Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Starring: Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh & Shahid Kapoor
Screenplay: Sanjay Leela Bhansali & Prakash Kapadia
Dialogues: Prakash Kapadia
Music: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Production’s PADMAAVAT is a tale based on the epic poem Padmavat written by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540. The movie is however a tale of Rajput valour and pride and at the same time a tale of an eternal beauty and one man’s obsession with possessing any and everything beautiful.
Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) is the nephew of Jalaluddin Khilji who dreams of taking over the throne of India and he achieves that with the help of Singh. Once in India Singh solidifies his name when we wins a war against the Mongols but he too has his eyes on the throne and soon enough dethrones his uncle by killing him and takes over the reign of power from him. At the same time on one of his travels to modern day Sri Lanka Rajput ruler Maharawal Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor) sees and falls in love princess Padmavati (Deepika Padukone) and he marries her and brings her back to the Chittor fort making her queen Padmavati.
When Singh gets to know about the eternal beautiful queen Padmavati he sets out on journey to get her as he believes in possessing everything beautiful. After months of stalemate Singh’s character is able to trick Kapoor and capture him and take him as his hostage back to Dilli and demands Padukone to come to Dilli and take her husband back with her. There once again there is a betrayal and Padukone and Kapoor are able to escape back to Chittor. But this sets up for the last act of the movie when Singh comes back with a vengeance and there is a massive war. The Khilji army succeeds in defeating the Rajputs and capturing Chittor, but are unable to capture the Rajput women who commit jauhar with Padukone.
The movie is one of the most expensive movies ever tackled in India and every single penny can be seen in each and every frame of the movie. Bhansali is known for his meticulous planning and execution and his attention to detail is for all to see in every single spec of the screen. The art and photography also adds tremendously to the whole movie watching experience. The VFX are good too but what is better is the 3D conversion which has to be one of the best seen on an Indian movie, period. The movie has its heart at the right place and there some extraordinary scenes and sequences which are presented in the film. Every single time Ranveer’s character comes on the screen the audiences wants him madness to reach newer and higher crescendos in which he doesn’t disappoint. Deepika and Shahid’s portions too are tackled with great sense of pride and perfection.
On the flipside however, the movie is painstakingly long. With a runtime of over 2 hours 40 minutes drags and especially in the first time this is evident a lot as the writer and the director could have attempted to get to the mid-point rather quickly.
Production values are brilliant. Cinematography by Sudeep Chatterjee is of international standards and his attention to detail is also superb. Music by Sanjay Leela Bhansali good while one is watching the movie but it’s the background score of the movie which hits the right notes. Action by Shyam Kaushal is great and the way he has executed the war sequences it is simply superb. Editing could and should have been a little tighter especially in the first half of the movie where the movie drags. Make up and costumes are out of the world once again it is one of the best ever seen in an Hindi movie.
Performance wise, the movie belongs to only Ranveer Singh, he is a beast which has been unleashed by the makers and his madness and his antics are spot on. There are times in the movie when he is not on the screen there is a sense of anticipation for him to return and for a conventional villain to have the effect on the audiences its sensational. Deepika Padukone as queen Padmavati only comes to shine in the second half of the movie but as soon as she does pull the movie towards her character you can see why she is one of the finest talents we have in the country. She is effortless and emotes absolutely brilliantly throughout the movie. Shahid Kapoor is spot on and his simplicity is infectious. Having said that his is one the most difficult characters in the movie and he does end up doing full justice to it and that too with way too much ease. Jim Sarbh as Singh’s peasant and he shines in his performance. Aditi Rao Hydari is good in her brief part in the film. Anupriya Goenka, Raza Murad and others provide great support to the rest of the cast.
As a director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali is in top form. He is able to tell a tedious tale effortlessly and at the same time is able to get some of the finest performances from his actors. This one has to be one of his greats.