*This is not a review of the film
After a long round of controversy in the field, Padmaavat releases to a raving response from the audience. To sum up the film, Padmaavat is a cinematic master piece. A lot of talk about the performances of the main lead, Ranvir as Alaudin Khilji, Deepika as Princess Padmavati and Shahid Kapoor as Ratan Singh but for me the highlight of the film however is its screenwriting. Let’s face it Padmaavat has a climax which most knew and the plot was a give away in the trailer but then every scene amazes you which makes you eager for a what-next movement? Sanjay Leela Bhansali once again proves his mettle with his writing. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is not just a fantastic director, writer and musician but yes, Bhansali is a great feeler. A writer-director must be able to feel emotions in real life order to project them on the screen. In fact most of his films serve as inspiration for many prospective writers- directors. A film should be able to evoke the emotions in you and make you feel numb in your throat and one can only do that if one were to be emotionally tuned in reality.
Sanjay leela Bhansali is an artistic legend undoubtedly but the big question is, is the subject important today. No! This is not a Karni-sena sympathising write-up. In fact Karni Sena have messed it up by not drawing political mileage out of this. Padmaavat is a pride of the Rajputs.
Take for instance, a scene, where in a war sequence the Khilji’s kill a fighting Rajput warrior, the warrior continues to fight despite being beheaded. For me Padmaavat is a true portrayal of the valour and courage of Rajput. But the truth is, in the process, the film might have the potentiality to stir up a communal clash. It’s a known fact that India was ruled by the Mughal and associate rulers for over 400 years and that they have plundered wealth, land and women. But that’s how the aspirations were back then. The problem with Padmaavat is it resurfaces the villain who haunted us many years back which only creates more hatred for the indirect descendants who have nothing to do with it now.
Padmaavat although a master piece is just not what the doctor ordered for the society now at this juncture. A film is not just a canvas for entertainment but also is a stimulant for many. Like, a film like Bombay showed how meaningless riots are and how it’s extremely important to have harmony. And that served as a stimulant for many instilling sense in the otherwise extreme mentality. As Osho rightly says, it’s easy to hate than to love as hatred is natural. A film or a piece of art shouldn’t directly or indirectly create hatred but stimulate positivity or at least boldly speak of the missing link in the society. But to retell a supposedly fantasy tale which villainies a section of the society indirectly is damage to the society and demeaning to a legendary thinker-artist- film maker who has so much to offer to us.
Let the politicians engage in dividing us, at least as non-politicians let us be aware that only in harmony there can be holistic and individual progress and development. And trust me, only that will bring food to the table and peace to the mind.
Padmaavat is cinematically awesome but socially awful.
– “Shanky” Shankar