Category: New Age Indian Film Industry
Cast: Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali (SLB)
Music: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Sanchit Balhara (score)
Every generation of movie going audience is blessed with an epic visionary film-maker and I can safely say SLB has been matching up to this honour with most of his movies. So what is the point of stating the obvious you ask? Well, when you are at the top of your game you are expected to deliver high quality cinematic experience – bottom line being expectations are bound to be sky-high. Let’s delve into that later, first the movie review.
Padmaavat is a an epic enigma of a monomaniacal Afghan ruler Alauddin Khilji(Ranveer Singh) who wishes to capture Queen Padmaavati (Deepika Padukone) whilst wanting to destroy and overtake the Rajput kingdom of Mewar from its ruling King Maharawal Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor). The tryst and contemplation of Allaudin to achieve his ambition whilst facing resilience from the Rajput King is pretty much what the movie is all about.
As stereotypical as it may sound, a SLB movie is bound to have the most gigantic sets, elaborate costumes, drool worthy jewellery and a befitting cast. So no points for guessing this one is a treat to your eyes. The sheer magnitude of the sets and costumes is absolutely astounding. So coming to the performances..
Shahid Kapoor tries to deliver a noteworthy performance as the Mewar ruler. His attitude and body language were almost right, but personally I felt there could have been a little more nuance and finesse to the character than what was presented. As much as he looks every bit of a King, there was that X-factor missing. Compared to the mighty Hrithik as Akbar or even Ranveer as Bajirao, Shahid was almost there but still not quiet there. The hard work he’s put into the character is evident but somehow it just did not work for me.
Deepika looks exemplary as Queen Padmavati. Her body language, her speech – she does everything right. But it’s hard to let go the fact that she’s looked equally good in her previous epics as Mastani and Leela. Again she’s set the bar so high for herself, you seldom see anything new in this one. But I still won’t take away the credit that she looks every bit of a Queen and especially the charge she takes up to release her King in the second half, makes you salute the valour she displays. And of course her Ghoomar is a visual treat in every sense of the word!
Hail the star of the movie, delivering one of his career best performance – Ranveer! For me, if you remove Ranveer out of the movie – there was nothing worth watching at all. You absolutely want to thank your stars you weren’t present in the era Khilji was around. If you can get that emotion out of someone with sheer acting and some powerful dialogues, you have won the battle. By the time you are half way into the movie, you will loathe Khilji and want him to have a Ramsay(GOT) kinda climax. Ranveer shines in this one, loved him!
The cinematography is absolutely breath-taking and so is the set designing. Intricate detailing on the costumes and jewellery are worth you attention. But the music disappoints, apart from a couple of really good tracks the rest can be given a pass.
Let’s get to the parts that could have been better:
- Chemistry between Deepika and Shahid: There is a borderline difference between good acting and on-screen chemistry. No points in guessing that the lead pair acted really well but the chemistry was missing. When I saw the song “Ek Dil Ek Jaan” I had high hopes but the sheer fact that I did not feel a thing for Padmavati when Khilji kidnaps Ratan Singh was highlighting the point that their chemistry fizzled.
- Glorification of Jauhar: As most of us knew, Jauhar(Sati) was going to be an integral part of the movie, but the whole glorification around it was uncalled for. Understandibly, this is a true story and this was a part of our history, but somehow I could not understand the whole bit of being proud for having sacrificing your life for your husband without even trying to kill your enemy. Just did not work for me that women are seen only as an object of desire and they should die if their husband is dead. There is much more to a woman than that for sure – I will cut this here for now!
- Smokey war scenes: Like it or not, our expectations from a war sequence have been pretty high after the Baahubali and GOT level of dramas. As an audience having to watch a huge cloud formation when the opposite clans clash on the war ground and having a horse emerge out of the smoke(which is where the war occurred) is highly disappointing.
Overall, as much as you want to like this movie, you are left with appreciating the cover and not the book itself.