar and Ram. The peacock's presence in that scene was perhaps referring to the notion that he will protect her just the way Lord Krishna did. At one point, Kesar's dupatta is picked up by Bhavani (like Dushasan) but eventually, nothing happens to her. Ram was not only Ram but Krishna as well because in the song Ang Laga De, we see Ram as Krishna. I take the liberty of the Mahabharata reference because, at one point in the movie, there is a line in the film that says, "Pet se Abhimanyu bhi seekh ke aya tha, lekin chakravyuh se vo bhi bahar nahi nikla."
Lord Krishna saving Draupadi
There are peacock-related items everywhere. Be it a brass artifact or a showpiece in Leela's room. 
Brass statue on the table is a peacock
Peacock pen holder
Now, let me talk about the songs and the choreography which I loved like anything. The music has actually been composed by Bhansali himself and it is so good that it makes me wonder if there is anything that he cannot do it. I was amazed by the spiritual connections in every song of the film.

When I had first heard and watched the song Tattad Tattad, I was indifferent to it but when I watched it in the context of the movie, I was thrilled by its brilliance. The song is an introductory sequence of Bhansali's eponymous hero, Ram. With this song, Bhansali shows us that not only is Ram an avatar of Lord Rama but he also imbibes characteristic elements of other deities. There are pictures of Lord Rama everywhere. But there is also Lord Krishna in the song. The dancers with blue bodies who are wearing peacock feathers in their heads symbolized Lord Krishna. At one point, some girls faint on seeing him as if they are Krishna's gopis. The song is shot in Hanuman Gali and there are some dancers dressed as Hanuman. There are shops and carts that are named Somnath and have a 'shivling' painted on them. Thus, Bhansali's hero Ram is an amalgamation of all these deities. He has Lord Rama's virtue, Krishna's playfulness, Shiva's power of destruction, and Hanuman's loyalty - which as we later see in the movie will fit him perfectly. Besides that, a number of other birds and animals are present in the song. There is a parrot which I think was symbolic of Kama Dev. The vehicle of Kam Dev is a parrot. Because at one point later in the movie, Ram's brother Megh had remarked, "Dekho sakshat Kam Dev chale aa rahe hain." Not only was Kam Dev a symbol of the philandering nature of Ram, but also a reference to Brahma too because according to some legends Kam Dev is the son of Brahma. There is a big bird in the song which was a representation of Garuda who is the vehicle of Vishnu. There are many shops named after Lakshmi who is the wife of Vishnu. Thus, this song has the holy trinity in the song - Brahma, Vishnu (Lord Ram and Krishna are Vishnu's incarnations), and Mahesh (Shiv). Did I mention the numerous peacocks? :) Also, if you notice Ram's dance move especially the signature movement of hand behind the head is very symbolic of a peacock's dancing. I was convinced that Ram is the peacock from this song itself.
Lord Rama
Parrot - Kam Dev
Dancing like peacock
Lord Krishna and peacock feathers
Hanuman in Hanuman Gali
Garuda and Lakshmi
Somnath and shivling
The second song Lahu Munh Lag Gaya is another gorgeous piece of choreography in the film. Bhansali uses more peacocks in this song as well. The lamps that are being lit at the back have peacocks! Also, Ram's neck is peacock colored. Even Leela's earrings are in the shape of peacock wings. Beautiful lyrics and even more beautiful choreography.
Peacock lamps
Peacock colored neck
This song reminded me so much of Aankhon ki Gustaakhiyaan from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. The scene where Sameer burns his hand on the diya is exactly similar to the way Ram burns his hand on the diya. Also, the garba dance scenes are present in both the songs.

In the item song Ram Chahe Leela, there are more peacocks. The song begins with a peacock's painting. The curtains have peacocks. The lyrics have peacocks. The dancing has so many peacock-related steps. If these were not enough, even Priyanka's dress has peacocks!
Lage saare dushman
Dikhe sab mein chor
Teri balcony mein betha ek mor
Moron ki hai mistake
Ram-Leela badnaam
Peacock painting
Peacock curtains
Peacock on her top
Nagada Sang Dhol Baaje is another colorful and exquisitely choreographed song in the movie. There are some deep spiritual undertones to this song as well. This song reminded me of Dhol Baaje from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Nagada Sang is a tribute to Shabri from Ramayana. Shabri was a devotee of Lord Rama and she is singing to him. She is eagerly waiting for him and wants him to come to her and bless her. She has brought betels for him. She is asking Lord Rama to stay at her ashram as she wants to have the honor of serving him. But Lord Ram politely refuses and tells her that he can’t do that as his wife Sita is all alone at their hut and she is anticipating him and Lakshman, his brother. 

Leeli lemdi re
Leelo nagarvel no chhod
Parbhu parodh na re
Maar gher uttaara karta jaao
Utaaro nahi karun re
Maar gher Sita juve vaat
Sita ekla re
Juve ram-lakhman ni vaat.

In this song too, there are references to peacocks as one line talks about how the peacocks are singing in the gardens. The lamp that Leela lights has a peacock on it and even the bells have peacocks on them.

Baagon mein bola, bola re bola mor,
Badla re dil ka bhoogol.

What was also fascinating was the presence of trimurti in this song too. The sculpture at the top of the building has a trimurti that is a replica of the one in Elephanta Caves in Mumbai. Dhankor prays to the pot that has water used to worship Ambe Maa. She becomes so lost in it as if the goddess' spirit has entered into her as we say 'mata ayi hai.' 
Peacock bells and trimurti
Peacock lamp
Ambe Maa in Dhankor
Trimurti - Elephanta Caves
Another song that left me spellbound was Ang Laga De Re. The song begins when Leela lights a lamp and we see a painting of Radha and Krishna (with a peacock feather again!). Radha is Leela and Krishna is Ram. Leela is praying to Goddess Lakshmi, who as I mentioned earlier, is also associated with a peacock. She is trying to seduce Ram. The song is picturized splendidly and is imbued with divine motifs, such as the gorgeous paintings of Raja Ravi Verma. Outside the window, we see some temples and a religious procession of a group of saints who in all likelihood are carrying a palki of Lord Krishna and Radha to get them married. In that precise moment, we hear the sound of the temple bells and the Vedic chants as if the priests have blessed the wedding of not only Krishna and Radha but our own Ram and Leela. Ram puts sindoor on Leela's head at that very moment. Thereafter, Ram and Leela engage in passionate lovemaking signifying their sacred union has been blessed by the gods. Beautifully conceptualized and executed. Loved it.
Radha and Krishna - Ram and Leela
Praying to Raja Ravi Verma's Lakshmi
Spiritual motifs on the wall
Radha Krishna wedding outside
Like Ram and Leela wedding inside
Thus, in some way or the other, the songs of Ram Leela contained something or the other based on a peacock. I was just stunned by the beauty of the songs. My slight disappointment was that my favorite song from the film Laal Ishq was not there at all. It was there only in bits and pieces. I would have loved to see what Bhansali does with that lilting melody. I am sure he would have done it fabulously. But the one song I absolutely hated was Ishqiyaon Dhishkiyaon. After watching such masterpieces, I was confounded as to why exactly that song was there because it was so un-Bhansaliesque. The deep meaning of the songs is without a doubt the best thing about Ram Leela. I have been watching them again and again and just can't get enough of them, teaching me something new every single time.

In the final scene of the film, when Ram and Leela are being carried away, we see a peacock on the terrace again symbolizing that in the end, their love triumphed to bring peace between the two communities.
Peacock triumphs
The countless peacock references were not there at random. I think there was a definite reason for them or a method to the film's madness. In my earlier post, I had written about Bhansali's favorite filmmakers. He had said the following were his favorite films.
  • Pakeezah: Because it is Kamal Amrohi and Meena Kumari’s film. Because of its beautifully expressed anguish. And it’s a great film.
  • Mirch Masala: The interpretation of a village girl and a beautifully made film by Ketan Mehta.
  • Mughal-E-Azam: Because it’s sheer genius. Every second of the film is excellent.
  • Do Ankhen Barah Haath: V Shantaram is my favorite filmmaker. I am most impressed, inspired, and influenced by him.
  • 36 Chowrangee Lane: Aparna Sen’s best work and it will always be. It’s a beautiful film and Jennifer Kapoor has given a wonderful performance.
In Saawariya, he had paid a tribute to his favorite film maker V. Shantaram by using the song Ae Malik Tere Bande Hum from Do Aankhe Barah Haath. In Ram Leela, Bhansali again pays a tribute to his favorite film maker V. Shantaram. These whole peacock references were a tribute to V. Shnataram's Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje. I have not seen that film but when I did a search on V. Shantaram and peacock, it gave me results on the film. Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje had many references to peacock. Thus, Bhansali gives tribute to his favorite film maker again. His love for the peacock was his love for his favorite film maker. This is the first time when he has given such a homage to V. Shantaram. Also, I feel in Ram Leela, Bhansali also pays a tribute to Mirch Masala - his other favorite film by Ketan Mehta. Dhankor had a business of spices that was so reminiscent of Mirch Masala
Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje

Mirch Masala and Ram Leela
Now, let me come to my other favorite part of the movie. Not only is Ram Leela a tribute to peacocks, but this is Bhansali's love song for Raja Ravi Verma as well. His paintings are everywhere. Almost all of his paintings are used somewhere or the other. I was so fascinated by the paintings that I read about them everywhere I could find. I had seen some of his paintings earlier but now after reading and seeing so many of them, I can say I am a big Ravi Verma fan. His paintings are charming and graceful. His portrayal of women characters is especially worth noting. Bhansali places these paintings strategically depending on the situation and the character. From Leela's rooms that have a picture of Shakuntala waiting for her Bharat to Dhankor's house where there is a painting of Maneka and her daughter Shakuntala to the lodge where Ram and Leela stayed that had paintings of a romantic couple to the gorgeous Ram Leela procession in the climax that had paitnings of Ram and Sita. These paintings simply accentuated the level of the film for me. 
Raja Ravi Verma Paintings
Raja Ravi Verma Paintings
Raja Ravi Verma Paintings
Raja Ravi Verma Paintings
Raja Ravi Varma's Shakuntala in the Forest
Raja Ravi Verma's Maneka and Shakuntala
Romantic Couple in the painting
Ramayana related Raja Ravi Verma paintings
Ramayana related Raja Ravi Verma paintings
Ramayana related Raja Ravi Verma paintings
Ramayana related Raja Ravi Verma paintings
And these are the some of the originals:
The final Ram Leela procession was simply amazing. So colorful. I loved it. I so wish I had seen them on the big screen.
Bhansali creates wonderful characters in Leela and Dhankor. His Leela is impulsive, brave, and sexually liberated. She has the courage to kiss a stranger in front of many people without thinking of the consequences. She reads the raunchy Mills & Boon's The Duke's Cinderella Bride; she has bags of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn; she has paintings of Shakuntala in her room as she is herself waiting for her own Bharat. At one point, Ram says to her, "Jitni tu sexy hai, utni danger hai." Without a doubt, she had a rebellious streak in her. That may be because of her dictatorial mother. Because at one point she says to Ram, "Dushman hai tabhi to aankhen lad rahi thi baar baar tujhse?"
Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe bags
Mills & Boon's The Duke's Cinderella Bride
Dhankor is also a very powerful character. She is very strong from the exterior or at least she tries to be. There were spiritual shades to her character as well. When her son dies, she did not shed a tear and just recited a shlok from Geeta. Her house had walls on which shlokas were written. Even the curtains in her house had shlokas written on them.
Nainam chindanti shastrani
Nainam dahati pavakah
Na chainam kledayanty apo
Na sosayati marutah
Shloka curtains
Shloka walls
Bhansali uses his own trademark styles in the narrative. Like in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Saawariya, the bridge played an important role, here also he gives us a similar device. So, when Bhavani comes and picks Leela from the lodge, Ram tries to swim to the other shore. There is no bridge here and at the end of the scene, he is left floating in the middle of the lake just like his love life himself. Neither can he get her and neither can he go back to his clan. He is left stranded in the middle with nowhere to go. He can not reach the shore just like he can't do that in his own life. He is left swimming all by himself.
Stranded in the middle
I also felt the scene where Bhavani takes Leela through the narrow alleys was symbolic of the extreme narrow-mindedness and the shallowness of the two communities. Bhansali also uses the weather as a metaphor for the situation. When Kanji and Megh die, it is raining. When Ram and Leela are at the beginning of their relationship, the sun is shining in the desert. When they are running away, the sky becomes grey symbolic of the troubles and the grey path that lies ahead for them. When Leela is snatched away from him, he is left in the desert that is dry and windy. When Leela is reading to her mother saying, "Kal Ram Leela ka aakhri din", Bhansali already told us right ahead symbolically that they both are also going to die tomorrow.
Narrow alleys and narrow-mindedness
Grey skies - trouble lies ahead
In the end, when Ram and Leela are about to shoot each other, they end up in the exact same pose that they had first met during Holi. Their positions are now reversed and the color of Holi has turned into the darkness of Dussehra. Bhansali is able to make tragedy look so beautiful.
Gorgeous again
Also, Ram Leela has many references to Bhansali's earlier films. As mentioned earlier, the songs look very similar to Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. The garden where Ram and Leela meet reminded Devdas and Paro's meeting place in Devdas. The use of mirrors was so reminiscent of Saawariya. In Saawariya, we saw Mona Lisa curtains. Here we see a shop that is named Monalisa. When I researched on Bhansali and Mona Lisa, a link cropped up that said Bhansali wanted Guzaarish's actress Monikangana Dutta to change her name to Mona Lisa. Does he then think himself of a painter like Leonardo da Vinci? I will keep that in mind for his future films :) The use of Bhavai in Ram Leela was also reminiscent of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Ladke vale London ke, aye kitne tan tan ke, noch noch ke rakh lenge, yahi daboch ke rakh lenge, ta taiyya taiyya taiyya thai.
Monaleesa shops
Mona Lisa curtains
At one point in the movie, we see that Ram falls in the water. I was instantly reminded of Lootera because both the scenes look so similar. Vikramaditya Motwane who is the director of Lootera was the assistant of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Like a teacher, like a student :)
Ram Leela
There were a number of things that I failed to understand. I thought and researched a lot but just could not find the link. In the song Tattad Tattad, there is a poster of a Gujarati play that is shown in the background. The play is called Preet Piyu N Parnetar. I tried really hard to search more about it but at best I could only find its poster. I was not able to find out what is it about.
Preet Piyu N Panetar
At one point in the movie, when Kesar is running to save herself from Saneda men, we see a rolling brass pot. I am very much sure it meant something by the way it was shot. I couldn't understand what was Bhansali trying to say. When I tried to find some Gujarati connection, I found a poster of the same play Preet Piyu N Parnetar with a woman having a brass pot in her hand. Are then these two linked in some way? I have no idea. Maybe talking to some Gujarati would help :)
Brass Pot
Preet Piyu N Panetar
And I just could not figure out what is written on Priyanka's waist and Leela's neck. It is Hindi but whatever is written is out of my comprehension.

Who is behind?
In the beginning credits, Bhansali pays a tribute to his parents Navin and Leela. His love for his mother is so strong that he has taken his middle name after her and named this film after her. And Lady Popo is his dog. Is this the first film by an Indian director dedicated to his dog? :)
My favorite dialogues:
"Ghurror me doobe samandar ko bhi kya pata tha ki vo ek din banjar ran ban jayega, jab uska guroor nahi tika to hum aur aap kya hai baap ji." – Ram

"Dushman se pyaar nibhana har kise ke bas ki baat nahi hai." – Ram

"Gusse me isne nafrat chunni, tu pyaar chun." – Raseela

"Green hai angoor, kela peela hai, kehdo saari duniya se sirf Raam ki Leela hai." – Leela

"Jab Ram naam ka raag lage to paani me bhi aa lage." – Leela

"Jaan bhi nikaal li, aur zindai bhi chhod diya." – Raseela

Performances are excellent. I loved Deepika and Supriya Pathak. Deepika is a star and she is getting stunning with every film. Ranveer is good but I felt his character was too over the top for my sensibilities. The supporting cast is excellent, especially Richa Chaddha and Barkha Bisht. A special mention for Ravi Varman's gorgeous cinematography without which any Bhansali film is incomplete. Wasiq Khan's production design is fabulous. Loved his article in Mint: Wasiq Khan | How to blend in and stand out

My biggest problem, actually it is not a problem, just more of an opinion is that Ram Leela showed a very different Bhansali. He is not the Bhansali of Saawariya or the Bhansali of Black. Yes, there are shades of the Bhansali of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. This is a Bhansali that reminded me more of Anurag Kashyap and Vishal Bharadwaj. The show of guns, the lyrics of Ishkiyaaon Dishkiyaaon, the rambunctiousness of his hero, the ephemeral nature of taking away someone's life - all these made me somewhat uncomfortable. I am an old-school Bhansali fan. It was as if Bhansali was showing it to the world that yes, I too can make a film like the Kashyaps and this new breed of filmmakers. In fact, in that scene when Leela says to Ram, "Tere to baal hi nahi hai", it was as if he is taking revenge on Anurag Kashyap for mocking his Devdas in Dev D. In a pre-coital scene in Dev D, Paro takes off Dev's shirt and says, "Tere bade baal hai." Later, Anurag had used Bhansali's Devdas in his film. In Ram Leela, I felt Bhansali was giving it back to the world that I too can make such films. 
Chanda and Chandramukhi
Dev and Devdas
Also, the story of the film has been done to death, most recently in Ishaqzaade. I knew exactly how it is going to turn out. I was somewhat disappointed by the storyline and this new Bhansali. But what I loved was the old Bhansali who instills spiritual undertones in the film, shows me the sheer resplendence of the colors, fascinates me with the gorgeousness of his heroines, enthralls me with the stupendousness of his imagination, and forces me to peel the layers. I love this old Bhansali and I hope he will continue to treat us with his gems. Ram Leela might not be his best work but it gave me enough to gorge on. I will always be a Sanjay Leela Bhansali fan. I wish I could get to meet and learn from him someday. 
Dialogue of the day:
"Bada badtameez, besharam, khudgarz hota hai lekn pyaar to aisa hi hota hai." 
– Raseela, Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela


  1. I had been waiting with bated breath to read this, and knew this would come on the first day of spring break. Loved reading it. My favorite scene is the same as yours!!! And the ishkyaun was ridiculous!!!

    I also see very polished and articulate writing this time. Kudos to you :-)

  2. Pankazz, first of all kudos for writing such a long, yet marvellous piece :)
    As I said earlier, I didn't like movie in the first attempt, but looks like I'll give it another try :)

  3. What a fabulous article.Loved it.At places though, i felt u went wayy to deep and overthinking.Out of all the insights u gave,i lovved that 'Ram Leela first and the last meeting' insight.Never thought of it and how apt and obvious it looks now!

    P.S. i didnt fell in love with the movie at first(due to its absurdness at places,but the more i watch it,the more i like it.ANd am an unabashed Bhansali fan too.

    P.P.S. You should have watched the movie on big screen.couple of scenes (like the one just after lahu muh lag gya, in which leela pushes Ram and he fells into the pond),that scene looks so awsome on the big screen,but when i saw it on laptop, it lacked that magic.

  4. Hey Pankaj...
    I want to hats off yara...
    What an observational power you have!
    U r more than artist bro...
    Loved ur post and loved ur dedication to endless observation!

    Girl with pot is called 'panihari' of many hindi & gujarai movie.
    The unknown person in pic behind leela is a king of rajvada. I dnt know the name bt i hv seen it in a palace of gujarat.

  5. Thank you, Manvi, Sumit, Vishank and Hardik.

    Great observation, Hardik :)

  6. Amazing! If ever Bhansali will read your work he will become a big fan of yours :)

  7. haven`t you written any posts exclusively for devdas? I know that you have compared the later to many movies of SLB, but there is nothing such reviews exclusively about devdas, according to my search. I would be really glad to learn more about that great movie!.

  8. Bashu, I will try to write one soon :)

  9. If you have posted, plz do send the link when you comment on this page..

  10. Excellent post! Bhansali is a master of symbolism indeed.

    Ishqyaun Dhishqyaun took a while to grow on me, but now I love it. It is playful, border-line cheesy, yet very beautiful. It plays with the theme of playfulness, violence, and passion (as evident by the lyrics). There is even a fun dance move that resembles peacocks playing and pecking each other! In a stark contrast, there are some very traditional dance moves. But this seems to reflects both the traditional and modern aspects of the town in Gujarat.

  11. He keeps celebrating different indian festivals in his movies like holi and dushera in ram leela durga puja devdas id saawariya karvachaut and makar sankrant hum dil de.. Ganesh chatuthi bajirao

  12. falling in water scene is also repeated many times salman in hum dil de when he comes to haveli and hrithik in guzarish falls in the box

  13. Great post...this movie almost touches the realms of expressionism in its use of color, the lighting (particularly the way light comes into the closed spaces through windows and doorways in various scenes), the murals and paintings on the walls and even the performances...


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