Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati trailer wowed its viewers by marrying elegance with magnanimity. Deepika’s sweeping entrance as a queen followed by Shahid’s command in the courtroom all played a role in amplifying out anticipations surrounding the movie. But the man who stole our hearts in the trailer was Ranveer Singh’s emulation of Turk king Alauddin Khilji. While we may have watched him with bated breath, let’s take a step away from the cinematic brilliance of the trailer and peek into the shoddy historical representation.
The King of Chittor played by Shahid Kapoor and Rani Padmini enacted by Deepika Padukone has been shown in Rajput finery, but the camera puts on a different filter when it shows the villain, Ranveer Singh. Irrespective of the fact that Ranveer is projected as a king, he has been shown as a barbaric in ragged finery. Bhansali seems to have forgotten that Alauddin Khilji, despite being a ruthless ruler was born and brought up in Persian royalty.
Ranveer’s look has been accused of being similar to Game of Throne’s barbaric king, Khal Droggo. Shots of flapping fur cape, gorging on raw meat and long dark locks all seem to contradict historical facts. Alauddin Khilji astutely followed Islam which would mean as a ruler he would probably not opt for such a hairdo.
History has recorded Alauddin Khilji as the second most powerful ruler of the Khilji dynasty known for his cold heartedness when it came to capturing and expanding his kingdom. Bhansali’s twist to his mise-en-scene by making him look like a mythical barbaric King adds spice to the script but construes history. Even Wikipedia seems to grant more dignity and elegance to Khilji than allowed by Bhansali.There exists no historical evidence of Khilji’s maniacal quest to get Rani Padmini except for a 16th century text by Malik Muhammad Jaisi who possibly added the drama to get his book sold much like the twist Bhansali added to recover his Rs 400 crore budget.