“Padmaavat is a dream come true for me. I have always been fascinated by the stories of honour, valour and vigour of our great Rajput warriors that have been captured so beautifully in our literature and this movie is my homage to those glorious stories,” said the director of the period-drama Sanjay Leela Bhansali. In his many statements, Padmaavat director Sanjay Leela Bhansali assured that Rani Padmavati’s honour has not been sullied in his piece of fiction. He said, “There is no interaction whatsoever between the characters played by Deepika Padukone (Padmavati) and Ranveer Singh (Allaudin Khilji). We have kept the honour of Rajputs intact. So, there are no such scene or any sort of dream sequence which would hurt anyone.”
Now that cinephiles across the country have been allowed to watch Bhansali’s multi-crore epic Padmaavat (earlier titled Padmavati) in theaters on January 25, here is everything you should know about the magnum opus.
In the trailer of Padmaavat, we see Deepika Padukone as a brave queen Padmavati, Shahid Kapoor as Rajput king Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as a wild beast who gives a sense of savage danger. The background score hints at movie narrating the heroic tale of Rani Padmavati who embraced death to safeguard the honour of Rajputs. “Rajput kangan mei utni hi taaqat hai jitni Rajput talwar mei (A Rajput bangle has equal power as a Rajput sword),” utters Deepika in the revised trailer.
The movie is a tale of valour and sacrifice. It celebrates a Rajput queen’s willingness to die rather than give herself over to a tyrant who coveted her. The tale was earlier told in ‘Padmavat’, an Awadhi-language poem by the 16th century Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi. In his poem, Jayasi had three central characters Padmini or Padmavati, the queen of Chittor, her husband Rana Ratansen Singh, and the sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khalji.
As it reads in the poem Padmavat, Padmavati, princess of Simhala-dvipa (Ceylon) was a perfect woman whose beauty could be compared to none. When the king of Chittor, Ratanen Singh visited Padmavati in Simhala-dvipa he was enamoured by her beauty and brought her to Chittor after marrying her. But soon the lives of Ratanen Singh and Queen Padmavati were made difficult by a banished sorcerer of Ratanen Singh’s court, Raghav Chaitanya. In vengeance, Raghav travelled to the court of Sultan Alauddin in Delhi and told him about Padmini’s beauty, following which the sultan marched upon Chittor to acquire her for himself.
After a long battle, Allaudin succeeded in entering the fort of Chittor but by then the Rajput women along with Padmavati had committed jauhar to escape the sultan.
Bhansali’s Padmaavat which has been mired in controversies over its alleged misrepresentation of Rajput’s cultural heritage got cleared by Central Board of Film Certification with a U/A certificate and a few “relevant modifications.” The modifications suggested by CBFC included a disclaimer which clearly mentions that the movie does not claim accuracy of historical facts and does not glorify the banned practice of Sati. Also, the title of the movie was changed from Padmavati to Padmaavat since the makers claimed that the movie is not inspired by the true historical facts and draws inspiration from the fictional poem ‘Padmavat’. The Ghoomar song of the movie which was received well by the audience has also been modified to befit the character portrayed by Deepika as many Rajput groups claimed Rani Padmini never danced in front of strange men.