Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movies are like a “Banquet” of visual spectacle. He launches a project & the countdown begins for his Fans. I have been living with “Padmavati” ever since he declared the project & have read all the folklore & stories about “Maharani Padmavati” of Chittor. On my recent visit to Rajasthan, I re-discovered her legend and carried home the tales of her ultimate Bravery. Though not much has been written about her in the name of Books & Literature, she is undoubtedly an icon of Honor & Dignity.
The humiliation and danger the Queens & their fellow women were exposed to during the era of Mughal Dynasty is known to all. Rani “Padmini” is the epitome of self-sacrifice for she chose to rest in the arms of wholly Fire & surrendered to Jauhar; she chose death over the privileges of Khilji’s harem. And she brought back her King alive from the clutches of Emperor “Alauddin Khilji” before he could force his brutality upon her & the women of her Kingdom.
Who was Padmini/Padmavati? Poems have been composed, songs have been sung in her name; it is believed that she was so fair, when she drank water you could see it passing through her throat. She had a talking Parrot who told her about “Rawal Ratan Singh” & recited tales of his bravery to her.
Rawal Ratan Singh won her hand in Swayamvar & returned with his new “Queen” to Chittor. “Raghav Chetan” was a musician in his court who was expelled over his magical practises by Ratan Singh. He was banished from the kingdom so he vowed revenge before he reached Khilji. He recited a song to him praising the immaculate beauty of Padmini (even taunted him that there wasn’t a single woman of this genre in his harem) upon which Khilji swore to include her in his Harem. He visited Chittor & Ratan Singh treated him as a guest. He asked for a meeting with Padmini but she declined. After his repeated insistence she agreed to let him see her reflection in a mirror. It was a reason enough for Khilji to capture Ratan Singh & take him hostage. With the help of her uncle Gora & his young nephew Baadal, Padmini rescued the King from Khilji’s prison. Disguised as Padmini, Baadal helped Padmini & Rawal Singh to escape while Gora fell martyr. Khilji attacked Chittor in vengeance hoping for a submission by Padmini after capturing Ratan Singh again. But he learnt that she has chosen Jauhar to retain her Honor along with 38 thousand other women. This ghastly news made him infuriated so he massacred 30,000 men & humiliated Ratan Singh by carrying him back alive to his Kingdom.
The trailer arrived yesterday and the grandeur of Bhansali’s project has left me with goosebumps. The canvas, shots of forts & battles, the red colour of Rajputana women’s costumes & the dark shades of Khilji… it has all the ingredients to make Dec 1 the most awaited event of this year. Deepika & Shahid (as Padmini & Ratan Singh) share a few tender moments on screen in this teaser & their chemistry is visibly “Electrifying”.
Ranveer as Khilji is the one who has gathered maximum attention for his intense “Diabolic” look. But wasn’t that expected? Have a look at his posters & shots in the trailer and you’ll be left with a “Game of Thrones” feeling. His “Sultan” demeanor, his evil laughter, his lustful eyes; he is simply “Stunning” & like they say……..has “Nailed it!”
Well! I will break the surprise for you. “Jim Sarabh” will be playing the role of “Malik Kafur” , the slave-general who was also the love interest of Khilji.
No more teasers please Mr. Bhansali! The wait for Dec 1 will become harder.