Controversies after controversies. But the film has finally managed to make its way through them all.
After a screening for the press, here's what the media had to say about the much-talked film of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
The film will be in theatres tomorrow on January 25.
Times of India: Watch the film for the cinematic brilliance of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, for the screen goddess that is Deepika Padukone, for the earnestness of Shahid Kapoor and for Ranveer Singh’s madness.
SLB will take you through various emotions throughout the runtime of the film and at the end you'll find yourself spellbound. Padmaavat is a marvel of Indian cinema.
News 18.com: Bhansali stages spectacular war scenes, striking just the right balance between grand scale and intimacy.
There is opulence and poetry in virtually every frame of the film, and Bhansali applies the same ‘lavish’ approach to staging the controversial jauhar scene in the climax.
It’s a tricky choice, treating that sequence as ‘beautifully’ as he does, given how these customs ought to be viewed today.
Particularly ironic, given all the pre-release protests against Bhansali and the film for diminishing Rajput pride. If anything, he’s guilty of ‘prettying up’ a horrific, regressive practice.
But the film belongs to Ranveer SIngh whose delicious performance is its biggest strength.
NDTV: Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, a man well versed with excess, lays it on thick to the point of being tiresome. This is an all-out assault on the senses, a circuitous take on an old legend that is now being flogged to breaking point.
Based rather loosely on the epic poem of the same name by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, here we have a king and his lovely queen, interrupted by a barbarian who, on hearing that the queen is pretty, lays siege to their city.
As you may probably be aware, all of this ends in a climax that, as the kids now say, is lit.
Hindustan Times: Padmaavat is sparkling, extravagant, dazzling, magnificent and wonderful. It’s a feast for the eyes.
It leaves you craving for something more meaningful than a mere re-telling of Jayasi’s poem. But it has enough to bedazzle you, so go for the sheen and Ranveer Singh’s lunacy.
After all, Padmaavat has passed so many hurdles to reach you.
The Indian Express: Of course, Padmaavat is spectacular: no one can do spectacle like Bhansali. This was what he was born to do. You can easily delight in it while the going is good.
But nearly three hours of it, and looping rhetoric around what constitutes Rajput valour can and does become tiresome.
And that compulsion to make ‘sati’ so good-looking, when the singeing of flesh can be so gruesome, is troubling.
The First Post: Padmaavat’s disturbing ideology — misogynistic, communal and homophobic — is bad enough. The final nail in the coffin is the lack of chemistry between Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor, which made me long for the Aishwarya Rai-Hrithik Roshan pairing in the equally lavishly produced, vastly superior Jodhaa Akbar (2008).
Remember Queen Jodhaa peeping out from behind curtains at the topless emperor? It was a scene crackling with electricity and longing.
Watching Padmaavat’s lead couple together though, I could not for the life of me understand why Padmavati gave a fig — or her life — for H.R.H. Ratan.
The Deccan Chronicle: Sanjay Leela Bhansali makes his most courageous film yet, but sadly the results are not very impressive.
The film that is a war epic, love story, and costume drama, all in one, is bogged down by mediocre execution. Much will be said about the film's daunting length, and the truth is, it could have been shorter.
It's the kind of film that tries too hard to get your attention in the run-time of almost three hours. However, the second half of the film does get little pacy and you are swept into Rani Padmavati's political tactics and her personal growing-up journey.
The idea of Sati/Jauhar seems a bit jarred in today’s times, especially when the entire film builds to that one high moment.