Padmavati (I just can’t bring myself to call it Padmaavat- reminds me of Amaavat or aam paapad!) is not about the brave queen of Mewar. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus has just one person completely overshadowing everything else- Ranveer Singh. He is intense, maniacal, (even surprisingly vulnerable in one moment) and just jumps out at you in every scene. What an amazing actor! My respect for him has quadrupled since I saw him in Band Baaja Baarat. If I see the movie again it will be just for Ranveer.
The other person who caught my eye with his nuanced performance was Jim Sarbh playing Malik Kafur.
I thought the dialogues could have been more memorable. But go there to watch Bhansali’s magic with the camera, his amazing understanding of colours and the striking visuals that no other director in this country can recreate for you. There is this one scene where Allauddin Khilji fights the Mongols. The treatment of that one scene made me gasp for its unusual creativity. The last jauhar scene is filmed with such intensity that the talkative and boisterous audience was stunned into silence.
Forget the controversies, don’t bother to analyze history or question the madness happening around you. Just go and watch the film and enjoy the Bhansali brand of grandeur on 70 mm.