After all the hullabaloo surrounding the movie, there was a clamour to watch it by hook or by crook….and after much deliberation, i finally got to view the saga, 3 days after its release. By now, most of the controversy and action having died down, there was a sense of calm. My bias towards cinematic opulence, created an anticipation that saw satiation.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat is all set to create history at the Indian box office. With a staggering collection of Rs 114 crore till now, the opulent drama has comfortably passed the Rs 100 crore mark in a matter of four days.
Padmavati, Based on the Malik Mohammad Jayasi’s poem Padmavat, is mythical and extravagant, all in one. The characters to begin with are well chiselled and the actors, well chosen for their respective frames. Shahid Kapoor looked every bit the Rajput king Rahul Ratan Singh, exuding the tranquility and fortitude that maketh a Rajput royal. Kohled eyes, His dialogue delivery is smooth and convincing, An actor par excellence, he is left spouting dialogues for Rajput valoury, i must confess, i would have liked to hear some more from him. But I’m not complaining, Shahid looks dishy throughout!
Deepika Padukone, as Padmavati, looks ethereal in most scenes, keeping her calm through the delivery. Her character as Padmavati comes alive post the interval, wherein she portrays the true valour of a Rajputani. Very strongly conveyed character, Deepika does complete justice to the title role. The chemistry between the two is controlled, though we would have liked to see Shahid and Deepika share a tad more romance!
The one performance that stands out by itself, is that of Ranveer Singh, Bhansali’s Khilji, convincingly menacing to the extent that somewhere we forgot to relate Alauddin Khilji with the actor, and only the psychotic display of character oozes out. His devilishly kohled eyes spewing distrust, the manically hateful Khilji is the highlight of the film, hands down, in his murdering his uncle Jalaluddin and his nephew by strangling him. Ranveer Singh has here surpassed all expectations and hatefully walked away with his performance of a lifetime! His obsession and lust for Padmavati, shines through his eyes effectively….and how!
Amongst all these phenomenal performances, We must not ignore Jim Sarbh, deliciously camp in his portrayal of the slave Malik Kafur, who looks with such louche longing at Khilji, that he brings about some amount of humour. Aditi Rao Hydari as Khilji’s wife Mehrunissa, is a silent spectator mostly, but comes into her own in the latter half, and looks breathtaking in every frame. A short yet effective piece of acting. Stalwart Raza Murad, with his baritoned voice, as Jalaluddin Khilji, is superb!
Amidst all the comments about the queen reduced to ‘just a vagina’, i leave no stone unturned here to throw the brick right back at the comment. Padmavati ,right from the first frame, is shown as a sensibly cunning woman, with a mind of her own, a woman who coaxes her husband into banishing the disloyal mantri, a woman who braves the connivance of Khilji, enters his premises and releases her King, voices her displeasure at Khilji’s request to meet Ratan Singh and whose decision to show her reflection to Khilji, is her own.
Neatly covered Deepika’s midriff in ”Ghoomar”, and the scenes that faced the scissors, are a remnant of the hooliganism that to led to it, but the film seems undeterred. The battle scene, very fast paced, does make us cringe once at the sequence between Shahid Kapur and Ranveer Singh. Khilji’s helplessness and lust clamouring deperately to catch hold of Padmavati, while she along with all the women of the kingdom, jumps into the pyre, committing Jauhar, does somewhere lend the scene a catharsis of sorts.
My verdict….the grandeur and acting prowess of all the actors, left me tongue tied, despite the cuts and nips that at some places leaves a void. This one, like all of the previous Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s cinematic mastery, deserves an ovation! He stands Gratified, Avenged!