By: Omair Alavi
Padmaavat is not just your regular Bollywood period drama – it is a tale of love, treachery, and opportunity that will be known as a classic in coming years. With Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s touch, the flick has already managed to wow cinegoers who went in to pass their time but came out in disbelief as they weren’t expecting to be entertained thoroughly.
Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) is smitten with the beauty of Rani Padmavati (Deepika Padukone) who is married to Rajput ruler Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor). After his many efforts to meet the Rani are rejected, Alauddin attacks Chittor only to return with the Ruler, not his wife. Padmavati then hatches a plan to rescue her husband and that angers Alauddin even more, making him attack Chittor for the second time. Does he manage to win Padmavati or does fate have other things in store for him, watch the film to know more.
The screenplay, the dialogues, and the direction are top notch even if you are not a fan of Bhansali’s work. He makes the film in grandeur mode which is how a director should approach the film. All three lead actors – Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, and Ranveer Singh – give their best to the master storyteller and make you believe that such a story did happen in the past when everyone knows that nothing of this sort happened. The cinematography, the art direction, the war sequences and costume design must be commended because they take you back in time and keep you there until the story ends.
The film is based on a work of fiction (a poem) talking about a fictional character (the Queen), making it a work of fiction that’s not historically correct. From what people in Pakistan know from history books, Alauddin Khilji was not the kind of monster he is shown to be here. If you describe him in 2 words, it would be ‘Devil Incarnate’ which isn’t true. The depiction of Malik Ghafoor (Jim Sarbh) looks like a desperate attempt to make Alauddin Khilji come out as a bi-sexual when it is clear that he had the eyes for the females, beautiful ones. The 3D and Visual Effects are not as good as one expected from Bhansali and he needs to better it, just like he needs to better the quality of the film’s soundtrack.
The Verdict 4/5
Padmaavat is perhaps Bhansali’s best work in the last 10 years because here he doesn’t overexpose his leading lady, doesn’t make his leading man go after women – the bad stuff is kept for his anti-hero and his followers. The script may be genuine but the way it was filmed wasn’t; in a story where the word ‘Khilji’ plays an important part, pronouncing it Kilji was nothing short of being criminal. Sanjay Leela Bhansali may be criticized for making a film that distorts history but his fans all around the world will be thankful to him for coming out with a near-perfect film that entertains them by being just a film!