Padmaavat (2018) directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, was a visual delight to watch – breathtaking forts, exquisite costumes & jewellery, and, outstanding performance by Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. At the same time, the team’s earlier film Bajirao Mastani (2015) still retains its place in my heart, compared to that the story of Rani Padmavati is a simpler story, that has been stretched out to be a feature film. On the screenplay, I expected more from the team.
Ranveer Singh exhibits superhuman energy in the song Khalibali – I could literally feel it on my seat, each time he was stamping his foot in the song. The virtuoso in Deepika Padukone was evident in the song Ghoomar – her beauty blows you away. Just for these two songs, the film is a must-watch on the big screen. Out of the two, it is Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji who impacts the audience the most – when he rushes outside his tent facing the Chittor fort expecting to first see the face of Padmini, his portrayal of yearning for her was out of this world.
The first half-an-hour and the last were brilliant – the hard work of the entire team was visible in every frame – it is in the middle the film goes rudderless, especially after the Rani Padmini’s arrival in Chittor, I kept seeing my watch for the interval.
I didn’t find anything that may displease or disturb any sections of the society – freedom of expression for an artist should triumph. The story narrated in the film is what is in The House of Mewar (Erstwhile rulers of the region) website which reads as
Till 1303, when Allaudin Khilji lays siege to the mighty fortress of Chittor. Legend has it that he covets Rani Padmini. In the face of utmost adversity, Rattan Singh is unwilling to surrender Chittor or Padmini. There is only one way out for the besieged but courageous Mewaris : the women, led by Rani Padmini, immolate themselves in a huge funeral pyre to find ‘security from dishonour in the devouring element’; and the men march through the gates of Chittor for the final assault on the Sultan’s army.