Not Entirely Satisfying Watch
“U/A” -2 hrs 43 mins
What is the film Padmaavat about?
Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh), a Muslim king wants to possess the most beautiful things for him. When he hears about the beauty of Rani Padmavati (Deepika Padukone), he starts a war against the Kingdom of Chittor to get her. What happens, in the end, is what the film is all about? It is a based on a poem Padmaavat.
How is Deepika Padukone’s performance?
Deepika Padukone playing the title role oozes the beauty that the character is supposed to have. She plays the beauty-with-a-brain and valor part very well. Look wise she nails the character, but there is not enough meat in her role to shine. Eventually, she is everything visually one hopes for, but she lacks the engaging factor that was needed to take the epic to the next level.
Direction By Sanjay Leela Bhansali?
Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a showman, and it needs no special mention. He once again stamps his authority concerning the visuals. They are not as visually opulent as his recent past movies, but the impact is nonetheless felt in a different way that makes the whole thing come alive in a real way.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali also continues to improve his mass moviemaking that started with Ramleela. There are many scenes involving the Khilji character that show his newfound command in that aspect. However, that also turns out to be a problem. One can see that the other two crucial roles have decidedly less, rather nothing, in a similarly appealing manner like Khilji. They are bland and come across boring on screen.
The first half of the movie is a good time pass. The various locales, setup and characters, and the characterizations cover up the pace and story issue. It is in the second half all the shortcomings are felt as the narrative stagnates, and few sequences feel repetitive. The Rajput pride dialogues and counter punches give an out-dated vibe and tacky feeling. There is also the simple and straightforward black and white representation of Hindus and Muslims which might not be appreciated by a section. The pace becomes a more significant issue.
However, as we get towards the end, momentum is built again with the final few minutes delivering a right impact. The ending is fantastic and wonderfully done with the background score and everything coming together neatly.
Overall, Padmaavat is not a film of Sanjay Leela Bhansali where one can visit the cinema just for visuals alone. It is an emotional drama, and that is why the movie is bound to bore audience at one point or the other for sure. Still, for the attempt and Ranveer Singh’s performance one can give it a try once for sure.
Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor and others?
Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh are the two male leads in the movie. They along with Deepika Padukone are the backbone of the film. Among the three, it is Ranveer Singh who gets the best deal. He has best lines and depth in character. The fact that despite the best attempts to make him hate as a character, still, one ends up feeling for him at the end shows how lopsided the role has been designed in his favor.
Deepika Padukone still has a couple of scenes and sequences to get noticed. Shahid Kapoor is wholly undermined. One feels bad for him as the film progresses because neither the character nor any stage is given to him where he can make an impression. The uptight Rajput characterization also doesn’t help. Jim Sarbh playing a smaller part has better lines in comparison. Aditi Rao Hydari was beautiful in a tiny role. The rest of the cast was okay for the small parts they were chosen to play.
Music and other departments?
Sanjay Leela Bhansali has also provided music for the movie. The songs are good and neatly shot. They lack the usual fervor of the director, though. The background score is decent. The cinematography is superb. The editing could have been better.
Drags in parts
The film has everything going for it regarding cast, music, and budget. It needed better writing, especially for Deepika and Shahid Kapoor’s roles. It alone would have given the soulless movie a beating heart.
Did I enjoy it?
Yes in parts
Will you recommend it?
Yes but with huge reservations
Padmaavat Review by Siddartha Toleti
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