The movie which premiered on the scheduled date, opened to critical acclaim and strong box-office collections worldwide. It ultimately earned ₹2.02 billion (US$31 million). The film became the fifth highest-grossing film of 2013 and won three Filmfare Awards with Padukone winning her first Filmfare Award for Best actress, from a total of eight nominations.
During the festival of Holi, Ram (Ranveer Singh) boldly enters the house of the Sanera heads and flirts with Leela (Deepika Padukone), while her mother, Dhankor Baa (Supriya Pathak Kapur), the chieftain of the Saneras, is busy arranging a match for her daughter with a simple-minded NRI. Leela's elder brother Kanji (Sharad Kelkar) is angered by Ram's entry in the house and bribes the local police to raid Ram's house. Ram, however, manages to convince the policemen to leave in exchange for a set of his blue films. Ram and Leela develop a romance 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 just as they are about to consummate their marriage, Ram's friends trace them and betray him by inebriating him and informing Leela's family of their location. The next morning, Leela is forcibly taken back home by Bhavani, her cousin, while Ram is hailed as a hero by the Rajadis for soiling Leela's reputation. He is rewarded by being made the new chieftain of the Rajadis. Meanwhile, Dhankor Baa (Supriya Pathak) arranges the engagement of Leela and the NRI, much to the chagrin of the pair. Leela refuses, citing that her finger is already occupied by the ring from her marriage to Ram. In her anger, Dhankor Baa chops off Leela's finger and upon learning of this, Ram does the same to his own finger and visits Leela while she is asleep. Leela still retains faith in Ram and sends Rasila (Richa Chadda), the widow of Kanji, to give Ram an ultimatum to take her away. Rasila is assaulted 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, who manages to evade them.
In response to the attempt on Kesar, Ram storms into Leela's house and incapacitates the guards single-handedly. He then requests Dhankor Baa to consider negotiation for peace, and she invites him to celebrate Navratri with the Saneras, with the intention of having him killed. However, at the event, Bhavani secretly shoots and seriously injures Dhankor Baa to place the blame on the Rajadi. Leela is made the chieftain of the Saneras and gets busy tending to her mother. She bitterly carries out a negotiation with Ram, equally dividing the travel routes and trades, with the condition that the Saneras and Rajadis will not interact with each other ever again. Bhavani does not tolerate this development and deceives Leela into blindly signing a document that orders unrestrained killings of the Rajadis. During Dusshera, as the Ramlila parade is ending, many of the Rajadis are killed and the village is on the brink of war, which Ram senses. Ram and Leela decide that they are each other's and murder each other wholeheartedly by shooting one another and falling into a body of water, all the while oblivious to the fact that Dhankor Baa has undergone a change of heart and has killed Bhavani, ordering peace be meted out to the other clan. The two clans come together to cremate the bodies of the lovers.Ranveer Singh as Ram Rajadi
Deepika Padukone as Leela Sanera
Supriya Pathak as Dhankor 'Baa' Sanera, Leela's mother
Sharad Kelkar as Kanji, Leela's Brother
Richa Chadha as Rasila, Leela's sister-in-law
Gulshan Devaiah as Bhavani, Leela's cousin
Barkha Bisht Sengupta as Kesar, Ram's sister-in-law
Abhimanyu Singh as Meghji, Ram's brother
Raza Murad as Sarpanch
Jameel Khan as Vanka
Anshul Trivedi as Mandar
Bharat Chawda as Manga Ram's friend
Priyanka Chopra in the item number "Ram Chahe Leela"
The budget of the film has been estimated to be between ₹350 million (US$5.5 million) and ₹850 million (US$13 million).
Ranveer Singh was signed on for the role of Ram. Bhansali then cast Kareena Kapoor for the role of Leela. However, she walked out of the film and instead did Dharma Productions' romantic comedy Gori Tere Pyaar Mein. There later Bhansali approached Priyanka Chopra for the role of Leela but things did not materialised. However, Ranveer Singh confirmed in August 2012 that Deepika Padukone was finally signed on for the film. Singh, who plays a Gujarati boy, had to learn some Gujarati abuses as well as gain muscle for his character in the film. The first look of the film shows Padukone sporting a 30 kg ghaghra with a 50 metre 'ghera'.
Richa Chadda was also signed on to play a significant role, cast by Shruti Mahajan whereas Barkha Bisht plays a supporting role opposite Abhimanyu Singh. Designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, who previously worked with Bhansali on Black, was hired initially for the costumes of the leading lady, but was later replaced by Anju Modi. Maxima Basu is the costume designer for Ranveer Singh and rest of the principal cast.
There were rumours that Madhuri Dixit (Bhansali's heroine from Devdas), would be performing an item number for the film. Other actresses were also speculated to be signed for the song including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (Bhansali's heroine from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, and Guzaarish) and Priyanka Chopra. Chopra was eventually confirmed to be performing the song.
Initially shot in Gujarat, some sequences of Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela 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, Singh shot a song sequence in freezing cold water 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.
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. A local court in Mumbai has issued an "ex-parte ad-interim stay" over the use of term Ramleela in the movie title. A Delhi court, on 12 November, stayed the release of the movie as per suit filed by six petitioners, including Prabhu Samaj Dharmik Ram Leela Committee, saying the movie hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus. Later the film's title was changed to Goliyon ki Rasleela Ram-Leela. On 21 November 2013, Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court banned the movie in Uttar Pradesh.
Kshatriya community opposed usage of community names in the movie, so Jadeja and Rabari community titles were changed to Saneda and Rajadi.
This is the second time Sanjay Leela Bansali composed for a film, the first being the 2010 film Guzaarish. Monty Sharma who composed for Saawariya (2007) returns after long gap rendering the Background Music to the movie. The lyrics are penned by Siddharth–Garima. Mor Bani Thanghat Kare is a 1944 Gujarati song translated by Jhaverchand Meghani and composed by Hemu Gadhvi. The soundtrack album was released on 2 October 2013 after a delay due to Ranveer Singh's health issues.
Mohar Basu of Koimoi gave the album four out of five stars stating, "Bhansali's artistic finickiness is something that shows even in his music. He is neat with his tunes and creates soulful sounds with visible conviction. Perhaps the songs won't hit you well in the first shot, but with the lapse of a few loops, it will be hard to take off the songs from your playlist. The album is one of the best of this year and it resounds with near perfect mystical rendition. I am going with a 4/5 and recommending that you don't miss this little masterpiece of an album!"
Daily News and Analysis also gave the album four out of five and wrote, "Packed with 10 culturally nourished songs, the Ram-Leela soundtrack has no remix or reprised version, but it's a feast for music lovers. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, known for making many a magum-opus, adds grandeur to the album with his compositions but at the same time gives enough space to the singers to shine."
Yashika Mathur of Business Standard stated, "The strong point of the "Ram-Leela" album is the soft romantic songs. Bhansali has put his best 'musical' foot forward. It deserves to be heard and enjoyed."
Joginder Tuteja of Rediff.com stated, "With just about everything working for the music of Ram Leela, what with classical, folk, fusion as well as contemporary sound finding their place under the sun, Bhansali makes sure that the soundtrack stands out from the clutter of some below average music of some notable biggies that have been making the rounds."
The movie released on 14 November 2013.The film got widest release 2000+ screens in domestic market and 550 screens in overseas and worldwide with around 2550 screens
The film received generally positive reviews from critics.
Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and wrote "On the whole, Goliyon Ki Raasleela ought to be watched for multiple reasons: the electrifying chemistry between its lead actors, the strong dramatic content, the scintillating musical score, the violent streak in the narrative and of course, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's execution of the material."
Meena Iyer of The Times of India gave the movie 4 out of 5 stars, saying "For the most part, Ram-Leela, SLB's most commercial work till date, has nice doses of raunch and ras (juice). Since the plot is Shakespearan, the maker has the arduous task of telling you this story on an opulent scale. Vintage palaces and daunting deserts are fitted in with precision. Deepika is breathtaking and in top form. Ranveer displays his six packs and histrionics with fair ease. You have to also applaud Richa Chadda and Supriya Pathak Kapur for being the talent they are."
Anupama Chopra of the Hindustan Times gave the movie 3 out of 5 stars and writes: "If Sanjay Leela Bhansali is to be believed, Gujaratis are the most colorful, passionate, violent, loud and lusty community in this country". She elaborated on the performances stating "Deepika has stolen the show from her heroes, but this one, I think, belongs to Ranveer. He’s flamboyant and cheerfully vulgar but also vulnerable and broken." She then adds "By the end, I was so exhausted that I just wanted all the Rajadis and Saneras to kill each other so that we could be done with it".
Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars. Appreciating the chemistry between the lead pair, he writes "Deepika and Ranveer scorch up the screen in their romantic scenes, their intense passion a bold change from Bollywood's mostly tame embraces." Masand concludes the review by stating "He (Bhansali) brings great style and aesthetic to an unapologetically commercial film, which I'm happy to say is far more engaging than the lazy blockbusters we've seen lately."
Sarita Tanwar of DNA gave the movie 3.5 out of 5 stars and wrote "Ram Leela is a lovely mixture of the familiar and the fresh. The technical aspects of the film are extraordinary: breath-taking sets, spellbinding cinematography, perfect music and a wonderful supporting cast. Deepika is perfect in every scene. Ranveer has surrendered to the director's vision and delivers a power-packed performance.
Mihir Fadnavis of Firstpost writes "Ram Leela has the soul of a cynical old noir peppered with a few small glimmers of masala. The direction, outstanding production design, gorgeous cinematography are supported by a surprisingly strong cast, and Padukone is a wild-eyed anchor in a sea of formula. Three years ago you'd never have expected her to improve so drastically and command the kind of energy she does now.
Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express gave the movie 2.5 out of 5 stars, concluding "'Ram-Leela' creates a couple that ignites the screen, and most of the time when these two are on screen, you keep watching. It's when the guns come on, and the gun-masters start roaring and shouting, that the love-story drowns, and everything gets both too noisy and too choreographed."
Sukanya Verma of Rediff.com gave the movie 2.5 out of 5 stars and wrote "Ram-Leela is a lavish visual spread and is filled with moments of thrill, ingenuity and splendour but falters somewhere due to Sanjay Leela Bhansali's confused priorities and half-hearted romanticism."
Raja Sen, in a more unfavourable review at Rediff.com, rated the movie at 1 out of 5 stars. While lamenting the recent slew of Shakespearean travesties in Bollywood, he states that Ram-Leela is "silly, wasteful, loud" in addition to being "an overplotted, bloody mess". He is critical of Bhansali's attempt at depicting the violent world of Ranjaar with dialogues which are "very poor indeed, awful rhymes alternated with soap-operatic exposition". Commenting on the cast, he says that Ranveer Singh "plays Ram, and he does so head and shoulders more effeminately than you’ve seen any Hindi film hero" and "speaks like a character written for Satish Kaushik in a David Dhawan movie, all poor puns and weird vocal tics and very lame dialogue". Padukone, he observes, "looks absolutely luminous but can’t quite handle the sheer, relentless raunch the part demands", while, "Performers like Supriya Pathak and Gulshan Devaiah are reduced to cardboard caricatures and hamming, and the ever-effective Richa Chaddha isn’t given elbow room."
Mohammad Kamran Jawaid of Dawn gave the film 3/5 stars, writing that "there is sumptuousness in Mr. Bhansali's frames, as he makes "Ram-Leela" a deliberate cross-breed between “Hum Dil De Chukay Sanam” and “Devdas”. If the cinematic maven would have stuck to the former, the film's attraction wouldn't only have to rely on superficial physical lure, and later, the tendency to go bloody boom. It would have simply been an instant classic".
Danny Bowes, a New York-based critic, journalist and blogger whose reviews are published on Rogerebert.com, gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, stating "What makes the ride as enjoyable as it is, and what truly give focus to Bhansali's lush, colorful compositions, are the performances of Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in the leads. Singh prevails over a very odd (even by masala hero standards) mustache to give a deeply affecting and rich performance as Ram, but it's Padukone, as is increasingly the case, who steals the show with pure, deliberate, ferocious star power. The striking thing about her performance as Leela is how tightly coiled and tense it seems; she's ready at a moment's notice to kiss or kill (or both), never passive, never merely a photographic subject."
According to Box Office India, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela had a strong first day with collections of over ₹155 million (US$2.4 million) despite limited release due to controversies. The film grossed ₹165 million (US$2.6 million) on Saturday and ₹180 million (US$2.8 million) on Sunday to take its first weekend domestic total to ₹500 million (US$7.8 million), the third highest weekend of the year. The film's gross dropped on Monday to ₹77.5 million (US$1.2 million). The first week collections were about ₹740 million (US$12 million). The film remained steady in its second weekend with collections of ₹150 million (US$2.3 million), taking the ten-day gross to ₹890 million (US$14 million). Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram – Leela grossed around ₹970 million (US$15 million) in two weeks. The second week collections were around ₹230 million (US$3.6 million). The film earned ₹103.2 million (US$1.6 million) and ₹32.5 million (US$510,000) in its third week and fourth week respectively, taking its total to ₹1.1125 billion (US$17 million) and was declared a hit by Box Office India The film ended with lifetime collections of ₹1.13 billion (US$18 million)
The movie collected US$450,000 (approximately ₹28.3 million) in North America on Friday, vis-à-vis US$311,000 (approximately ₹19.5 million) earned by Krrish 3. It also earned A$66,365 (approximately ₹3.91 million) in Australia in two days, beating A$58,283 (approximately ₹3.435 million) collected by the latter. In UAE-GCC, the movie opened with AED 1.3 million (approximately ₹22.2 million). It also collected £87,000 (approximately ₹8.826 million) in the UK on Friday, debuting at #9 in the chart and two days' collection in New Zealand stands at NZ$12,869 (₹673,000). The film's overseas figures were around the $4 million mark in the first weekend. The collections abroad are $7.25 million in seventeen days. Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela collected US$7.6 million overseas after its fourth weekend.Filmfare Awards
Winner, Best Actress : Deepika Padukone
Winner, Best Actress in a Supporting Role : Supriya Pathak
Winner, Best Choreography : Samir and Arsh Tanna – Lahu Muh Lag Gaya
Nominated, Best Film : Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela
Nominated, Best Director : Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Nominated, Best Actor : Ranveer Singh
Nominated, Best Music Director : Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Nominated, Best Female Playback Singer : Shreya Ghoshal - Nagada Sang Dhol
Winner, Best Makeup : Vikram Gaikwad
Winner, Best Art Direction : Wasiq Khan
Nominated, Best Film : Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela
Nominated, Best Director : Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Nominated, Best Actor : Ranveer Singh
Nominated, Best Actress: Deepika Padukone
Nominated, Best Actress in Supporting Role: Richa Chadda
Nominated, Best Performance in a Negative Role: Supriya Pathak
Nominated, Best Female Playback Singer: Bhoomi Trivedi - "Ram Chahe Leela"
Winner, Screen Award for Best Actress : Deepika Padukone
Winner, Most Popular Actress Female : Deepika Padukone (also includes her work in Chennai Express and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani)
Winner, Best Costume Design : Anju Modi and Maxima Basu
Winner, Best Production Design : Wasiq Khan
Winner, Best Cinematography : S. Ravi Varman
Nominated, Best Film : Bhansali Productions
Nominated, Best Director : Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Nominated, Screen Award for Best Supporting Actress : Richa Chadda
Nominated, Screen Award for Best Actor (Popular Choice) : Ranveer Singh
Nominated, Best Actor in a Negative Role (Female): Supriya Pathak
Nominated, Best Choreography : Sameer and Arsh Tanna - Nagada Sang Dhol
Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Award
Winner, Apsara Award for Best Art Direction : Rashid Khan
Winner, Apsara Award for Best Singer - Female : Bhoomi Trivedi " Ram Chahe Leela"
Winner, Apsara Award for Best Costume Design : Maxima Basu & Anju Modi
Winner, Apsara Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role : Supriya Pathak
Nominated, Apsara Award for Best Director : Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Nominated, Apsara Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role: Ranveer Singh
Nominated, Apsara Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role: Deepika Padukone
Nominated, Apsara Award for Best Film :
Nominated, Apsara Award for Best Screenplay : Siddharth-Garima & Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Nominated, Apsara Award for Best Dialogue : Siddharth- Garima
Nominated, Apsara Award for Best Choreography : Vishnu Deva - "Ishqyaun Dhishqyuan" & "Ram Chahe Leela"
Nominated, Apsara Award for Best Music : Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Nominated, Apsara Award for Best Singer - Male : Aditya Narayan- Tattad Tattad & Ishqyaun Dhishqyuan
Nominated, Apsara Award for Best Actress In A Supporting Role : Richa Chadda
BIG Star Entertainment Awards
Winner, Best Action Film : Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Winner, Most Entertaining Singer Female : Bhoomi Trivedi-Ram Chahe Leela
Winner, Most Entertaining Music : Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Nominated, Most Entertaining Director : Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Nominated, Most Entertaining Film of the Year 2013 - Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Nominated, Most Entertaining Actor in a Romantic Film - Male : Ranveer Singh
Nominated, Most Entertaining Actor in a Romantic Film - Female : Deepika Padukone
Nominated, Most Entertaining Actor (Film) - Female : Deepika Padukone
Nominated, Most Entertaining Actor (Film) - Male : Ranveer Singh
Nominated, Most Entertaining Dancer (Male & Female)- Deepika Padukone : "Nagada Sang Dhol" and Priyanka Chopra : "Ram Chahe Leela"
Nominated, Most Entertaining Singer Female - Shreya Ghoshal : "Nagada Sang Dhol"
Nominated, Most Entertaining Singer Male - Aditya Narayan : "Tattad Tattad"
Nominated, Most Entertaining Song - "Nagada Sang Dhol"
Zee Cine Awards
Winner, Best Actor In A Negative Role : Supriya Pathak
Nominated, Best Film : Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Nominated, Best Actor - Male : Ranveer Singh
Nominated, Best Actor - Female : Deepika Padukone
Nominated, Best Playback Singer - Female : Bhoomi Trivedi - Ram Chahe Leela
Lions Gold Awards
Winner, Best Male Actor : Ranveer Singh