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Rajputs versus Khiljis: Reviewing Movie Padmaavat

 

Malik Muhhamad Jayasi of Awadh penned a poem in the sixteenth century, glorifying the beauty of Rani Padmini. She, whose existence is itself a controversial issue, did not fail to enamour the readers of the poem and the spectators of the movie through the legend of her beauty and bravery.

After many contentions to the release of the historic movie Padmaavat, it was finally showcased on the 25th of January – almost two months late after the original release date. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is an artist of great taste and has a penchant for the historical Indian royal portrayals. From Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) to Bajirao Mastani (2015), this producer and director has never failed to awe the Indian audience. This movie is one of the most expensive movies Bollywood has ever produced – with a budget of over Rupees 200 crores.

This movie, Bhansali’s magnum opus was originally titled Padmavati, after the name of the poem Padmavat by Jayasi. The title was modified as the filmmakers have attributed their creative source to the fictional poem, and not history. The existence of the events described in this poem has little authenticity. Though Alauddin Khilji had won Chittor, during that period there is no mention of any character as Padmavati in history. Historians point that not even Amir Khusrau (prolific writer of Alauddin’s court) mentioned Padmavati and the ruler’s longing for her. However, Rajputs claim the existence of Rani Padmini of Chittor.

The entire cast has been terrific throughout the movie. Ranveer Singh played the tyrannous Alauddin Khilji, Deepika Padukone portrayed Rani Padmavati, and Shahid Kapoor depicted the King of Chittor Raval Ratan Singh. From the very first look of Padmavati, Deepika portrayed feminine delicateness along with Rajput valour with finesse. The onscreen chemistry of the King of Chittor and the Rani was missing but the grandeur of the couple and their heroism while fighting the tyrannous Khilji was portrayed perfectly. Alauddin has been portrayed as the oppressive ruler who longs for Rani Padmavati after he hears about her from the traitor of Chittor, Raghav Chetan. He contrived the Rajputs to possess the beautiful Rajput queen. After the foreseen defeat of the Rajputs, Rani Padmavati and the women of Chittor commit jauhar (self-immolation) for the sake of their honour. The very last scene has been applauded by many, as the queen stepped into the burning pyre in the entrance of the fort – marking a great sacrifice in the name of the kingdom.

Despite all high alerts due to the upheavals by the Karni Sena, this movie is worth the wait and money. It is an amalgamation of considerable hard work from all the artists involved and deserves to be thoroughly appreciated.

 

Feature Image Credits: India

Radhika Boruah
radhikab@dubeat.com

 



A voracious reader of Mythology, embedded in a passionate Economics student who is also fanatically involved in Hindustani Classical Music. Tattoos and baking cakes are her muse. Ever reach out to talk at radhikab@dubeat.com


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