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Padmavati - Nonsense and sensibility

Have now seen Padmavat.

Have to write about it. But first let's meet the characters:

Khal Drogo's younger brother who has seen Troy 100 times and dresses like a Roman slave gone rogue.
Eats like a barbarian .. he's a sensualist you see. Vocab confused. Knows Nayaab but not the farsi word for History. Keeps writing burning and ridiculing Itihaas. Doesnt like history that doesnt feature him. Sounds familiar?

Khilji's uncle:
poor man became king, mentally hasnt moved on from being the garrulous slave trader he looks like. Expected grape sales to have dropped sharply in the Delhi Sultanate after his assasination or should i say 'be- sieve'ment. Passed on the cruelty stones in the family.

Khilji's cuz:
Got a Rajya Sabha seat and was plotting a palace coup. Was in the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh answering some innocent questions till his uncle embraced him again.

Khiljis wife:
played by an actress who wears one expression - 'IHateThisRole'. Surprising as the role needed her to wear another expression - 'fml'. Terrific job. Must be a natural.

Malik Kafur:
Khilji's prison bitch, man friday, hatchet man, albino ape, sounds like your cousin who works in a bpo and forgets to hang up his nasal twang at the door when he comes for a family function. A lesson in acting- on what not to do.

deer hunting princess of Singal no Dweep. Misses the mark when hunting and doesnt kill a visiting King of Mewar. Doesnt say much about his stature considering the size of the deer she was hunting. Spouts Ramayana analogies when faced in trouble. Thinks she is inspiring the troops. Dresses in a flash. This princess is brought to you by Tanishq.

Ratan Singh:
uptight grandfather who says no to everything because...usools. He's got such a large stick up his that he could have killed khilji with just that. Why do all the good guys have to be such bores. Special talents: tying a very low waisted dhoti to make his torso appear longer, ignoring first wife royally and letting his enemies go till they get him.

doubly deceived. She wanted her pearls from Singal, got a saut in the bargain. But the step motherly treatment from the costume department really was the unkindest cut. When you are queen and darning your own dupattas... it's just the pits.

Now for the others...

Neither historically accurate, of this there was no chance. Nor is it true to jayasi's epic as the sanctimonious disclaimer claimed (ha!). There is no effort to build a credible story. The few staging and plots that are there are all in khiljis camp, whereas the Rajput kingdom is so flat you could land a plane on it.

Empty vessels. The writer of these dialogues should be tried for letting down a big budget. No gravitas and no delivery punch. Jo is aadmi ka likhna roke wo rajput. Come on, you don't remember that dialogue even.

Cinematography/ vfx:

Production design:
Okaydokay, job but the next time you do CG of large large pieces of fabric remember to show the seams where they are joined. And the ditch scene was a big let down. It was worthy of a low budget TV serial. As was the Sultans army leaving Chittor. Tacky cloning. I saw one guy like 10 times. Once in each row, just a little off the original position.

Art direction:
Colour schemes were pleasing but completely out of sync. Why was the Delhi Sultanate shown in so much of blue and green. It was never on the Silk Route. So in the scene when the Rajputs arrive there, I could see the blue mosque of Samarkand behind. More on that later.

Done by SLB himself, nothing worth mentioning. The money spent to make Ghoomar popular, wasted. The climax and war scenes had a huge Vangelis hangover with Hans Zimmer drums thrown in.

Somebody confiscate his ability to write. He's not that bad. He's just pointless, meaningless, must take after the director.

when you are a perfectionist in a few things, you tend to favour them over the others. So it is with him now. Visually great, although in my view Bajirao was much better. But failed to hold my interest in the going ons.

But that is not important. He has made a calculated risk in making Khilji into a pleasure seeking barbarian with foreign ness at his core. Playing right to the Hindu right wing gallery who dont want any Muslim king to be remembered as indian. They must be alienated. So he does. By not showing Delhi as a giant melting pot, but a poor small cousin of a silk route city. For a not religious man your Khilji is spouting more MashaAllahs than despo contestants on Big Boss. Unfortunately, Ranveer does a great job. So its a double whammy. Who cares what Jayasi or history have to say. What matters is how indian films show him. short sleeve bridesmaid dress

Characters are all single format and no one has grey shades not even the senior wife of Ratan Singh. Being afraid didnt help you did it? And if you didn't glorify jauhar then why the voice over in the end?. Dont pretend one thing and do the other. Be honest about it. You need to stick to the script as far as historical or fictional characters are concerned, straying only shows up your limitations of character building.

Thank you but for sparing us a dance off between Padmavati and Mehrunnisa. No really thank you. Because you gave us the Ranvir Singh dance and it was just something you expect. Nothing exciting or new. Like the immigration counter on arrival. No shortage of energy on the actors part.

I look forward to the day when you get a great script, a great music director and some great screenplay and dialogue writers. Now that movie will be something.

At least we will hopefully be spared of chavanni chhap shayri that a Bengali king of Turkic descent spouts using Arabic slang.

For me in your last outing you were leaning onto your formula. Here you are proving your total dependence on it. Thats why to me you have the finest sensibility in the business, but the sense is gone.

Finally, we come to the hero dept

Costumes, make up and hair:
These have carried the movie through. Right from the men to the women. Almost all were well done. So so good. The Rajput bit was done right to a T but the Khiljis were left in the lurch at times. Mehrunnisa often wore what looked like hand me downs. The Sultan always in need of a haircut. But the worst was Nagmati. Feel really sorry for her. She got a padmavati reject for the jauhar but otherwise she was too plained up. Not fair, shall complain to the First Wives/Senior Queens Association.

Well played Deepika. Shahid I know you tried and we love you. Ranvir you mad man, keep going on like this. I wasn't sure Raza Murad was alive but his role was very shortlived.

Asides - Was interesting to see jewellery ads flood the interval which would be the longest intermission i have seen for quite some time.

Ok Padmavat. you and i are now done.