Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known to be controversial with nearly every film he directs. This time, the issue became both religious and political. The Rajput community had a dislike for his film Padmaavat as they purported that their queen Padmaavati was depicted falsely.
After months of waiting Padmaavat was finally released to packed theatres around the world, such is the charm of Bhansali. He is known to give visual treats and heartfelt drama. Padmaavat had no shortage of that but it was full of Hollywood’s TROY in terms of look, war footage, fight sequences and even the plot.
While Indian history records the famous Gora Badal rescue mission of their King Ratan Sen from Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji at the request of his queen Maharani Padmini Guhila; Padmaavat is Bhansali’s version of the Queen Maharani Padmini Guhila and her husband King Ratan Sen, their love story and how Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji wages a war just to make her his wife. Indian Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi captured this entire incident and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali used it to canvas his queen Padmaavat.
Sudeep Chatterjee who has worked with Bhansali in Bajirao Mastani and Guzaarish has beautifully showcased the film in cinematography. The details to the costumes and makeup are phenomenal.
Deepika Padukone is Queen Padmaavat and she hardly shows much change in her performance, it is like watching her as Mastani but in a different outfit. Ranveer Singh is Alauddin Khilji and he is excellent in the negative role, however you see shades of his performance of Bajirao.
Shahid Kapoor is King Ratan Sen and he has stolen the show as it is his novel performance in such a historic role and where he was needed to show anger or love, he was marvelous. Jim Sarbh as the gay slave for Alauddin was impressive and Aditi Rao Hydari who was his wife Mehurnisa was excellent in her performance too, she is very beautiful.
It is the marketing of the movie that misled the public and delayed the film. Otherwise it will be remembered as a Sanjay Leela Bhansali masterpiece. In story structure it was weak and the aerial shots saved the boredom but otherwise it is worth one watch at least.
Harleen Jabbal is a Bollywood film writer and critic for her blog FilmiVeryFilmi.
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