The film is a reincarnation story which is set 300 years back, and revolves around the story of Leela (Sunny Leone) and her lover. Their love story remains incomplete as they are murdered. The film portrays how their story completes when they both are reincarnated in present time.
The trailer of the film was released on 6 February 2015 and became YouTube's most viewed Bollywood movie trailer of the first quarter of 2015. The film received mixed reviews from the critics upon release and was a commercial success.
The movie starts with Karan (Jay Bhanushali) moving to a new house in Mumbai along with his friends. Karan is a singer and musician who often helps his sister Radhika with music for her fashion shows. Radhika (Shivani Tanksale), is a fashion photographer who wants to get Meera (Sunny Leone) for her shows with the help of her friend Andy (VJ Andy). They both discover that Meera is afraid of travelling in an aeroplane, but take her to India through aeroplane by making her drink. Meera discovers the truth and gets angry. Meanwhile, her mood changes as she sees Rajasthani girls playing a traditional game and starts to play with them.
Meanwhile, in Mumbai, Karan has persistent dreams of someone whipping him. In an attempt to figure why, his friend takes him to a Pandit (Nadi-Shakti Scholar) who tells him that his pain is rooted in his past life.
While in India, Meera meets Ranveer Singh (Mohit Ahlawat), a Rajput prince, in Rajasthan. The two eventually fall in love and get married. Ranveer is in middle of a property dispute with his cousin Bikram Singh (Jas Arora).
Karan travels through his past and figures out that he must be Shravan (Rajneesh Duggal), 300 years ago. He was in love with a girl named Leela (also played by Sunny Leone) but his master, an artist, Bhairao (Rahul Dev) adopts her as his muse. Bhairao makes a statue of Leela and discovers that Leela is in love with Shravan. In a fit of rage, Bhairao kills both Shravan and Leela.
Karan goes to Bhairao Virajana (a place of dispute between Ranveer and Bikram). Karan tries to remind Meera about their past but Meera does not believe him. Karan plays a song "Tere Bin" that takes Meera back into their past and she recollects her past life.
Meera and Karan get kidnapped by Bikram who is looking for a statue that Bhairao made. The current market value of the statue is 10 billion and Bikram wants to keep the money for himself. Karan reveals that the statue was hidden behind a wall. When Bikram gets to the statue, he is killed by Ranveer.
It turns out Karan was wrong all along. He was actually the reincarnation of Bhairao and not of Shravan (who got reincarnated in Ranveer). Karan tries to redeem his ills by committing suicide but Meera and Ranveer don't let him. Karan's album "Tere Bin" gets him fame. Meera and Ranveer unite.Sunny Leone as Leela/Meera
Rajneesh Duggal as Shravan
Jay Bhanushali as Karan
Mohit Ahlawat as Prince Ranveer
Jas Arora as Prince Bikram
Shivani Tanksale as Radhika
VJ Andy as himself
Ahsaan Qureshi as Maan Singh
Rahul Dev as Bhairav
Daniel Weber as Flight Pilot (Cameo appearance)
The film is produced by Bhushan Kumar's company T-Series and Ahmed Khan's own production company Paperdoll Entertainment.
Bobby Khan stated that Sunny Leone was the only actress suitable for the roles . He also stated that big actors refused to do the film because of Leone. Actor Mohit Ahlawat returned to films after four years. Leone's husband Daniel Weber also had a cameo appearance in the film as flight attendant. As the film revisits two very different eras, the attire worn by Leone was also carefully designed. Leone's personal stylist Hitesh Kapopara who has also designed costumes for Leone for her previous films went for shopping in the local markets of London and Rajasthan for traditional accessories.
The film was shot at various location including Mumbai, London and Rajasthan. In Rajasthan, it was filmed at remote interiors and villages. At Jodhpur, the sand dunes were also included in the shoot along with the villagers for a song sequence. A village was also created on the desert to commence the filming. The Khimsar Fort in Nagaur, Laxmi Niwas Palace of Bikaner were also included into the shots and were used as royal palace in the film. Reportedly, Sunny got skin infection on the sets as she has to shoot in the scorching heat and had rashes over the body. Leone also learnt Rajasthani dialect for the film. She attended workshops for the song "Dhol Baaje" and learnt classical dance steps from the veteran choreographer Saroj Khan. As per reports, she also had to bath with 100 litres of milk for a scene in the film.
The music for the film is composed by Dr. Zeus, Amaal Mallik, Meet Bros Anjjan, Tony Kakkar and Uzair Jaswal with lyrics penned by Kumaar, Manoj Muntashir and Tony Kakkar. The background score is composed by Mannan Munjal. The soundtrack comprises 9 songs. Ensemble singers like Tulsi Kumar, Arijit Singh, Kanika Kapoor, Monali Thakur, Meet Bros Anjjan, Mohit Chauhan, Neha Kakkar and Pakistani singer Uzair Jaswal have lent their voices for the film. The first song titled "Desi Look" was released as single on 19 February 2015. The full soundtrack album was released on 10 March 2015.
The soundtrack of Ek Paheli Leela received generally positive review from the music critics. Critic Rajiv Vijayakar from Bollywood Hungama gave the album a rating of 3 stars out of 5 and felt, "Some tracks will help the film, some will be helped by the film, but the rest are largely fillers. With four of the nine tracks being re-creations, the score gets a fillip in theory. " Kasmin Fernandes of The Times Of India gave a rating of 4 and commented, "The originals stand out more than adaptations here." Joginder Tuteja of Rediff gave three stars, and commented, "The music of Ek Paheli Leela has a good mix of party and romantic numbers. It's the original numbers in the soundtrack that do better than the adapted versions. Play this one when you want some variety; it has a good mix of party and romantic numbers." BizAsia gave a rating of 7.5 out of 10 to the album summarizing it as, "This album has the elements for an all-round entertainer designed and composed for the masses around the world using the best hit making formulas in the current industry... including recreating old hits." Glamsham awarded the album 3.5 stars out of 5 and stated, "Summing up, the audio of T-Series' Ek Paheli Leela meets the expectations with some potential chart toppers like 'Desi Look', 'Tere Bin Nahi Laage' and 'Saiyyan Superstar'. The 'getting popular' audio should aid the cause of this musical love saga, when Ek Paheli Leela releases all over this April." Radioandmusic.com called the album "a mixed one". Surabhi Redkar from Koimoi gave 2 stars and felt, "The music album of Ek Paheli Leela is not exactly a hit one. It has only certain songs that are worth listening" while picking "Tere Bin (Male)", "Khuda Bhi" and "Ek Do Teen as the best ones.
A remix album was made by DJ Chetas and was released on T-Series YouTube on 26 March 2015.
The film was released on 10 April 2015 with estimated occupancy of 20% with greater occupancy in single screens than multiplexes. On its opening day it collected ₹53.0 million (US$830,000) beating the opening day collections of films like NH10, Shamitabh and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy. On its second day, it collected around ₹52.0 million (US$810,000) taking its total to ₹105 million (US$1.6 million). The film showed further growth on its third day as it collected ₹53.5 million (US$830,000) nett to take its first weekend total to around ₹160 million (US$2.5 million) nett.
Till its second weekend, it managed to collect ₹243 million (US$3.8 million) nett. At the end of its theatrical run, Ek Paheli Leela grossed around ₹275 million (US$4.3 million) nett.
The Times of India gave the film 3 stars out of 5 and described the film as "colourful, crisp and convivial". Bollywood Hungama gave the film 3.5 stars out of 5 and praised the film's cinematography, direction, screenplay and stated, "On the whole, Ek Paheli Leela is worth watching, purely because of Sunny Leone and the way she has been presented... like never before!!!" DNA India gave the film 2 stars and applauded Sunny's transfromation of two characters and film's music while stating that, "Sunny Leone fans will be in for a royal treat. If Sunny Leone gets your temperature rising then Leela won't disappoint. The New Indian Express gave the film three and a half stars praising film's narration and stated, "Stunningly mounted and sumptuously narrated, "Ek Paheli Leela" is a feast for the senses. Basha Lal's camera caresses Ms Leone's assets and the sand dunes of Jaisalmer with equal affection. It may not be revolutionary in concept or path-breaking in execution. But make no mistake. "Ek Paheli Leela" is the surprise of the year.
Mid Day called it "semi-porn rubbish", while IBNLive gave it 1.5 stars stating that the dialog was full of crude sexual jokes and that it was "soft porn" emphasising the short skirts of the women and the physique of the men. The Hindustan Times said the film had a " ludicrous script" and "wooden" acting. India Today praised the cinematography and Leone's dancing. Mumbai Mirror called it " an insincere, lavish and titillating compilation of every item song ever made." Rediff stated although the film was poorly written and had many flaws in its execution, it succeeded at its purpose of being a one-woman show to highlight Leone. Indian Express gave the film zero stars stating "all this film wants to do is to exploit its leading lady's awe-inspiring stack... From as many angles as possible, the closer the better". NDTV called it a "vapid yarn about love, desire and obsession unfolds against good-looking backgrounds".