Verdict: SLB proves his magic yet again. 

Padmaavat is one of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s dream projects, apart from Black and Bajirao Mastani. After the 2015 historical drama, he returns with two of his favorite actors – Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh  but this time, they are not cast opposite each other. Based on a poem by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, the movie also marks the first-time collaboration between the director and actor Shahid Kapoor. With a mammoth budget in hand and a great set of performers, does SLB deliver? Find out below.

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What’s Padmaavat About: 

Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) serves the King of Delhi (played by Raza Murad) and in his introductory scene itself, he proposes marriage to the ruler’s daughter (Aditi Rao Hyadri), who appears in a brief role. Khilji isn’t a man of honor or principle and he backstabs (pun intended) his father-in-law in order to take over the throne. Meanwhile, in Singal, Maharawal Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor) encounters Rani Padmavati (Deepika Padukone) and decides to take her back to Mewar as his wife. The couple lives happily until hell breaks loose when Khilji learns of Rani Padmavati’s beauty. His obsession with her drives him to stage a war against Maharawal Ratan Singh. A series of events transpire, which force Rani Padmavati to make a decision no one ever imagined. 

What Works:

Padmaavat has all the elements of a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. The sets are lavish and every scene looks straight out of a fairy tale. The costumes and dialogues boast of authenticity and the music, composed by SLB himself, adds to the feel of the era the film is set in. The director is known to bring the best out of his actors and Padmaavat will easily go down as one of the best films in the careers of its lead actors. Shahid Kapoor has never attempted such a genre before, but he is at par with the ever-versatile Ranveer Singh. While Singh has gone a bit overboard to showcase his character’s eccentricities, Kapoor is fierce only in a few scenes that require him to be so. Deepika Padukone, who by now can sleepwalk through such roles, manages to bring something new to her part. A special shoutout to the VFX team that make the battle and climax scenes look magnificent. Padmaavat looks stunning in IMAX and you should try and catch it in that format. 

What Could Have Been Better:

Padmaavat is a long film. SLB is not known for his brevity but a few songs and a sequence that includes an attack on Khilji could have been chopped out on the edit table. 

Why You Should Watch:

Padmaavat is Bollywood’s answer to Baahubali. It is grandeur personified and no one but SLB could have pulled off the herculean task of making such a movie. This long weekend, do yourself a favor and watch Padmaavat. This one’s worth the ticket price and the popcorn.