Padmaavat is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s third historical adaptation. It stars Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Aditi Rao Hydari and Jim Sarbh.
This movie is really about the rivalry between Sultan Alauddin Khilji and Maharawal Ratan Singh. These roles are respectively played by Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor and their performances are what makes this movie worth watching. It was fun to watch these two polar opposites go head to head. One is a ruthless brute and the other is a king who never lets go of his principles.
You could tell by his performance that Ranveer Singh enjoyed every second that he spent playing this character. His character is one which had no redeeming qualities whatsoever but you still want to keep watching him.
Shahid Kapoor had a tougher task in my opinion. While Ranveer Singh was allowed to let loose with his character, Shahid had to play the straight man (ha-ha. pun intended). He had to play it cool when everything was falling apart around him and try to remain calm in moments of anger. And he was great as this character. At no point did it feel like the film was tipping in the favour of either character.
The Cinematography is pretty good apart from a couple of noticeably bad CGI shots.
Cons, Sort of?
I was initially going to call this movie by its original name ‘Padmaavati’ but surprisingly enough, ‘Padmaavat’ suits the film more than the original would have.
Padmaavat begins and ends with the character of Padmaavati but she is never the centre of it. Deepika Padukone probably has the least amount of screen time when compared to the other two main characters. I was completely fine with her not being made the centre of attention. Unfortunately, most female characters in Bhansali’s films are reduced to romantic muses and almost never rise above it.
I very quickly grew tired of her red teary eyes and she eventually succumbed to the ‘my lover is my life’ trope. I know that’s what the story calls for and you can’t change it, but that’s why I thought reducing her screen time was the best way to deal with the lack of any depth to her side of the story.
Even though this movie isn’t necessarily music centric, the soundtrack was pretty unspectacular. Maybe he should think about hiring someone to do the music for his next film instead of doing it himself.
The final sequence of the film could have been a little shorter in my opinion. Maybe I’m saying this because the character that I really did care about had been killed off fifteen minutes before the movie ended.
Opinions and Interpretations
To anyone who is severely out of the loop, SPOILER ALERT, this movie ends with the act of Jauhar being committed by all the women of Chittorgarh. And the way this act is shot is glorious. But – and this is just my opinion, yours can differ – I don’t think it’s the director’s intention to glorify the act. What he showed is how this act was perceived by the women who committed it back in the day. The women of Chittorgarh at the time that thought this act was their greatest victory, not Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Still though, could’ve hurried it up a bit.
Watch it or Skip it?
I thought this movie was fine. I had a good time watching it but I will probably never watch it again. This is mainly because it isn’t dissimilar to his last two films. What is important is to manage expectations. This movie is an epic but it isn’t epic at all (I hope that makes sense).
I went into this movie still suffering from Bhansali fatigue, having set the bar super low, and I had an okay time. If you go into this film expecting a historical masterpiece, you will be severely disappointed. The story is pretty lacking since there isn’t much depth to it. It’s mostly a visual spectacle and that’s it. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before but I don’t think it should be punished for not being special.
So check it out Padmaavat if you have around three hours to spare and you’ll have a good time.