Wednesday, January 24, 2018



(Pretty looking but boring as hell!)

2.5 stars

Mini Review:

The story of a beautiful, faithful queen and a lustful invader
who will stop at nothing is told in three very long hours. The
costume drama is beautiful and Rajasthan is a great setting
for this tale of Rajput valor. But the talk of pride and glory is
so endless, it makes you want to run into your sword out
of sheer boredom. But Ranveer Singh makes a brilliant
hammy villain, and Deepika is luminous.

And you say to Sanjay Leela Bhasali, 'Kuch naya batao!'

Main Review:

Sanjay Leela Bhansali has a penchant for controversy, whether
it was the ‘pinga’ song sung by the Peshwa queen in ‘Bajirao
Mastani’ or the ‘Ghoomar’ dance in this film. There was also the
question of did the king dance to a very colloquial modern
‘vaat lavli’ song. But the Marathi ‘manner’ remained a TV debate
and angry newspaper articles by ‘conscience keepers’.

This time, the Rajput Moral Police took to burning theatres and
tearing down posters thinking their Rajput pride would be hurt if a
Muslim king were shown romancing a Rajput princess. If only they
had seen the film! Their anger would have been turned into sheer
boredom of a costume drama that goes on and on and on.

Stiff Upper Lip And Everything Else!

That Sanjay Leela Bhansali can make things look good is not
in contest. Visually, the film is beautiful. But when you hear the
tiny (yes, he’s so thin, he could be counted as half a Rajput)
Shahid Kapoor play Maharawal Ratan Singh and talk about
Rajpur pride and glory and principles and code of war, he just
seems like he’s playacting. He talks so much about the ‘Rajput
Shaan’ (pride of Rajputs), you begin to pray for Shakaal from
‘Shaan’ the 1980 film to show up and save us from the lecturing.
Plus, he’s so stiff, you wonder if they used extra glue used for
his moustache twirl and used it on his neck.

The howlarious part is his terrible, terrible dialog: Tumahre
haathon mein meri talwar achhi lagti hai!' (My sword looks
very nice in your hands!). In this age of Internet memes and
hashtags, you burst outlaughing and say, '#TWHS!'

Deepika Is Luminous, But She Was Better 'Mastani'

Deepika Padukone mostly has tears in her saucer eyes, and it’s
funny to see how she bends down to hug her boring husband.
She carries her clothes beautifully, but you wish there was
something more to her than the adoring looks she has to give
to Shahid Kapoor (who looks comical when he’s impaled by her
arrow), and bores us to death with his endless dialog.

The Film Belongs To Khilji!

Ranveer Singh saves the film with a lot of hamming and we
love him for that. He looks like he had fun playing the demented,
wicked  Alauddin Khilji. And his dialog is so bad it is good. Plus,
kudos to Bhansali for showing a very interesting sexual angle
to this villain. Takes courage to do that. Ranveer’s wild dance
is just fab, and so are his deeds: his suspicious nature when
he changes the food plates, him strangling the nephew… And
the women in the audience sighed audibly, lustfully when he’s
sleeping topless in the tent or bathing or…

The other characters, like Jim Sarbh who is slave to Khilji, Gora
Singh the Rajput SenaPati, Rawal’s first wife Nagmati, Badal’s
mother are all great supporting cast, but Ranveer Singh simply
lights up the screen, even if he’s shown lovelorn, waiting for
morning to come…

He also makes the audience laugh out loud in complete empathy
when Shahid Kapoor shows up to say goodbye in one scene.
Ranveer throws down the lotus flower (‘Padma’ means lotus)
in disgust and says, ‘Why do you have to turn up every time I’m
hoping to see Padmaavati!’

That summed up this overly long, tedious, but beautiful film for me.
Take a bow Ranveer Singh, your hamming saves this film.

(A sanitised version of this review appears on )

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