Movie Review : PADMAAVAT | Bhansali’s Visually spectacular film comprising Exuberant performances is an Unadulterated Block Buster

Film : PADMAAVAT
Director  : Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Cast : Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor, Raza Murad, Aditi Rao Haidri, and Jim Sarbh

Rating:  3.5/5 (Three and a half stars out of Five)

Padmaavat , in the rubric of Period Drama, being one of the most anticipated films of the year is also one of the most beleaguered films of our times for some obvious but asinine reasons. Well , protests against historical films and debates over it are de-rigueur  nowadays.  But after all the chaos  and contestations surrounding it, the film is finally hitting the theaters all over India tomorrow (25th Jan 2018) while Paid Preview shows were kept at some selected multiplexes tonight (24th Jan 2018). I just ended up with the paid preview show of Padmaavat and  I was happy when I came out of the cinema hall for 2 reasons –
1. I came out of the hall safely, without any disturbance or being beaten up by Karni Sena. Thanks to tight Police Security. Sigh of relief !
2. I am happy to note that Bhansali’s film is a triumph and an unadulterated Block Buster .

HOW’S THE MOVIE ?

When we talk about a Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial, first things come to our mind are- Grand Visuals, Spectacular sets, Opulent costumes, Stupendous cinematography, noteworthy performances, and some soulful music. And Bhansali’s latest outing Padmaavat is no exception to that. Film comprises everything that you may expect from Bhansali’s film. So this treatment reduces your chances of disappointment. The next thing is something that we expect from a good and entertaining movie – well written Story-Screenplay , crisp editing and good dialogues. Does Padmaavat scores well on these aspects ? The answer is YES and kind of NO. Many of us now know the story of Queen Padmavati  and how and why she committed ‘Jauhar’. What is interesting here is the juxtaposition and execution of the events  and the intro of its characters. While I am heavily impressed by Bhansali’s  creativity , I am a tad disappointed by screenplay writers and editor. Some scenes are stretched and make you lose focus from the plot and the film itself. The main drama starts after the interval and so the before interval part has some unnecessary moments too. Editing should have been crispier here. Film is 2 hours and 43 minutes long but I feel that film span could have been reduced by at least 15 minutes.  But having said that, Outstanding performances especially by Ranveer Singh , Spectacular visuals and soulful music ( BGM too) keep you invested in the film. One more special mention is for War sequences. Superb ! The shooting, the execution, the performance , the feel in eyes of the protagonist and an antagonist are to look out for and clap-worthy. So the film has some contrivances but there is much more to love in this epic film.

Well, I am not a student of history so I’d better not comment on which part of the movie is authenticate and which is not. So lets not jump into it. But looking it as a movie, Padmaavat is a good cinematic experience which  deserved to be watched on big screen only. It is a tribute , an ode to the valor of the Rajputs and Queen Padmavati.

PERFORMANCES :

I would like to start off with Ranveer Singh who is the show stealer.  This one is his Best Performance till date , yes even better than as Bajirao (Bajirao Mastani, 2015). Ranveer has played the role of Allauddin Khilji to the perfection , is an understatement. Because here he has not just played the character but he  literally lived this recalcitrant character. He is crazy, dangerous, vindictive, concupiscent, violent and treacherous. To some people his act may seem loud at some places especially in khalibali song, but this is how he was supposed to do it. In my opinion, Full marks to Ranveer for his portrayal of Khilji. This one belongs to him.
Deepika is an absolute pleasure to watch. She is pulchritudinous as well as feisty here and does complete justice to the role of Queen Padmavati.  Though she has comparatively less dialogues , but she made her beautiful eyes  do the talking. Shahid Kapoor too has done justice to his role and he is impressive. His performance in war sequence is fabulous. He wins you over completely whenever he talks . Jim Sarbh is surprisingly awesome.  Aditi Rao Haidri, again is good. And rest of the other characters too have done their jobs nicely. Padmaavat undoubtedly scores high in this section.

MUSIC :

Padmaavat has 5 songs in total and each song is important and is played whenever they are needed. Yes there’s One song “Binte dil” which is picturized on Ranveer Singh and Malik Kafur , may feel unnecessary at start as it begins suddenly. But the way Ranveer aka Khilji behaves there, make you feel the importance of that song. Otherwise “Ghoomar” is top notch and beautifully shot. Ek dil Ek Jaan comes after the Interval when Raval Ratan Singh is about to leave for war. Its an emotional and romantic one. Khalibali song is perhaps the most energetic moment in the film. The reason ? One and only Ranveer Singh. Oh my God, he shows his utter madness with some wild moves. Holi song has Rajastani folk feel to it and is a good one.

Brief Analysis of PADMAAVAT :

Positives :  Outstanding Performances, Clap-worthy Dialogues, Energetic war sequences, Fascinating Cinematography, Stupendous Sets, Soulful Music and the intriguing Climax.

Negatives:  Screenplay of the first half has some stretched and unnecessary scenes . Editing could have been crispier. As Aforementioned,  film could have been 15 minutes shorter.

On the whole, PADMAAVAT is a beautiful and fascinating cinematic experience. Its an ode to valor of Rajput and the Queen Padmavati.  It has everything that you expect from A Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial. The flaws of screenplay and editing (which make it tedious at some places) make the film fall a little short of being spectacular one. But the rest is enough to give a satisfaction of watching a visually rich and delightful film. I am going with three and a half stars for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat.

Review by : Aavishkar Gawande

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