YADVI-The Dignified Princess: Film Review – An Unheard Royal Memoir

Verdict: Witness the steel will of an extraordinary princess from a bygone era.

The words "long long time ago…" – instantly catch your attention. Stories, fantasy, palaces, princes, princesses, kings, and queens – these concepts have a unique place in our hearts. But not every royal affair ends on a happy note. India before Independence was a land where many such stories existed but not all of them got the attention they deserved. One such tale is about Maharani Yadhuvansh Kumari, daughter of Patiala’s then Maharaja Bhupinder SinghYadvi – The Dignified Princess is a sweet attempt by Maharani’s own granddaughter Jyoti Singh, also an actress and producer based in the US, to show the world how strong a woman her grandmother was. By assuming multiple roles of an actor, director, writer and producer, Jyoti, along with her sister Gauri Singh, has cut out a slice of life from their royal lineage and legacy and presented it cinematically for the people to witness it.
Yadvi -The Dignified Princess - BookMyShow

The initial clips filmed in the documentary style give the audience interesting insights into the present-day life of a royal family’s descendants in the US followed by the lavish and regal lifestyle of one of the 10 richest men in the 1920s, Maharaja of Patiala who owned an aircraft in addition to 20 Rolls Royce cars and a Maybach gifted by Hitler. After giving a historical brief about the king, we are introduced to the king’s (played by Chandrachur Singh) family consisting of his third wife Maharani Vimal Kaur (Charu Vyas) and their four children; Princess Yadhuvansh being the youngest. Amidst the love, care and moral teachings of her father, Princesses Yadvi is betrothed to marry a Rajput Prince Govind Singh (Rahul Godara) at a young age. The princess is to move with her in-laws only once 21 but a sudden death in the family and unfavorable situations force her to seek her husband prematurely. But once again disaster strikes when she finds her husband getting remarried to a Rajput Princess. When she finds herself being a victim of polygamy and patriarchy, she doesn’t lose hope but continues living with integrity and self-respect and raises her three daughters single-handedly. Her journey from being a Maharani to the one searching for firewood in the chilling cold of Uttarakhand is one marked by shame, struggle, and societal pressure.

Yadvi – The Dignified Princess, to begin with, is a docu-drama that educates us not only about the iron will and courage of a woman at a time when feminism was not even understood properly in the country, but also opens our eyes to ugly truths. On the acting front, the lead characters were pretty decent and managed to evoke desired emotions but the supporting cast was underwhelming with their robotic dialogue delivery, uncomfortable accents, and sub-par acting. The dialogues could have been more effective in Hindi and the crisper editing could have done wonders. Though Jyoti Singh looks fresh as a dewdrop in every frame, she doesn’t complement the character of a 19-year-old princess. The Chandrachur Singh tries hard to leave an impact and before he succeeds you find him gone from the screen. The camera work was average throughout the film but the recurrent close-up shots were disturbing. If these were replaced with long or standard shots, the scenes could have been aesthetically better. Surprisingly, the film’s music by Anuj Garg was excellent and if more attention had been given to the other aspects, this historical drama could have made for an interesting piece of cinema.

Why You Should Watch This Movie:

If you are a history lover or find biographies of extraordinary people motivating. Also, not every day a film on India’s royal history comes from a source as authentic as a royal family member; in this case Jyoti Singh. A little bit of drama, a little bit of history and a little bit of biography is not a bad idea.

PS: The music of this film will definitely bring a smile to your face if not anything else. 

Release Date: 2017-08-25
Language: English
Director: Jyoti Singh
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Cast & Crew: Chandrachur Singh, Charu Vyas, Rahul Godara, Jyoti Singh, Vick Krishna, Anuj Garg, Sumeet Verma
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  1. Arjun Batyabal

    August 24, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Wow, sounds exciting. As I have grown older in life, i have realized the importance of history as it sheds light on what made up our background, the foundation of our identity. Knowing our own histroy gives insight on how others have seen us throughout the times…amazing that the filmmaker is actually the grand-daughter…looking fwd to it.

  2. Seema Linus

    August 24, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Art is about expressing your emotion in a creative way.  I am excited about how this filmmaker does that.  I love true stories.

  3. Ahmed K.

    August 24, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    I'm in my 50s now and miss the era of 'art films' of the 80s. Pictures like Arth and Bazaar.  Those times were great. Actors like Naseerudin Shah, Om Puri, &Smeeta Patil & Shabana Azmi were flwless and took off from there. I want to see these kinds of pictures again.  This one sounds like it is a true story so I desire to that 'art' in Yadvi. I cherish pictures that are not necessarily commercial hits but deliver lots of actual lives and decisions of real people.

  4. Ahmed K.

    August 24, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    It looks like it will have a certain earthy feel which invokes emotional honesty behind the project.

  5. Katie Blaylock

    August 24, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    I have already seen this film and loved it. I was in the selection committee of a film festival in New York. I can only have praise for Jyoti Singh who is a first time director and in reality is a very humble person. I also selected a movie called "Oas."  But for now, I want to go see "Yadvi" a second time.

  6. N Fakir

    August 24, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    I liked Chandarchoor Singh in Maachis and I would go c any tru story movie he is in.

  7. joy

    April 20, 2018 at 3:05 am

    Beautiful film.  I loved it. Almost everyone in the theater was amazed at the story.  Beautiful Cinamatography, Acting by lead cast.   Overall with low budget and being a first time director, Jyoti Singh and Gauri Singh justify the film.  It is a passion driven film, surly to touch your heart in someway.  Relatable to even todays world. 

  8. joy

    April 20, 2018 at 3:06 am

    Beautiful film.  I loved it. Almost everyone in the theater was amazed at the story.  Beautiful Cinamatography, Acting by lead cast.   Overall with low budget and being a first time director, the singh sisters justify the film.  It is a passion driven film, surly to touch your heart in someway.  Relatable to even todays world. 

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