While shrouded in debates and controversy, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s epic period drama Padmavati got a new lease of life after it garnered positive reviews from a special screening. Senior journalists Rajat Sharma and Arnab Goswami were shown unedited version of the movie and both praised the film’s depiction of Rani Padmavati, calling it a brilliant depiction of the Rajput queen and her kin.
Silencing critics, Karni Sena, royal descendants and politicians, the journalists recount the film to show the valour of Rani Padmavati (Deepika Padukone) and Raja Magarawal Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor). The film opens with a disclaimer,
“The film is made in the honour Rani Padmavati. It is an adaptation. It has been taken in reference with historians but does not reflect history in accuracy.”
Given the disclaimer, there is little doubt that the film will chose to take creative liberties while presenting the story. While at the same time, it keeps the pride of the Rajput queen intact as she gives up her life rather than being a slave to the cruel invader Alauddin Khilji played by Ranveer Singh.
One of the lines from the movie shows how the honour of the queen was protected.
“Rani Padmavati ka jauhar hi khilji ki sabse badi haar aur Rajputon ki sabse badi jeet.”
When she learns her king is imprisoned by Khilji, she keeps her sorrow aside and says, “Yudh, niti se jeta jaega.” It goes on to show the queen's intentions to protect her people, in spite of a personal loss. The queen’s integrity comes forth when in her last interaction with Ratan Singh, she demands her right to jump into burning fire, “Mujhe Jauhar Ka Haq dijiye.”
The journalists revealed another important aspect of the movie, which was, the dialogues delivered between Alauddin Khilji and Maharawal Ratan Singh. Khilji in one instance says to Maharawal, “Jab bhi hum Padmavati se milne ka khwab karte hain aap aage aajate hain.” This shows that the courageous king stood between his queen and the ruler and that Padmavati and Khilji never met. Ratan Singh is shown as a brave Rajput when his queen asked him to escape from a backdoor, has says, “Rajput hai hum kabhi peeth dikhakar nahi jaate.” Ratan Singh is set to win hearts as he delivers a lesson in humanity to Khilji, “Tum bhi usul seekh jao, insan ban jaoge.”
Another brilliant dialogue delivered by Rani Padmini that shows the fight between good and evil goes like this, “Yeh yudh satya aur asatya ke beech hai, Ram aur Ravan, Pandav aur Kaurav ke beech hai.”
Since its inception, the film received backlash from the Rajput community. Things have only gotten ugly since then with Bhansali being attacked on the sets in Jaipur, the sets in Kolhapur being vandalized and burnt, death threats issued against Bhansali, threats to cut Deepika’s nose surfaced and general violence being spewed by the Rajput community. This disclosure after the special screening should calm stressed Rajput nerves.