What do you expect to see when you go to watch a film that has taken the Indian Sub-continent and beyond by storm.

Many things…but one can’t keep sitting on the fence and not have an opinion.

 

  • The riots were useless.

There was nothing in the film that made Padmavaati look or appear somewhere close to being disrespected. On the contrary, she was elevated as one of the symbols of Rajput Valor.

 

  • Ranveer was a stereotypical Muslim barbarian ruler

Whenever he appears on screen, one’s eyes are glued due to his superb presence. However, Bhansali has overly-exaggerated the historical person in question.

 

 

  • Jauhar scene was unduly glorified

Despite the disclaimers at the start of film (there were quite a few), the jauhar scene is beautifully directed: the haunting music, Deepika sauntering  into eternity, the impassioned red garbs of the ladies . One needs to realize that it is depicting a certain practice that was common in the time period in question. The ending scene befits the climax and serves as metaphor to Rajput’s bravery, as vividly shown by Bhansali. However, offending feminist sensibilities.

 

 

  • Shahid’s clothes were just amazing

No expense was spared in making Shahid’s character appear regal and dignified. The Kurtas were especially sartorially beautiful to look at.

 

  • Deepika is the undisputed Queen

Despite not having many dialogues as some people suggested, Deepkia plays the character superbly befitting the fictional Padmavaati. The grace, expressions and the carrying of the costumes is just done with utter perfection.

 

 

The is a beautiful piece but an orientalist work to say the least. It has all the right ingredients: the savage muslim ruler, the female honor serving as a locus, the mystifying beauty of the female, the Muslim as the hedonistic warmonger (even indulging with his eunuch slave). The story line is linear. There were no nuances that were part of the original Poem by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. Hollywood and Bollywood will continue to make their versions of the stories. If Muslims feel they are truly not represetned then they must also tell their version of the stories their way – but the aforementioned also need to be given reality check. Just like history as in movies the ‘victors’ will show stories as they see fit.

 

From the dialogues, set and music everything is in hyperbole and exaltation of the values the Rajputs espouse. Which culminates superbly in the jauhar scene, every frame evokes shock and awe.  The jauhar scene immortalized not only the historical Padmavaati but Bhansali’s cinematic expertise.

 

 

 

 

Chittor Fort Set

 

Khilji’s Delhi Darbar Set

 

Khilji’s Delhi Darbar Set

 

Chittor Fort Set

 

Well if you are looking to get a lesson in history then you’ll be highly disappointed (the feminists, the history buffs…etc). However, if you want see what Bhansali has to offer in terms of his artistic expression then prepare to get utterly stunned.

 

 

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