Padmaavat is loosely based on Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic poem of the same name and tells us the story of Rani Padmavati (Deepika Padukone) whose unnatural beauty led to a conflict between the kingdom of Mewar and the Delhi Sultanate.
Positive Points: –
- Keeping everything else aside, let’s just bow down to Ranveer Singh for his standout performance as the film’s antagonist. More appraisals will be given in the Performances section. *Sticks tongue out*
- Unlike most other Indian films, Padmaavat impresses largely with its visual effects and it feels good to see that Indian filmmakers have started taking VFXs seriously.
- Other than the visual effects the technical department excels in its top-notch cinematographic execution as well as an impactful background score.
- No matter how the screenplay is as a whole, the dialogues are powerful and some are even clapworthy.
Negative Points: –
- Let’s just understand a perspective that I have. No matter how great the portrayal of Alauddin Khilji was in Padmaavat, there was no necessity in making the actor (which is Singh ofcourse) to go over-the-top. A villain can be nuanced, balanced and stable from outside and yet be terrifyingly insane from the within. He/She doesn’t need to show it explicitly everytime and should mostly keep it down. That makes the impact even more natural and wonderful. Nevertheless, I donot blame Singh for this and my complaints are directed solely to the writers and the director.
- The screenplay has its ups and downs but the most pathetic thing about it was that the character Padmavati apparently was pushed to the backseat (though not intentionally) as the characters Ratan Singh and Khilji take the centre stage and rule over it unabashedly.
- Although not quite prominent, the film has a very lengthy runtime which may excruciate the audience in tad amounts.
Direction, Script & Other Technicalities: –
Like always, I have mixed emotions for Bhansali’s direction in his job here. On the positive sides, the grand visuals, great performances and wonderful technical works can easily be credited to him, his affinity for mushiness and over-filminess and that’s perceptible enough in the romance sequences of Shahid Kapoor and Deepika Padukone. Moreover, there was no need to make the Delhi sultan jive to two dance numbers for no emperor ever indulges in such things. However, there are few sequences where his astuteness can be viewed, particularly during its climax (I won’t be mentioning them in order to avoid giving away spoilers).
The screenplay by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Prakash Kapadia has its highs and lows. While I did enjoy its punchlines and character development, I didn’t really like the over-insane sketching of the movie’s antagonist and the poor spacing that its female protagonist (and ex-titular character) is given. The initial montages showcasing the love between the two protagonists has also been formed up in a conventional fashion which makes the romance look less belonging to a 21st century film.
Sudeep Chatterjee’s skills with the camera are clearly evident in Padmaavat. The way he captures the grandeur of the Rajputana culture, the Mewar kingdom and the horrendous consequences of the conflicts; hats off to him and his proficiency. Adding to the pleasure was Sanchit Balhara’s score which was spot-on with respect to each and every frame of this feature. The editing is fine though there were a few continuity errors that I couldn’t really ignore. The music by Bhansali is melodious but were felt as unnecessary addendums to the premise of the film.
Ranveer Singh loves to go over-the-top (not to be confused with overacting) and Khilji was the most perfect character that he could ever wish for in his entire lifetime. Forget about overshadowing other actors, this man has even shrouded the amazing visuals of the film! It is hard to look away from Singh at any moment as he captures the barbaric and insane attitude of the emperor seemingly effortlessly (though we know what all he went through for it). It’s arguably his career best act and alsoone of the best renditions that I have seen in the last few years in Indian cinema.
Shahid Kapoor showcases the strength and power of his character well enough. He gives a tough competition to Singh when both of them share the screen and delivers an excellent performance in the robe of Ratan Singh.
Deepika Padukone may not have shone in favour to the above mentioned actors (not her fault seriously!) but she manages to make an impact especially with her expressions and delivers her act satisfactorily.
Jim Sarabh shines as the eunuch muse of Khilji. Aditi Rao Hydari and Raza Murad do good jobs in their short appearances. Anupriya Goenka fails to impress.
Final Verdict: –
Padmaavat is as grand, as enjoyable and as powerful as it should be. The visual works in the movie are no less than an achievement for Indian cinema which have been well presented thanks to some really appreciable technicalities. Apart from everything else, what really makes the film glorious is Ranveer Singh and hands down for what he has delivered here, which in turn earns the film an extra 0.5 rating.