Padmaavat – A Cinematic Brilliance Without Soul

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known for grandeur sets, majestic filming and binging out the sheer brilliance through his films. With films like Devdas, Ram-Leela and Bajirao Mastani, Bhansali has made a prominent place in Bollywood. His latest venture Padmaavat was is debates and heated discussions; surrounded by heavy controversies, right from the initial stages when the film was announced. With his recent darling duo i.e. Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, Bhansali has released the film in multiple countries on 25th of January, 2018. Padmaavat also features the critically acclaimed, Haider of Bollywood, Shahid Kapoor as Ratan Singh. With such strong performers who are not just good actors but huge crowd pullers, will Padmaavat be able to impress its audience or not, let’s find out.

Trailer: Padmaavat

Padmaavat revolves around three main characters, Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor) – the righteous Rajput ruler of Mewar, his love interest cum wife Padmaavati (Deepika Padukone), the beautiful and brainy woman and Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) – the most cunning, powerful and brave ruler of Khilji dynasty. Khilji is depicted as a ruthless yet cunningly brave man who wants to possess every exquisite thing whether it is a gem, bird or a woman. When the Guru (Aayam Mehta) of Mewar is thrown away from Mewar (referred as “Desh Nikaala”) by Padmaavati’s suggestion, he heads to Khilji and tells him about how beautiful Padmaavati is, Khilji end up attacking Mewar with his thousand men’s army. What happens next is a clash between Rajputs and Khiljis and the aftermath.

Padmaavat rests entirely on the strongest shoulders of Ranveer Singh, in terms of bravura performance, impeccable dialogue deliver and menacing expressions throughout. Alauddin Khilji’s character is by far one of the most prominent and difficult characters which Ranveer Singh has performed, and he will be remembered for this character for ages. Ranveer Singh steps out of his comfort zone and makes his audience loathe him, laugh on him and clap for him all at the same time.

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Deepika Padukone is shown so uptight that throughout the film her expressions are more or less same. Blame it on director, writer or even her character; there aren’t many shades but just one expression on her face which bores the audience after 4th scene.

Shahid Kapoor is a brilliant actor and he has proved his mettle earlier but in Padmaavat he looks very much forced to act stiff, righteous and strong headed. Although he bags some clap-worthy and solid dialogues in the film but he delivers them with same style – the variation is emotions lacks big time.

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Raza Murad looks mammoth, elegant and powerful; he overshadows Singh in many scenes with his poise.  Aayam Mehta is first rate and uses his eyes to express his talent with flawlessness. Jim Sarbh looks good but at points goes very loud and spoils the element of being realistic, although he is the surprise package in the film, very potential actor. Aditi Rao Hydari as Mehrunisa(khilji’s wife) is okay.

The music is good and besides Khali Bali and Jhoomar, the holi song i.e. Ek Dil Ek Jaan stands out.

Padmaavat is a cinematic brilliance, a Magnum Opus; it has all the elements to engage its audience in terms of grand sets, vibrant colors, precise detailing and outstanding script. Dialogues of Padmaavat are intensely penned and have the repeat value. A few dialogues which stand out in the film are:

Allah ki her naayaab cheez per sirf Allauddin ka haq hai

Raam ko bhi kahaan pata thha kay Rawan, Saadhu kay bhaiss mein aayega

Kabhi Teer se ghayal karti ho, kabhi tewar say

Takht per baithnay kay liay, gardun aur iraaday, donon mazboot honay chahiyayn

Aaj pata chala Rajputon ko Veer kiyun kehtay hain, unko aap aisee maayen janam deti hain

There are only two major flaws in the film which include the length of the film, it’s very much dragged; and the other problem is with the characterization. Alauddin Khilji is shown so powerful and cruel but at the end women treat him like any other soldier on the ground, the enormous figure of Khilji looks comic and amateurish; was it deliberately done to prove Rajputana women standing tall over Muslim ruler or was it just done to make a mockery out of Alauddin Khilji, the question remains there. The climax is shot aesthetically but it’s too lengthy and realistically one cannot digest it. In fact the climax ruins the entire experience for some of the viewers, as it looks so lame. The way Khilji is shown running in the Mahal of Ratan Singh is indigestible.

At the box office, the film will receive a good response, it’s a cinematic delight which one should experience on 3-D for sure, but it isn’t a Bahubali for sure. The film lacks the soul and is stuffed with dialogues which Rajputs will definitely admire.

  • Direction
  • Script / Dialogue
  • Performances
  • Music
  • Entertainment