Padmaavat movie review: Just after you are done watching Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor starrer Padmaavat formerly known as Padmavati, you take a deep sigh and are bound to say: much ado about nothing! In Padmaavat, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has done nothing but glorified each and every aspect of the Rajput ‘aan ban shaan’ and kept no stones unturned to convey the fact that the Rajputs are the bravest and chivalrous of them all. The disclaimer in the beginning clearly states that Padmaavat is based on the Sufi poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi on Rani Padmavati and Sanjay Leela Bhansali just adds his artistic flair to it (though we don’t know how far was he able to). Though Sanjay Leela Bhansali has tried hard and did his best to glorify the Rajputs, he missed out on making the film compelling and hard-hitting and down the line, you feel that the meat is lost somewhere.
Though Bhansali’s magnum opus tries hard to compensate the vacuum with an enigmatic visual appeal, but the storyline falters and fails to tighten the grip. The story is very basic and not something which is unheard of. A beautiful princess of Singhal, Rani Padmavati (Deepika Padukone) meets Maharawal Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor), the King of Mewar by chance and the result is a quick romance and even quicker marriage. The plot then, shifts to a power hungry, barbaric, savage Afghan ruler Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) of the Delhi Sultanate who hears of the princess’ inexplicable beauty and wages a war against the King of Mewar, leading to the most predictable consequences.
All the outrage against the film seems no less than a drag when almost 3-hour long saga comes to an end. Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati shares lesser screen time but whenever she appears, manages to make her presence count. Be it with those enigmatic eyes which speak louder than the words or her dominance of the badass Queen who knows it all, Deepika has nailed the role. She owns each frame in which she appears. The romance which Shahid and Deepika share on screen is subtle yet pleases the eyes. Her love for Maharana, her anger over the conning by Khilji, or for instance, the whole ‘Jauhar’ sequence, it’s her eyes which express and compensate for the words. Shahid Kapoor has been provided with an earnest screen timing. He shines in the fighting sequence with Ranveer and the romance between him and Deepika.
However, Ranveer Singh has dominated the best parts on screen. The menacing, barbaric, lecherous and treacherous ruler has given a beastly performance as Alauddin Khilji. But then in parts, you feel Bhansali should have toned down his character a little. Sometimes it’s over the top and too much to take. Despite of being diabolic, Ranveer fails to generate pity for his victims. Aditi Rao Haydari has a cameo and has done a fine job as the naive wife of Khilji. Her appearance is for a very short time but her role is significant. Jim Sarbh comparatively had more screen time but his character could have been meatier.
The plot has got us a little bogged down but Bhansali makes sure he settles it with the stellar cinematography, production design, costumes and camera work. Applauses to the technician team who had gone that extra mile to make the sets look real and get the era feel to it. The VFX has been to work so smartly that you can hardly make the difference. The 3D effect is a little manipulative which by default gets you to love the film in spite of faulty narrative. Period films like this need detailing from the director and we can say SLB has shown his impeccable mastery over the aspect of movie making.
Music rendered by Bhansali himself is worth the mention. ‘Ghoomar’ sung by Shreya Ghoshal is not just an aural, but seeing the beauty dance to the tunes is a visual treat as well. ‘Ek Tu Hai’ is a soulful track where you see Maharana and Queen Padmavati indulge in some romance where eyes speak volumes for their love. ‘Khalbali’ reminds you of Bajirao Mastani’s ‘Malhari’ which is good to forget.
This is surely not Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s best because as the film progresses you realize his vision has been restricted somewhere. Watch it for Deepika who is just so ravishing in the film that you barely take your eyes of this actress who nails every aspect as Rani Padmavati. Padmaavat is a good work but misses on the brilliance.