Padmaavat (2018) : Movie Review


Padmaavat (2018) : Movie Review

Padmaavat : Considering the infamous ruckus created around this movie we realise it’s ‘much ado about nothing’. The movie boasts of Rajput valour and pride rather than demeaning any community in particular.

Also Read: Tiger Zinda Hai 2017 Movie Review

Padmaavat 2018 Movie Review-Fantoosy

Set in the 13th century this period drama chronicles the life of an afghani Sultan Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) and his lust for power and more power, how he marches on a self destructive mission in order to be the sole king of the entire nation forms the basic plot of this nearing three hours duration movie Padmaavat !

So basically if the movie is about Khilji then why is it titled “Padmaavat”? Simply because it’s based on an ancient poem by that name and the Queen performs Jauhar ( self immolation)in the climax which is an important sequence. Director Bhansali is obsessed with Khilji which is why the entire drama revolves around him right from his introductory scene which involves an ostrich till the over dramatic finale you get to see Singh in every frame. Both the lead players Deepika Padukone as Queen Padmavati and Shahid Kapoor as King Maharawal Ratan Singh get a raw deal in comparison.

Bhansali scores high in technical departments like the cinematography and art direction, every scene is portrayed like an ancient breathtakingly beautiful painting in the film. His direction has several loopholes and there’s no doubt he’s played his way with cinematic liberty. Even the music is quite average except for Shreya Ghoshal’s scintillating ‘Ghoomar’ song. Sham Kaushal is first rate in action direction.

On the acting front Ranveer Singh is a revelation highly backed by the director’s support, his portrayal of an barbarian merciless scheming power hungry king is exceptional, whether it’s his hyena kind villainous laughter or conveying anger through the scary eyes, he has performed marvellously well. Shahid Kapoor is miscast as a Rajput King and has a very lacklustre screen presence, scenes requiring him to scream look forced and uneasy. Padukone in a titular role sleepwalks and mouths her dialogue like a paid witness in a court, totally unimpressive when you have an author backed character to play. The on screen chemistry between Kapoor and Padukone is dull and has zilch impression.

Raza Murad is wasted in a thankless role and Anupriya Goenka who was noticed in Tiger Zinda Hai(2017) goes totally unnoticed in a weak and unimpressive role. Two performances that stand out even in cameos are two of Khilji’s closest companions, Aditi Rao Hydari as Khilji’s sensitive and neglected wife oozes naïveté and impresses with her subtle grit, and Jim Sarbh as Khilji’s Slave with whom he shares an homoerotic relationship plays his part sincerely, in fact the on screen chemistry between Singh and Sarbh is much more passionate and sensual as compared to the actual lead romantic pair of Kapoor and Padukone.

Also Read: Tiger Zinda Hai 2017 Movie Review

At the end of an never ending two hours and 45 minutes you actually feel like you’ve been watching “Khilji ke Karnaame” and not “Padmaavat”. There is no doubt Bhansali as per his repute has mastered the art of story telling and this film is a visual delight but somewhere down the line you realise the soul is missing specially when you end up getting impressed by the antagonist and not the lead actors. Bhansali delivers a cinematically brilliant film which is high on style and low on substance.