Updated: May 10, 2020
If it’s classic Sanjay Leela Bhansali film you are in the mood for then Padmaavat does not disappoint. I spent most of the movie in awe of the grandeur of the sets, the opulent jewellery and stunning costumes!
Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh are in my opinion the hottest two actors in Bollywood right now (their acting and committment to their character has been pretty amazing as well!) and in the points where the storyline starts to drag a little - they maintain your attention (note final scene when Shahid Gets ready for battle I was nearly drooling).
The performances by all three leads were truly one of the highlights of this movie.
Ranveer Singh portrays Sultan Khilji like no other could he commits to the character as he always does and depicts the power hungry and slightly psychotic sultan incredibly well. Shahid Kapoor plays Maharawal Ratan Singh and you can't help but fall in love with him even if you want to yell at him for sticking to his Rajput values!
If you have seen Deepikas past movies her ability to play a bold and valiant lead is no surprise and she doesn’t disappoint in this movie either. (Her ability to ensure her eyes always welled up to perfection - without shedding a tear ! How? )
The story does tend to drag a little so get comfy and prepare yourself for the long 3 hour haul.
With all the controversy surrounding the movie I thought the story line would be a little more gripping! After the movie I read up on the history the movie was based on (I can never help myself) and there really wasn’t a lot for the writers to go. A few recounts of a battle between the two kings and a 16th century poem - I think we need to remind ourselves that it is at the end of the day a Bollywood film - the creative flare added to the characters personalities and improvised story line are necessary to increase the drama and entertainment value and in this films case the characters carry the film.
There have been a lot of reviews throwing a feminist argument at the movie as promoting Jauhar (Note: Jauhar the act of mass self-immolation by Rajput women to avoid capture, enslavement or rape by the opposing army when faced with almost certain defeat in war, the men would also carry out the same - One of the most famous in Indian history was that at Chittorgarh Fort in 1303)
Honestly I feel this is really knit picking - if you are following a feminist approach - it was there own choice and the males also suffered the same fate and if you imagine yourself in that day and age and faced with the alternative - as horrible and sad as the act is - it may be the better of two evils. It is an incredibly sad scene, even though it is depicted valiantly and throughout the movie the role and fate of many of the female characters is confronting but it is real and that is what happened at that time and that can't be changed. To the argument that it encourages it in this day and age - perhaps it will educate on where the tradition came from and put it into context or perhaps that is hopeful thinking!
Hope you didn’t mind the side track my movie review got a little serious! But there it is! Would I recommend it? - yes! But go expecting a grand and dramatic SLB film that will have you in awe of the sets, costumes and amazing performances and characters - not a gripping historical recount.
P.S. Costumes were designed by Rimple and Harpeet Narulla and the detail they have gone to incorportate the era, the characters origin and status are out of this world!