Sunday, January 28, 2018

Padmaavat: An Onscreen Epos

For a movie that received a lot of one and a half stars from big media houses, I had given up the thought of watching the movie. All the commotion that followed the controversy that had to be solved by judiciary intervention might also have been an abetment terming it a publicity stunt.

Watching the video song of Ek dil ek jaan, I finally decided to watch the movie. Even if the movie would bore me, sets and music could come to my rescue, or so I knew. We went to watch morning show and there were hardly 12 people in the theater for it.

Yes it is a slow movie. It does take time and effort to get the feel of Rajputana and Khilji dynasties. And each scene is twined carefully to create the required impact. It is a movie that appeals for only audience who have patience to read a book. Poetic freedom is the essence of any epic that is woven on the historic events. Since history does not tell us word by word of what has actually happened, each interpretation between the lines can be different. Also when the history has been created majorly by the winning side of the story, one can't take history for fact. I wish the Karni Sena could have watched the movie before pulling all the stunts that it did. 

It looks like Bansali has focused most on grooming the character of Sultan Alauddin Khilji than the others in the movie. His costumes, lighting moderation and each frame that Ranveer Singh is in, is solely focused on bringing out his character and Ranveer Singh has scored a full on ten for his performance. Jim Sarbh as Malik Kafur has performed very well as an able sidekick and a blind supporter of each weird move of Sultan. Deepika Padukone as Padmaavati has shone during the introduction and an effective climax. Shahid Kapoor as Chittor's Maharaja leaves his impact in the chemistry with Rani Padmaavati and in the final battle with Sultan. 

Dialogues by Prakash Kapadia is a highlight of the movie too. "सर धर से अलग होजाये तब भी हाथ में तलवार चलताराहे, वो है राजपूत" kind of dialogues are not easy to fade away from the viewer's memory. Music and timely songs that blend with the movie are a plus.

Bottom-line is, it takes a relaxed mood and an open mind to enjoy this movie. There's lots to absorb and the movie is deliberately been made a slow one. Having said that, the movie doesn't bore you if you have the patience to have watched a full fledged dance performance or read good novels. 

P.S: Of course do not expect a cabaret or dramatic turns to an already known history. 

(For all those who could not understand the meaning of seemingly small word epos, I couldn't find a better exact translate of mahakavya (ಮಹಾಕಾವ್ಯ) to express what I wanted to convey. This throws me into one of the hollow of English language in which I occasionally find myself at loss of words to convey thoughts)