Our obsession with Shakespeare continues

With yet another romance saga ‘˜Ram Leela’ being based on Romeo and Juliet, we tell you why our obsession with William Shakespeare is here to stay.

When the Bard wrote his epic tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet’, he had no idea about how many versions it would inspire and how many Bollywood flicks would be based on it. With yet another romance saga ‘Ram Leela’  (based on this story) set to come out in November, the obsession with English writer William Shakespeare continues.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Ram Leela’ is said to be a modern take on ‘Romeo and Juliet’, albeit set in violent times, what with Deepika Padukone (Leela) wielding a gun in the movie. Her Ram (Ranveer Singh) is equally rustic and fierce.  Is it a lack of inspiration that 2013 has seen two adaptations of the love story? The other one being Prateik and Amyra Dastur’s ‘Issaq’, which had the two fighting for their love in the war-torn heartlands of UP. In fact, ‘Ishaqzaade’, a movie about star-crossed lovers belonging to different religions, had come out last year. It starred Parieenti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor in the lead.  It’s not that the love-tragedy is not a great one, but how many times will we watch the same thing onscreen?


The English writer-poet-dramatist has written over hundreds of other stories and plays too. Why is Romeo and Juliet treated as the baap of all romances? Do characters who take their love to their graves come across as more appealing than those who lived ‘happily ever after’? We would certainly like to believe that as most blockbuster hits have had tragic endings with the hero and heroine dying to be reunited in death. If the big bucks made by ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’, ‘Ekk Duje Ke Liye’, and ‘Laila Majnu’, among many others, are anything to go by, it’s certain that Shakespeare’s tragedies have had a certain effect on us.

Although Vishal Bharadwaj attempted to adapt two of Shakespeare’s greatest works Othello and McBeth (Omkara and Maqbool, respectively), they didn’t do the kind of roaring business Romeo and Juliet adaptations did. Weird, eh?  May be the reason is that most people can relate to such ill-fated love stories where the lovers don’t walk down the aisle in joy, but into their graves in helplessness. Where destiny plays a more important role than everything else put together.  It doesn’t look like Bollywood is going to stop churning out Romeo and Juliet-esque stories anytime soon.

Will Deepika Padukone’s gaon ki chori look, her crackling chemistry with alleged beau Ranveer Singh and the misery of their fates send Ram Leela into the Rs 100 club? Despite the climax not being novel, will you flock to the theatres to watch this Sanjay Leela Bhansali magnum opus? 








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