Just Bollywood Trivia Feature – Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-leela

Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (English: A Play of Bullets: Ram-Leela) is a 2013 Hindi romantic-drama film directed and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. It stars Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone as the eponymous leads. The film is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, set in violent times. The film’s release, scheduled on 15 November 2013, had been stayed by Delhi High Court. The film was initially titled Ram-Leela but was changed to Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela in response to an order by the Delhi High Court and released as scheduled.

Some religious groups opposed the movie claiming that the former title Ramleela was misleading because the movie had nothing to do with Ramlila, traditional enactment of the life and story of Hindu deity,Lord Rama.

The Kshatriya community opposed usage of community names in the movie, so Jadeja and Rabari community titles were changed to Saneda and Rajari.

The film earned generally positive reviews and opened to strong box office collections worldwide.The film was declared a ‘Hit’ in India and ‘Super hit’ overseas by Box Office India. It had a budget of 85 Crore Rupees, and so far has brought in 202 Crore Rupees (Jan 2014). Running time, 155 minutes. It is one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2013 and also one of the most awarded ones, winning three Filmfare Awards out of seven nominations.


The movie is inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

In a Gujarati village, Ranjaar, infamous for its uninhibited manufacture and sale of arms and ammunition (weapons are sold like vegetables at the place), two clans, Rajari and Saneda, have been at odds with each other for the past 500 years. The film opens with a violent altercation between the two over petty matters. Meghji (Abhimanyu Singh), a Rajari head, sets out to kill Bhavani (Gulshan Devaiah) who is a Saneda, after the latter tries to kill the former’s son. Bhavani is almost killed when Ram (Ranveer Singh) intervenes and saves him, only to be reprimanded by Meghji, who is his elder brother. All the Rajari elders are irked by Ram’s mindset of making truce with the other clan.

During the festival of Holi, Ram boldly enters the house of the Saneda heads and frolics with Leela (Deepika Padukone), while her mother, Dhankor baa (Supriya Pathak), the chieftain of the Sanedas, is busy arranging a match for her daughter.

Kanji, Leela’s elder brother, angered by Ram’s entry in the house, bribes the local policeman to raid of the house of Rajari heads, but the plan backfires with Ram’s tactics. Ram and Leela get romantically involved and plan to elope. But a grim turn of events follows when Kanji accidentally kills Meghji, and is in turn killed by Ram.

To escape the suffering, Ram and Leela elope and marry. But Ram’s friends trace them and trick Ram by making him drunk and knock him out of his senses, and send an SMS about their location to the Sanedas from Ram’s phone. The next morning, Leela is forcibly taken back home by Bhavani, her cousin, while Ram is hailed as a hero by the Rajaris for soiling the reputation of Leela, and her chieftain.

Leela still retains faith in Ram and sends Rasila (Richa Chadda), widow of Kanji, to give Ram an ultimatum to take her away. She, however is molested by Ram’s friends and when Dhankor baa learns of this, she sends Bhavani and other men to assault Kesar (Barkha Bisht Sengupta), Meghji’s widow.

Ram storms into Leela’s house and incapacitates the guards single-handed. He then requests Dhankor baa to consider negotiation for peace, following which she invites him for a function at home with the intention to kill Ram. However, at the event, Bhavani secretly shoots and seriously injures Dhankor, and the Rajaris are blamed for attacking Dhankor baa.

Leela is made the chieftain and gets busy tending to her mother. Ram and Leela bitterly carry out a negotiation with the sarpanch but Bhavani manipulates things and makes Leela blindly sign a document ordering the killings of Rajaris.

During Dusshera, as the Ramlila parade is ending, many Rajaris are killed and the village is on the brink of war. Ram senses this and goes to Leela and suggests that they kill each other instead of dying fighting. Leela agrees and both commit suicide, not knowning that Dhankor baa has undergone a change of heart and has killed Bhavani, ordering peace be meted out to the other clan. In the end, the two clans finally unite and cremate the dead bodies of Ram and Leela together respectfully.

The film shows several Gujarati influences, one of which is that the popular Nagada Sang Dhol song in the film (shown in the video above) is based on an old Gujarati classic folk song “He Lili Lemdi Re Lilo Nagervelno Chod” featured in the Gujarati movie Kato Vagyo Kalje (released 1998).

Initially shot in Gujarat, some sequences were shot in Udaipur particularly at Udaipur Palace and Gangaur Ghat where a song sequence was shot. The story of the film is set in Gujarat. In Udaipur,  a song sequence in freezing cold water was shot for about 45 minutes. Padukone was injured on set; however she had to continue shooting as an expensive set was put up at Film City for the song “Nagada Sang Dhol.” Sanjay Leela Bhansali had set up a gym on the sets in Filmcity Mumbai for the lead actor Ranveer Singh to not be late for the shooting and to avoid any delays for the movie.

This is the second time Sanjay Leela Bansali  composed for a film, the first being the 2010 film Guzaarish. The lyrics are penned by Siddharth–Garima. ‘Mor Bani Thanghat Kare’ is a 1941 Gujrati poem written by Jhaverchand Meghani and music composed by Shree Hemu Gadhvi. 

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