And finally Padmaavat has been watched. The film has been at the centre of controversies and we’ve already had enough debate and discussion on that. For now, let’s talk about the film, its merits and demerits. This Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie reunites the filmmaker with his Bajirao Mastani pair, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. Shahid Kapoor joins in the trio in the period drama and marks his debut in a SLB film.
Padmaavat is story of Rani Padmavati (Deepika Padukone), Chittor’s Maharawal Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor) and Sultan of Delhi Allauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh). The makers in the very beginning of the movie have revealed that the film is based on an epic poem written in 1540 by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji wants Rani Padmavati known for her ethereal beauty and he can go to any length to catch even a glimpse of her. What follows next is a story of courage, pride and valour.
There is a enough good in the film for the audience to celebrate this movie, especially the Rajputs who are offended. However, we’ll stick to the performances and nuances of the movie itself. Deepika Padukone looked every bit the goddess that Rani Padmini has been projected in folklore and history. Her subtlety, her aura, her vibe everything will leave you mesmerised. There is not one wrong note in her performance. When it is established in the film that she is the most beautiful woman in the world, you are bound to believe it.
Shahid Kapoor has the demeanour of a brave Rajput king. He’s not the animated over-the-top king, but poised like a royal would be. The chess scene in the film is a proof of it. He played the man of honour with understated ease and made the most of whatever material he was provided with.
Having said that, it was a Ranveer Singh show all the way. He sinks his teeth into the character of the devil that was Alauddin Khilji. The way he walks, talks, behaves one fails to find Ranveer Singh there. If Alauddin Khilji is a monster that history suggests he was, then even he’d laud Ranveer for his portrayal. You’ll dread him, fear him, hate him and believe in the menace that he is on screen but in all that you might find yourself feeling for his character unwillingly. And when that happens, it’s the talent’s victory. Ranveer Singh adds that extra element to this author backed role that we’d believe nobody could pull off they way he did.
Jim Sarbh as Malik Kafur is spot on with his Afghani innuendos. He’s effeminate, but not caricature-ish. And I loved the sexual tension between him and Ranveer’s character. Aditi Rao Hydari manages to hold her own even in the limited screen time.
The film wouldn’t have been the epic it was if not for Sachit Balhara’s powerful background score. You will find yourself humming the theme tune long after the movie ends. The action was just about fine. In fact, the film was more about the drama that unfolds even when the action or war scenes were on.
And finally coming to the man of the hour, the director and music composer of the film, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. To put in simple words, he is a genius. Sanjay Leela Bhansali has proved time and again he is one of the best filmmakers around and he proves it yet again. There are various scenes in the movie that will leave you numb. For example, that “Senapati” fight scene in Khilji den or the whole climax. In fact the climax of the film is so powerful that you’ll find yourself go through various emotions. There’s a sense of tragedy, a sense of triumph. I have never seen a climax as brilliant as this one in a long time.
SLB the music composer compliments Bhansali the maverick filmmaker perfectly. I’ve already expressed my thoughts on the music, you can read it here.
There is not much that isn’t going in film’s favour but whatever little it was, it stood out like a sore thumb. Performance of Anupriya Goenka as Rani Nagmati is unintentionally funny. The way she performed ruined the whole seriousness of all the scenes she was in. This is surprising because she was fine in Tiger Zinda Hai, as the head nurse. Her character too was half baked.
The visual effects at few places were quite dodgy, especially in Deepika and Shahid’s entry scene, and in the fire ball ones towards the climax.
While Shahid Kapoor was good in his performance, I so wished his character was more meatier. Also some might argue, the film had too much focus on Alauddin Khilji. In fact, we as an audience watch movie through his point of view for the most part. The editing could’ve been sharper in the first half. There are also continuity issues that will not go unnoticed. There are also moments in the movie that will remind you of scenes from Bhansali previous films.
Article Credit: Zoom TV