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‘Opus Magnum of Bhansali or Ranveer Singh’

Finally the wait of the century is over. Oh well 'Padmaavati' without  the "I" has finally released inspite of protests, outrage, death threats, drama you name it! With Sanjay Leela Bhansali hailing 'Padmavat' as his opus magnum, and Karni Sena fighting for the Rajputi pride, the film has garnered pretty hype already before it's release. The film is based on the epic poem, 'Padmavat' by Malik Mohammad Jaisi.

It is a politically correct and predictable film comprising of all the basic Bhansali masalas:
1. Extravagant sets
2. ‎Heavy jewelry
3. ‎Song and Dance
4. ‎Melodrama
5. ‎Visual appeal

There is no novelty in the plotline. Maharaja Rawal Ratan Singh of Chittor (Shahid Kapoor) meets the Sinhalese beauty Padmavati (Deepika Padukone) falls in love with her, marries her. Then enters the villainous Allauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh). They embark on a battle. And at stake is the Rajputi "Usool" ! The beautiful Rani Padmavati ends up committing 'jauhar' to  protect her honour.

The cinematography is spectacular. One cannot help but be awed by the beautiful portrayal of the Jauhar Vrata! (Yes I know SLB has romanticised mass suicide of hundreds of women and little girls in the name of honour) But the picturisation is commendable. Cinematographer Sudeep Chatterje brings life to the war scenes. It looks like a canvas painting. Even though Deepika Padukone has very few dialogues in the film, she makes up for it with her expressions. Her eye does all the talking. She looks absolutely ethereal and splendid. (And you can catch a few glimpses of her bare midriff, if you pay close attention! ) Shahid Kapoor from his first frame to the last, has the same expression on his face. There is seemingly no chemistry at all between Shahid and Deepika, and to think this film is about the love story of Rani Padmavati and Maharaja Ratan Singh (Oh well, I think they got too busy in glorifying the Rajputi pride that they overlooked it)

While our very own savage, vicious, obsessive, maniac, psychopath, cunning (and dare I say so sexy! ) 'nayab' Ranveer Singh is the real hero of the film. Err..I mean villain. 'Padmaavat' may not be SLB's best film, but it certainly is the best  film till date of Ranveer Singh. From his mad dance moves in the song 'Khalbili', dialogue delivery, to eating raw meat, Singh takes acting to a different notch. His villainy is oh so seducing! Hmm...did I mention, he really plays the role of a bisexual in the film? Don't you all thing that's pretty gutsy of him when Ranbir Kapoor hesitates to speak of his relationships! Special mention should be made of Jim Sarbh for his stint as Malik Khafoor. The music unlike other Bhansali films fails to leave an impression. The film could have been wrapped sooner but it was stretched for almost 3 hours. And I have lost count of the number of times the words "USOOL" and "NAYAB" have been used in this 2 hour 45 minutes! Phew!!
I will now end my review with a quote from S&S Khilji (Savage and Seductive) : "Kitne ache ho tum. Kitne achi hein tumhare usool". Yes, 'Padmaavat' is indeed an ODE to Rajputi pride and valour AKA usool.

Let us know in the comment section your thoughts on SLB's portrayal of the Rajputi USOOL.

Written By:- Prarthana Mahato