After a couple of months of delay on the global stage, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat has been released world wide to the excitement of both Indian and foreign audiences alike.
Originally marred with controversy with some of India’s religious groups, particularly the Rajput Hindus, the Epic was banned around the world due to death threats and rioting across India surrounding the contents of the movie.
Inspired by a fictional poem written about real historical figures, Padmaavat is loosely based on the story of a beautiful queen who defends the honour of her lover (a Rajput King) after his death through the practice of committing self-immolation.
Bhansali put a heavy focus on the conflict between the Rajput Kingdom of Chittor and the Islamic Delhi Sultanate.
The era in which it is based in is the early 1300s CE and Bhansali does a great job in set and costume design as well as the character development of Sultan Alauddin Khilji, the antagonist of the movie.
The actor who portrays Khilji (Ranveer Singh) does a great job in creating a fearless warrior and fearful villain, power hungry to rule the world with the possession of everything – whether it be land, jewels or Queen Padmavati.
The film has a massive 2hr 43m run time and although it seems like a slow burn, audiences are kept much entertained by great pieces of choreography in fighting and dance as well as memorable dialogue.
A downfall of this movie I’d have to say is the CGI, which at times was terrible but only effected the film on a small scale.
It would’ve been nice if the studio invested more to make an ostrich and deer cameo look realistic.
One reason why the film has been so successful over the last fortnight is because of the unity for freedom of creative expression.
Many extremists wanted this film banned because of a rumour of a dream sequence scene where Sultan Khilji beds Queen Padmavati.
I can tell you now that not once do these characters share any screen time with each other during the film.
With the cuts made and the changes to the title, Bhansali has added another classic to his collection of great films.
We need to ask ourselves, if a film causes grown men to attack a school bus, who is at fault here – the filmmakers or the presumptuous mob of grown men?
Many were against this film because they thought it would put the name of Rajputs in the ground, but what the film has rather done is kept its honour and shone the Rajputana in a positive light.
This film is a solid watch and I recommend both Indian and non-Indian film lovers to go watch this Epic piece of visual poetry.
Filmed with such passion and precision, Padmaavat really put my 2018 at a good start.