Verdict - A must view.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a ' camp' by himself in Bollywood.He works silently but deligently.Thinks big and differently.His themes are challenging .Takes care of all departments of film making.A perfectionist.
All this applies to his Padmaavat- a historical cum fictional drama.
What's Padmaawat all about? Conflict between the protagonist( rulers of a princely state of Mewar in Rajasthan ) and a despot Sultan Alauddin Khilji who is lustful about the Chotti Rani ( Padmawati ).The time period is 13 the century.
Offcourse truth always wins over the evil.
The characterisations? The women first.Deepika Padukone playing Padmawati,the second wife of The Rajput king Ratan Singh is a traditionalist( subservient to the husband, seeks his permission to participate in Jauhar should need arise) yet confident and a scheming dovish political adviser to her husband( fights never resolve issues,peaceful strategies are more effective).
Anupriya Goenka ,the Badi Rani,is in a sulking mould ,jealous and longing for the ridance of the Chotti.Does she succeed?
Mehrunisa ( Aditi Rao Hydari),is the ' slavish' cousin wife of Alauddin.Yet is courageous enough to help Padmawati to let her husband escape from captivity from the Sultan's prison.Even when she herself is imprisoned by the Sultan she longs that the ambition of her husband to befriend Padmawati is never realised.
Now men.Shahid Kapoor as the Rajput king is rather too innocent into falling in the trap of the Sultan.Though he achieves martyrdom in the climax ,leading from the front.
Ranveer Singh(as Alauddin Khilji) is uni- dimensional and all evil.Arrogant,deceitful,lustful throughout for his obsession for Padmawati,whom he has never seen in person.
Jim Sarbh( slave Malik Kafur) is mere extension of his master and longing to provide male company to Sultan in the closet.
Raza Murad( as Jalaluddin Khilji,the uncle of Alauddin) is more interested in conquering newer territories rather than thwart a rebel nephew in a bloody coup.Is also forced to accept his daughter's nikkah with the nephew.
The banished Raj Purohit of Mewar is the real back stabber in the story.But for his siding with the enemy Sultan would have never known about the beauty of Padmawati.No wars and no cruelty would have arisen.
Performances? Top class.Ranveer Singh is devilish despite over acting times.Deepika is serene,confident and sacrificing .Shahid is subdued ,though above average.
The technical side? Computer graphics are good.Battle scenes and group dance numbers look near real.The sets are fabulous.
Kya Scene Hai? A sample among many- Raj Purohit testing the abilities of the Chotti Rani,a Rajput soldier continuing to fight despite being headless,tears roll by in the climax when Padmawati leads her team to participate in Jauhar.
What irked? the length- the begining scenes wherein Shahid and Deepika fall in love could be deleted; bigamy in the Rajput Gharana; the scarifice of a goat before the climax battle scene; the Rajputs are all white,the Sultan side all black in characterisation,grey is no where; shades of Bahubali and Bajirao Mastani in presentation.
All in all Padmawati is a must view.It has drawn in the women crowds to the theatres ( remember Jai Santoshi Maa and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun doing the same?).
Go see with your families.