Cast- Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Aditi Rao Hydari, Jim Sarbh, Raza Murad, Anupriya Goenka
Director- Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Writers- Sanjay Leela Bbhansali, Prakash Kapadia
The most talked about epic saga of the recent time, Padmavat, for a change needs no introduction about the story and the plot .
What people, I guess, are most curious to know is whether the movie was worth all that hullabaloo.
Well … First of all, It was a typical Bhansali movie with all the visual beauty that he could possibly create. Beautiful pristine faces, stunning costumes and jewellery, grand forts and sets and all that grandeur that he is in love with.
The movie begins with Alauddin Khilji’s (Ranveer) introduction as the ambitious, deceitful and evil nephew of Jalaluddin Khilji (Raza Murad).He marries his uncle’s daughter, Mehr-ul-nissa (Aditi) and then kills his uncle to get the Delhi crown. He has been depicted as extremely vile, unscrupulous and dangerous.
In parallel plot are shown Padmavati (Deepika)the Singhalese princess meeting Rawal Ratan Singh ( Shahid) ,falling in love and getting married.
Parallelly , their stories run and converge when he develops an obsession to her, all based on her beauty ‘s fame and he decides to attack Mewar.
The track moves at leisurely pace but the director keeps us indulged in all those visuals and music.The era has been recreated with lot of passion and detail. You can see costume designers’ detailing with not only the designs but also the use of all that cotton, kota ,muslin and gota. The battle armours were also well designed.
One could enjoy the visuals even though we know they are tad glorified and romanticised.
What you would fail to understand by now is where the hell are those objectionable parts that are the cause of such irrational and unjust hooliganism that we have been subjected to.
On the contrary, what actually begins to disturb us is the game of deceit played by Khilji that our too proud and brave Raja keeps falling prey to.
While the movie keeps beating the drums about Rajput bravery and valour (which ironically the fringe refused to believe), what we realised is that there is thin line between bravery and foolhardiness or between pride and ego. While I am yet to research about the actual story and the details, I would say (tongue firmly in cheek) ,that the actual objectionable part is the depiction of foolishness of the king which landed his kingdom in a soup and his queens and scores of other women in pyre.
The pyre (the johar) is another controversial thing depicted. While many people might think it is glorified, film makers have done their bit by adding disclaimers. Cant really comment on how that could have been toned down as it is the climax of not only the movie but also the story of the brave queen.
Must we always blame the films for glorifying things while actually Rajput women have threatened to do the same Johar claiming that the movie is a dishonour to Rajput pride ?
Fictional or otherwise, Padmavati was not only a brave character but a very intelligent one too. Deepika played it to perfect hilt. Her eyes shone with bravery, love, intelligence and defiance. Her elegant frame is a dream to play a queen. And Bhansali decks her up like a beautiful doll. She’s a pleasure to watch.
Ranveer plays the most negative and repulsive character ever played by any A line star. And we must credit that to him ,even though his performance was a little dramatized. I think Shahrukh is the only one who has taken up absolute grey characters but even they were not that repulsive and he wasn’t even as big a star by then.
Aditi Rao Haidry is beautiful and plays well whatever little she had to do.
Jim Sarbh (the Neerja terrorist) plays Alauddin ‘s menacing , maverick and gay slave. He’s good in such negative roles.
Shahid works hard to look the proud king and with those imposing facial expressions and chiselled and toned body ,manages to that extent. But either his character was not written that well or he couldn’t explore it as an actor , he failed to make a mark as per his capabilities.
Just for comparison sake , the movie is not as good as Jodha Akbar or BajiRao Mastani. The sizzling chemistry and longing that was there between Hrithik Aishwarya or the intensity that we saw in Deepika Ranveer and Priyanka is missing here.
The background score and some of the songs were good. Ghoomar is of course the most foot tapping and everyone’s favourite. Ek dil ek jaan was also very melodious .
Overall, the movie is beautiful but slow. I don’t know what disturbs us more , the fact that it meanders a lot or that we didn’t like the protagonists being beaten by the villains.
For the Bhansali lovers, cinema buffs and those who like period dramas , it’s a good watch. Others might find it a one-time watch if not too great. But I would be happy if everyone watches it just to show certain sections that we would not like to be dictated by their false and warped sense of right and wrong .
Score 7 on 10