I Watched “Padmaavat” And I Still Don't Know What The Fuss Was All About

By Sarah Babar | 29 Jan, 2018

Haye ‘Padmaavat’. What an absolute literal beauty to watch. The one movie that caused an insane amount of ruckus in our neighboring country was finally released and we got to see what the fuss was all about. The film faced extreme amounts of backlash before the release, causing the makers of the film to push the film forward. Even after the censor board cleared the film, the Indian Rajput caste organization, the Karni Sena, has been wrecking havoc in the country. We went to watch it  and see what it was that literally caused a state of emergency in the country. The film is based on the fictional poem, ‘Padmavat’ by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, written in 1540, who created the whole story and related it to historical events.


Starting off, the film is visually stunning

Source: Bhansali Productions

As is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s forte, each shot in the film was a pure work of art. So whether they were the lush jungles of Singhal, or the interior of the fort at Mewar, or the Khilji palace, you couldn’t help but be in awe of the sheer beauty.


The characters, themselves, were nothing short of masterpieces

Deepika in her almost all-bare makeup look

Source: Bhansali Productions

Deeps looked so stunning you could barely take your eyes off of her. And your eyes never wander to her unibrow, unless you make an effort to notice it.


Shahid in all his royal stature

Source: Bhansali Productions

The gait, the gaze, the poise with which Shahid portrays Maharawal Ratan Singh might just rekindle your teenage crush on him.


The beast that was Ranveer Singh makes it hard to take your eyes off of him whenever he’s on screen

Source: Bhansali Productions

There was this jangli-pan about Alauddin Khilji that actually made you feel scared of the man. The unpredictability of the guy was not only scary, it was downright scarring. But that’s the mark of a great actor, no?


Shahid Kapoor’s acting was unlike any role he’s done before

Source: Bhansali Productions

We’ve seen him act all goofy and adorable before in films like ‘Chup Chup Ke’ and ‘Jab We Met’. We also saw this crazy, wild side of his in ‘Udta Punjab’, but we’re also glad we got to see the man act royal. It really looked like he was born for a role like this. And we can’t wait to see him experiment more.


The chemistry that Deepika and Shahid shared might just start a new wave of shipping

Source: Bhansali Productions

There were also some serious ‘Bairi Piya’ feels going on, right here. The two shared a bond that was built solely on pure love and affection that the two shared for each other. The kind of love that makes you go to any lengths to protect the one you hold closest. That kind of love.


For a Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh  film to not have a single scene of them together was…weird, but also really really interesting

Source: Bhansali Productions

We’ve seen the two literally set fire to our screens in Bhansali’s previous projects, Goliyoun Ki Rasleela: Ram Leela’ and Bajirao Mastani’. While we were waiting to see at least one scene of the real-life couple, we didn’t. However, this was not even a disappointment, as the makers of the movie had announced this already. However, the heart wants what the heart wants, right?


The wilderness within Ranveer’s eyes throughout the film is something that we hadn’t seen before

Source: Bhansali Productions

Of course, we’ve never seen Ranveer play out a negative character, before. The way he portrayed Alauddin Khilji was so frightening and real that you end up being scared of Ranveer Singh for some time. Khilji’s force seemed a little like they just came out of the Dothraki army from ‘Game of Thrones’, with their barbaric demeanor and their thirst to fight


However, one thing I really didn’t agree with, while watching the film was the sheer demonization of Alauddin Khilji

Source: Bhansali Productions

He was made out to be a monster, in how he walked, spoke, ate, danced and generally carried on about his life. He was shown to be this wild, uncontrollable man who didn’t want anything but blood. A man who’d pick fights for no reason, take lives like they meant nothing. A man who was fueled by lust, more than anything else in the world. While the Khilji that we’ve always read about in our history books was, albeit driven by power, but also brought about some reforms in his state. He was fond of literature, art and architecture, as the many monuments that he got built in his reign stand testament to.


Shahid’s character might not get much critical acclaim because he wasn’t playing a role that was out of this world, but damn, the man can act

Source: Bhansali Productions

He actually did full justice to his role and character, making us fall in love with Maharawal Ratan Singh. There was a fierce delicacy and fragility about the man. That in no way means that he was shown to be unfit to rule or weak, he was shown to be full of empathy for his people.


Deepika was not the damsel in distress that needed saving

Source: Bhansali Productions

Instead, they showed her to be both strong-willed and strong-headed and that was beautiful. One would expect a story from centuries ago to portray their female lead as oppressed and waiting for her man to protect her always, but it wasn’t the case with this one! The film does not reduce the position of women, instead, they made women out to be as brave as the men in Chittor.


While the practice of ‘satti’ is shown, it isn’t glorified or promoted, the film is just a depiction of a small part of history

Source: Bhansali Productions

Yes, there have been issues about the portrayal of satti  in the film, but they haven’t made it out to be a shining part of our history.


The fact that this movie caused riots and protests and downright violence in India still mesmerizes me. There wasn’t  much that the Hindu, especially the Rajput, community could be angry over. If anything, the depiction of Muslims within the film was that of a violent, uncontrollable nation. The Karni Sena’s entire issue over the film was that their Devi Rani Padmini was turned into a sexual object (false), and was shown to be intimate with Khilji (also false) and that Rajputs were demeaned (opposite of what happened).  The Rajputs were shown to be strong nation, one that abide by rules and never did anyone any wrong. The Muslims were depicted as sneaky, and a nation that never played fair…and that’s the thing that still baffles me about the kind of response the film got and all the opposition that it faced at the hands of those who were glorified by the film.


The movie, ‘Padmaavat’ itself was beautifully told with mesmerizing visuals that kept you hooked onto each and every scene. While the movie is longer than 2 hours, it doesn’t feel like it one bit. Yes, the movie has its flaws, but overall it’s definitely worth the watch!

P.S. Watch it for the ending…


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