Watch it for the Raas-Leela
This is not exactly Bhansali's comeback or even fourth best work (the best being Devdas, Hum Dil Chuke Sanam, Khamoshi and Black - in that order), but there is a feral chemistry between the lead actors which drew me into buying this version of the classic. In my book, Deepika Padukone proves her mettle with this film. She is pitch perfect for the role. Ranvir Singh may not be a lady-charmer like Ranbir Kapoor, but he is sincere and endearing as the fearless Romeo. Visually, the film is beautiful in parts but not flowing eye-candy like 'Hum Dil De Chuke..' or 'Devdas', even though it's the same excess of fictional locales and costumes in Gujarat. Some of the scenes are straight out of Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film 'Romeo and Juliet' - like Leela leaning out of her balcony that overlooks a pool, to talk to Ram and some are repeat Sanjay Leela fare - like Garba and dhols.
Supriya Pathak deserves the best villain award this year for her impeccable performance and accent. Rarely do we see an intimidating female antagonist in Bollywood, so that was greatly refreshing. The story feels baseless from the beginning and struggles to keep you invested till the end. But I did care about Ram and Leela.
MY REVIEW: Bhansali's Overdone Leela!!
There are two kind of directors in one Sanjay Leela Bhansali. First makes silent noise in Khamoshi, Black and Guzaarish. Second one overindulges in Devdas, Saawariya and latest Ram-Leela. It was only Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam where he mixed lavishness with subtle emotions beautifully. Ram-Leela comes after he failed to impress us with Saawariya and Guzaarish. So he went back to Devdas style and gave his own interpretation of Romoeo-Juliet love and fights. He does four things right with six things wrong leaving you dissatisfied at the end. There are colorful sets, excellent choreography, tight direction and supreme performances by confident Ranveer Singh, gorgeous Deepika Padukone and my favorite extraordinary Supriya Pathak. At the same time, there are few extra songs, too many twists in second half, few plot holes, too much of gun sound, movie being at least twenty minutes extra long and overdoing many scenes in order to make an impression of epic proportions. No doubt Sanjay understands cinematic art to the core but he tries to impress too hard. You are left amazed by his work in some scenes but then you are completely baffled in few scenes. At the end, you are drained out so much that you don't feel like appreciating even the good parts.
One of the best "Romeo Juliet" adaptation in Bollywood.