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I watched this film with mixed expectations. On one hand, I had seen the Nagada Sang Dhol and Lahu Muhn Lag Gaya clips on you-tube - exactly what caught my eye and made me want to watch it. On the other hand, a- not-so-good rating and most reviewers claiming it was very bad were lowering my expectations. I did, however, watch it, and I loved it.
The film is intense, wonderfully directed and benefits from great acting. I am not familiar with any of the actors; nor with Bollywood films in general, which I do not find appealing because of their over- dramatisation of... pretty much everything. And mostly, poor acting. This is where Ram-Leela stands out. Apart for a few scenes, the director made use of the actor's skills, and pushed them to the point they save the sometimes-poor script. There's great chemistry in there, as well as some more than convincing acting, all in wonderful colours and costumes.
I had a hard time understanding why it's got such harsh reviews, given how good it is, but reading them I realized what the problem is (and probably why I liked it): Ram-Leela is not a film for puritans. While it seemed quite tame to me, certain watchers found it "vulgar", or too sexual. From my point of view, it's aligned with European films. What it lacks in plot-line (although decent), makes up with daring performances and honest acting. As for those claiming it's not a love story, I agree: it's a battle of egos, and most important, a battle with the self for each of the characters. This could have been emphasized more, but you can't have everything.
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