The Padmaavat Reality Check


Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’ released on 25 January 2018 after getting a U/A certification from Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). The board according to its chief Prasoon Joshi, has asked the crew for some modification including the change in title from ‘Padmavati’ to ‘Padmaavat’.

‘Padmaavat’ which stars actors like Deepika Padukone, and Ranveer Singh in prominent roles along with Shahid Kapoor, has been in the eye of a storm for its alleged portrayal of Rani Padmini in a negative light, an accusation which Bhansali and his team has vehemently denied.

Since the beginning of its shooting, it was assumed that it will be a historical fiction though it turns out that it more of a fiction than history. The story is based on the backdrop of partriachy and Rajput morality vs Khilji, the Muslim invader’s immorality. As a result, it is neither based on Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic poem Padmaavat nor according to the history of Khilji rulers.

The scene which faced most criticism is the Jauhar scene. Bhansali claims that the plot is based on Jayasi’s epic poem. History states though that Ratansen died fighting Devpal, another Rajput king.

The plot of the movie also deleted the character of Hiraman, the parrot who signifies Padmavati’s guide. The movie doesn’t establish the sufi culture well. Hence, sati becomes a glorification of a patriarchal ritual in the movie.

Though it is true that Alauddin Khilji was a tyrant, but the way Ranveer portrays him for instance tearing into meat with his hands presents in front of us as a maniac barbarian which is totally opposite the royalty of the rulers.

Also the use of the famous Amir khusrau’s verse is not at all justified in the movie. The verse which is an epitome of sufi philosophy of annihilation of self and love for the divine has been used to in the context of Alauddin’s obsession for Padmavati that was driven by ego or lust which is in any case not at all correct.


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