Jan 242018

All those who were creating a ruckus over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’, can finally mellow down and let everyone just be, because there is utterly and absolutely nothing in the film that could hurt the proud Rajput clan’s sabhyata and sanskar. 

This film is more like the director’s love letter to the Rajputs showing them in the most glorious light, something that the Karni Sena will happy with (if only they would see it in the first place). This magnum opus is a 2 hour 43 minute saga of Rajputi ‘aan baan shaan’.  

Talking about the conflict; the political clash, royal families coming into the picture, the demand for Deepika Padukone’s nose and Bhansali’s head and finally the movie releasing, sadly makes for a more interesting tale than the film itself. While many went bonkers over the release, the end result was a like famous Hindi saying, “khoda pahad nikala chuha.”

Ranveer Saves 'Padmaavat' From Being A Snoozefest© Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions

It’s not that the director doesn’t try. But most of the frame will remind you of his previous films like ‘Devdas’, ‘Baajirao Mastani’ and ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’.

For those who don’t know the story, it is loosely based on the poem of the same name by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. The historic film tells the story of King Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor), who is true to his word and believes in archaic codes of honour. On the other hand, you have Muslim invader Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh), who is brutally terrifying and wants everything that is valuable in his possession. The breathtaking beauty, Rani Padmavati, who is the wife of Ratan Singh becomes the latest name to join Khilji’s list of things that he ‘wants’, which then leads him to lay siege to the Chittor fort. 

To put it simply, the tale is about ‘ek tha raja, ek thi rani, dono mar gaye khatam kahaani’, where by the end, the queen commits ‘jauhar’ (the act of sacrificing oneself in fire) along with all the women in the castle.  

To be precise, the whole Sena fracas gave us two things: a flawless view of Deepika Padukone’s CGI enhanced midriff and a flawed script.

Ranveer Saves 'Padmaavat' From Being A Snoozefest© Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions

It takes almost the entire first half of the film to set things in motion. You have characters that look damn appealing but at the same moment, they also test your patience.

For people who love window shopping, this is your one-stop shop. But boy, after a point, you just don’t give a damn about these amazingly dressed characters. 

The forced romance between Deepika and Shahid hardly blossoms and leaves you yawning. Instead, you end up remembering and craving Ranveer and Deepika’s chemistry from ‘Baajirao Mastani’ and ‘Ram Leela’ time and again. Blame it on the maker for splitting the couple up for his third project. 

Talking about performances, the film would have been an epic bore if it wasn’t for Ranveer Singh. He, as Khilji, is electric and steals the show. The man is epic and unpredictable in a good manner. He is extremely villainous and makes sure that you can’t take your eyes away from him. He enjoys vandalism, giggles, laughs like a maniac, and dances like a free-spirit. He is gruesome, lusty, and unethical and doesn’t mind being vocal about it. 

Padmaavat© Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions

Ranveer amuses you with his stunning performance because he is the only one who makes all the sense in the film. He makes you dislike him but that’s what is exactly needed. There is a hint of him being a bisexual in the most minimal manner. Jim Sarbh who plays a role of Khilji’s most trusted mate Malik Kafur is spot on and gives an effective performance which leaves you impressed.

Shahid, on the other hand, is more like a mannequin in the film. He is stiff most of the time with an oddly pursed stern mouth. He is supposed to be the core of the film, but is not as appealing as he should be. 

Deepika Padukone is gorgeous and plays a strong character that personifies strength and dignity, clearing fitting the ‘good Indian girl’ and later, the ‘wife’ bill. In fact, there also comes a part where she asks her husband the permission to kill herself if Khilji ends up winning the war, which is the most likely scenario.

Ranveer Saves 'Padmaavat' From Being A Snoozefest© Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions

Bhansali’s work is spectacular and no one can make larger than life films like he does, but despite the glorious scenes, the film fails to leave an imprint in your mind.

It’s sad to say that this film falls flat. Unlike ‘Bajirao Mastani’ and ‘Ram Leela’, where he did a commendable job, despite a heavy and complex storyline, the plot of ‘Padmaavat’ is too vague and even the wonderful cast can’t save it from the bargain bin.  

Being an ardent Bhansali fan, what I would like to ask Bhansali is why does ‘Padmaavat’ look more like a rehash of his older, better films? Or should we blame the CBFC for the brutal cuts that almost ruined the film and left it with so many gaping holes?

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