Controversial Padmaavat has finally hit the screens in cinema halls and multiplexes across the country. It faced an unprecedented pre-release delay as Rajputs didn’t feel ‘comfortable’ in the manner they are portrayed in the film. Let’s look at what the film has on offer.
Allauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) is lusting after Padmavati (Deepika Padukone), the Rajput Queen. With the sole objective of getting her, he declares war on Mewar and after defeating the Mewar Kingdom, he imprisons Padmavati’s husband and puts a pre-condition that he would be released only if his wife made a personal request to him. The rest of the film is all about whether or not Khilji succeeded in ‘bedding’ Padmavati and whether Padmavati was able to release her husband from the evil lutches of Khilji.
Mewar’s king Rattan Singh (Shahid Kapoor), falls head-over-heels in love with the hugely beautiful Padmavati. Through his chief-guru, Khilji comes to know about the beauty of Padmavathi and lusts after her within himself. Though he is not able to win Mewar, he cleverly imprisons Rattan Singh and puts a pre-condition that Padmavati has to come in person to secure the release of her husband. Padmavati is able to neither save her husband nor her country from the enemy’s aggression. When Khilji finally surrounds the Mewar Palace, womenfolk commit suicide ‘en masse’ (sati) by taking fire-bath to escape from his and his soldiers’ lustful tendencies.
Based on a poetic narration by a Sufi poet Malik Mohammad Jayasi and revolving mostly around historical characters, Sanjay Leela Bhansali presents a spectacular movie with all its grandeur. Though there are many versions on the factuality of Padmavathi and the role of Khilji., Bhansali has managed to ‘disappoint’ Karni Sena, which was in the forefront leading protests against the movie on the pretext of saving the ‘Rajput’ pride.
Bhansali has, in fact, glorified the Rajputs in every possible sense. He has glorified their integrity, straightforward attitude, bravery, warring skills, and above all, their proclaimed respect for the womanhood.
He has even portrayed Sati in a positive manner but one can’t question him for doing this as the movie is set in an era which can hardly be judged through modern value system. Bhansali has presented Padmaavat as a visual treat. 3D technology has only enhanced the movie-watching experience. When war occurs on screen, we almost forget we are watching proceedings on screen; the 3D effect, cinematography and music have combined to create such a magical impact. The grandeur of the palaces, the landscape of war field and the war itself have been stunningly captured.
On the flip side, it is to be admitted that Bhansali has portrayed Khilji on a poor light to glorify the Rajputs. While it would be politically correct in present day scenario, one feels that tampering with historical characters to suit contemporary needs is a game fraught with dangers.
The script is not among the plus points of the movie. The journey of the script is quite
predictable not just because it deals with a well-known story; mandatory surprises are missing. However, Padmaavat provides a unique on screen experience with the help of technical team and the actors’ performances.
Deepika Padukone has never looked lovelier. She wears stunning costumes. She is grace and beauty personified. The girl has proved that she could impress without being glamourous on screen. Her acting and emoting are excellent; in particular, the emotional scenes stay in our mind thanks to her authentic performance.
Shahid Kapoor is quite credible in portraying a serious king who fights to save his kingdom and wife. He is found wanting when it comes to expressing romantic feelings. Ranveer Singh’s face will remain in your mind forever and whenever you think of Khilji. Such is the way the actor has handled the character: simply superb!
Bhansali’s music and Sanchit Balhara’s background score lift the movie to another level. Sudeep Chatterjee’s camera work gives the movie its core strength, i.e., spectacular.