A petition filed against the film accused it of hurting religious sentiments and also said that, since the term ‘Ram Leela’ is associated with Lord Ram, movie-goers would expect to be watching a religious film. The court’s order came on a suit filed by six petitioners, including Prabhu Samaj Dharmik Ram Leela Committee, saying the movie hurt religious sentiments of Hindus as it contains sex, violence and vulgarity…
It was the second time the name of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film ‘Ram Leela’ was changed. It was previously changed from ‘Ramleela’ to ‘Ram-Leela’ and will now be called ‘Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela’. At the height of the controversy, Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali told a news channel “It appears that some misinformation is being carried out regarding the said film (‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’) which we would like to clarify and state that the said film is inspired and based on William Shakespeare’s work Romeo and Juliet.”
The name change was a result of an order passed by the Delhi High Court on November 13, 2013 staying the release of the film. A petition filed against the film accused it of hurting religious sentiments and also said that, since the term ‘Ram Leela’ is associated with Lord Ram, movie-goers would expect to be watching a religious film. The court’s order came on a suit filed by six petitioners, including Prabhu Samaj Dharmik Ram Leela Committee, saying the movie hurt religious sentiments of Hindus as it contains sex, violence and vulgarity.
The plea said the word Ram Leela is associated with Lord Rama and people will watch this movie with an expectation that it would be related to his life but the film will hurt their sentiments. It also said the name of the movie should be changed as it has nothing to do with mythology and that it was misleading. ‘Ram-Leela’ is inspired and based on William Shakespeare’s work ‘Romeo and Juliet’, said filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali emphatically and that it has nothing to do with either Indian folklore “Ramleela” or Lord Krishna’s ‘Rasleela’.
“The said film is neither related to ‘Ramleela’ folklore/traditional performance associated with Lord Ram nor related to ‘Rasleela’ associated with Lord Krishna. Ram, the character in the said film does not depict or resemble Lord Rama in any manner,” read a statement issued on behalf of Bhansali. The movie starring Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, was scheduled for release mid-November. According to Bhansali, the film “neither intends nor attempts to insult, wound or outrage the religion, religious feelings or religious beliefs of any class of citizens of India”. “We trust that this allays, clarifies and sets at rest all apprehensions, doubts and misgivings regarding the said film,” the statement further read.
I DON’T SHOUT AT OR BULLY PEOPLE ON SETS : SANJAY LEELA BHANSALI
Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is known to be a tough task master, says it is a misconception that he shouts or bullies people…
“It is a myth that Sanjay is a (tough) task master and that he shouts and bullies people. It is nothing like that. We have fun while working. Obviously, when something wrong happens, like if there is something dirty you will get angry. Small angers are permissible to everyone,” Bhansali told PTI. The filmmaker says he has always loved his actors and believed in giving them space, respect and right direction. “They (actors) feel they have the potential and I am just reminding them about it and tapping their talent. I haven’t done that as a task master or by scolding,” he said.
Though his last few films have not made a good mark at box office, Bhansali insists both box office success and critical acclaim are important to him. “Criticism is good but box office is important too as it shows that number of people have seen the film. It is important to earn money so that it helps you in your next film. Ultimately, audience is the king. If the film does well commercially then you get to work with big stars again.
“But there should not be any pressure about the record. The amount (budget) should be recovered, that is the responsibility of a director. Whether it earns Rs 200 or 400 crore, one should not think about it (records) as today there are more number of screens, so the business has to increase.” Bhansali is surprised that today people ask how much money the film has earned rather than asking how the film is.
“I don’t have to prove myself. I don’t understand figures. The only concern of the director is to recover the money. It is good that films are earning money as it is good for the industry. But there should be no pressure on a filmmaker that you have to earn certain amount of numbers or outdo them,” he said.