Padmaavat (2018 Movies)
Director:- Sanjay Leela Bhansali
- Sanjay Leela Bhansali
- Sudhanshu Vats
- Ajit Andhare
- Sanjay Leela Bhansali
- Prakash Kapadia
- Sanjay Leela Bhansali
- Sanchit Balhara (score)
Cinematographer:- Sudeep Chatterjee
Release date:- 25 January 2018
Budget:- ₹215 crore
Box office:- est. ₹484.53 crore
In 13th-century Afghanistan, Jalaluddin Khilji of Khilji dynasty plans to take over the throne of Delhi. In return for supplying Jalaluddin with an ostrich, his nephew Alauddin Khilji asks for his daughter Mehrunisa‘s hand in marriage. Their wedding is organised, but on the night of the event, Allauddin engages in adultery with another woman and kills a courtier who catches him, leaving his wife-to-be horrified. Meanwhile, Rajput ruler Maharawal Ratan Singh travels to Sinhala to acquire rare pearls for his first wife Nagmati. While hunting, thw Sinhala princess Padmavati wounds Ratan Singh; they two fall in love and get married. Jalaluddin captures Delhi and permits Alauddin to repel a Mongol invasion. Alauddin undertakes an unsanctioned raid on Devagiri. Learning of Alauddin’s ambition to take over his throne from his wife and son, Jalaluddin travels to Kara, where his nephew is also stationed. Jalaluddin arrives and gifts the slave Malik Kafur to Alauddin, who has Jalaluddin and his guards assassinated and declares himself Sultan.
Padmavati journeys to Mewar with Ratan Singh and blessed by Singh’s royal priest, Raghav Chetan. Nagmati is jealous of Padmavati and disapproves of her husband’s marriage. Chetan is caught watching an intimate Ratan and Padmavati and is thrown out of the kingdom. He travels to Delhi and informs Alauddin of Padmavati’s beauty. Alauddin, who wants to own every unusual thing in the world, invites the Rajputs to Delhi. His invitation is rejected, frustrated, he orders a failed attack on Chittor. Unsuccessful in his attempts, Alauddin feigns peace on account of Holi and is allowed to enter Chittor where he meets Ratan. He asks to see Padmavati. The Rajputs, knowing his intentions, threaten him and tell him that he is alive only because he is a guest. Singh grants Alauddin’s request to see Padmavati, but does so only for a moment, preventing Alauddin from seeing her face.
Ratan Singh is taken prisoner by Alauddin, who demands to see Padmavati. Upon being insisted by the chief queen, she agrees, and travels to Delhi to meet Khilji. Meanwhile, Alaluddin’s nephew attempts to assassinate him. Alauddin is wounded but defends himself. While on the Sultanante’s frontiers, the Rajputs plan to ambush the Khilji soldiers in the morning which is the time for namāz. Padmavati frees Ratan with the help of Mehrunisa. The Khilji soldiers who are praying are alerted and attack, but are ambushed by the Rajputs disguised as women. The Rajput attack is repulsed, with the ambushing Rajputs killed. In Chittor, Padmavati is hailed for saving Ratan and compared to a goddess.
Alauddin imprisons Mehrunisa for helping the Rajputs and marches to Chittor. He and Ratan engage in a single duel; Alauddin is nearly defeated by Ratan who is dishonorably killed by Khilji’s forces by being shot from behind with arrows, but berates Alauddin for fighting dishonorably before dying. The Khilji army succeeds in defeating the Rajputs and capturing Chittor, but is unable to capture the Rajput women who commit jauhar with Padmavati, preventing Alauddin from ever seeing the face of the queen he waged war over.
- Deepika Padukone as Padmavati – a 13th-14th century legendary Rajput queen, who was, according to Padmavat, the wife of Rajput king Ratan Singh (also known as Ratan Sen), the ruler of Mewar. The news of Padmavati’s beauty reached Sultan Alauddin Khilji, who besieged Singh’s capital, Chittor, motivated by his desire to capture the queen.
- Shahid Kapoor as Ratan Singh – the last Rajput ruler of the Guhila dynasty that ruled the kingdom of Mewar. He was defeated by Alauddin Khilji’s forces during the siege of Chittor.
- Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji – the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. He was the second and most powerful ruler of the Sultanate belonging to the Khalji dynasty. He ascended the throne by murdering his paternal uncle and father-in-law, Sultan Jalaluddin Khalji. According to Padmavat, Khilji laid siege to Chittor motivated by his desire to capture Ratan Singh’s beautiful wife, Padmavati.
- Aditi Rao Hydari as Mehrunisa – first wife of Alauddin Khilji and Queen of the Delhi Sultanate.
- Jim Sarbh as Malik Kafur – a prominent eunuch slave-general of Alauddin Khilji.
- Raza Murad as Jalaluddin Khilji – the founder and first Sultan of the Khilji dynasty that ruled the Delhi Sultanate. He was deposed by his nephew and son-in-law Alauddin, who murdered his uncle to usurp the throne.
- Anupriya Goenka as Nagmati – first wife and chief queen of Ratan Singh according to Padmavat. Nagmati and her husband’s second wife, Padmavati, performed jauhartogether after Alauddin Khilji attacked Chittor.
Due to the costs mounted on the film by delay in the release, Box Office India declared the film’s budget to be ₹215 crore (US$34 million), which makes it the most expensive Hindi film and one of the most expensive Indian films ever made.
Delhi-based Rimple and Harpreet Narula designed Rani Padmavati’s costume using traditional Gota embroidery work of Rajasthan. The border derives from the architectural details of Rajasthani palace windows and jharokhas and the odhnis have been styled in conventional ways which are still prevalent in the Mewar belt of Rajasthan. The designer duo elaborated that the costume worn by Padukone in the final scene of the film features the tree-of-life motif and twisted gota embroidery and has a Kota dupatta with block printing. Padukone’s dresses were made with Sinhalese influences, as the character of Padmavati hailed from Sri Lanka.
The costumes for Shahid Kapoor were made from mulmul and cotton, with special attention given to the turbans, one of which, featuring a 28-dye lehariya, was inspired by a turban to be found at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The clothes for Ranveer Singh were based on travellers’ accounts of the Turko-Persian influence on Indian clothing (Khilji was of Turko-Afghan heritage). The costumes for Aditi Rao Hydari, who plays Khilji’s first wife Mehrunisa, incorporated Turkish, Afghan, Mongol and Ottoman elements to showcase Mehrunisa’s Turkic origins. For both Ranveer Singh and Hydari’s costumes, extensive research was done on the clothing and textiles of the Turkish belt, from Afghanistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Kazakhstan and to the Central Asian belt around Turkey.
Padukone’s look for the “Ghoomar” song features intricate jewellery weighing up to 3 kg designed by Tanishq featuring a triple Borla, Mathapatti and Bajuband which are traditional ornaments worn by the Rajasthani women.
Vipul Amar and Harsheen Arora of Delhi-based design house ‘The V Renaissance’ designed costumes for Rawal Ratan Singh and Alauddin Khilji, employing historical techniques to create the armour such as cuirboilli, sculpting, chiselling, and inlaying. The armour took a team of forty workers eight months to prepare.
he film became controversial during production. There were allegations from groups such as the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, a Rajputcaste organisation, claiming that the film depicts factual inaccuracies, portraying the Rajput queen Padmavati in a bad light, with activists vandalising the sets of the film. However, a sting operation conducted by an Indian news channel showed that the activists had planted the controversies in order to extort money from the filmmakers.
Muslim leaders protested against the alleged misrepresentation of Ala-ud-din Khilji. Yunus Chopdar, the Rajasthan Madarsa Board member and president of the Rajasthan Muslims Parishad, said the film puts Muslims in negative light and should be banned.
Subsequently, the Karni Sena made threats of violence, reportedly threatening to burn down theatres if the film is released to audiences before it is shown to them for evaluation. Bhansali responded to the threats by reiterating that rumours of a romantic dream sequence between Padmini and Khilji were false, and that the film contains no such scene. BBC News stated that Bhansali’s attempt to placate those who want the film to be banned has “fallen on deaf ears among those who want to ‘protect the honour’ of a fictitious queen.”
In November 2017, Raj K. Purohit, an Indian politician and senior BJP member, called for the film to be banned. He stated: “How can a Rajput queen be shown dancing and without ghoonghat? It is against Rajput culture and pride. No community will be able to tolerate it.” He said he would meet Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani to seek action against the film. Central Board of Film Certification member Arjun Gupta petitioned the Home Minister to put Bhansali on trial for treason. The Karni Sena held protests, supported by politicians in the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).
Threats were also directed at Bhansali and lead actress Deepika Padukone, and it was reported that riot police might be deployed at Indian cinemas upon the film’s release. The Karni Sena threatened to violently assault and mutilate Padukone, which the Mumbai Police responded to by giving her special security. Bharat Kshatriya Samaj, another caste organisation, made death threats against Bhansali and Padukone, putting a ₹5 crore (US$780,000) bounty on their heads. The Haryana BJP’s media chief Suraj Pal Amu put a ₹10 crore (US$1.6 million) bounty on the heads of both Padukone and Bhansali. Amu also made threats against Ranveer Singh, who plays the Muslim ruler Alauddin Khilji, threatening to break Singh’s legs.
On 24 November 2017, a dead body was found hanging in Nahargarh Fort, with a sentence scribbled on a nearby rock wall stating in Hindi, “Padmavati ka virodh” (in opposition to Padmavati). The graffiti also included a warning, “We don’t just burn effigies, we hang them.” NDTV reported, “The police say it’s not clear if this is a case of suicide or murder.” The death, initially thought to have been committed against the release of Padmaavat, was later found to have been an attempt, by appearing to be a murder committed by Muslims in support of Padmaavat, to incite communal riots between Hindus and Muslims. On 26 November 2017, the body was identified to be that of a local businessman. The post mortem report revealed that the man died due to hanging.
Several historians have criticised the protests, and described Padmavati as a mythical fictional character. Aditya Mukherjee from the Centre for Historical Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University called the protests “absurd” and said, “In the contemporary period, there is no mention of this event, no accounts of Padmavati by Amir Khusrau, a prolific writer of the era and a courtier of Alauddin Khilji. This is misuse of both fiction and history. There is no historical evidence of this Padmavati event – this story is a poet’s imagination.” He referred to the controversy as “manufacturing of hurt sentiments clearly with an eye on politics.” Historian Irfan Habib said, “Though Alauddin Khilji had won Chittor, during that period there is no mention of any character as Padmavati in history” and noted that she was mentioned for the first time in Muhammad Jayasi’s fictional epic Padmavat over two centuries after the Chittor incident. Historian Harbans Mukhia writes in The Indian Express, “Khilji defeated the Rana of Chittor in 1303 and died in 1316. No one by the name of Padmini or Padmavati existed then — or at any time — in flesh and blood resembling the story. She was born in 1540, 224 years after Khalji’s death, in the pages of a book of poetry by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, resident of Jayas in Awadh, a very long way from Chittor.” Social analyst Jamal Ansari stated: “Presently myths are being presented as history which is a dangerous trend.” Mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik objected to the story of Padmavati and said that it is a glamorisation and valorisation of the idea of a woman voluntarily burning herself.
A panel consisting Arvind Singh, and historians Chandramani Singh and KK Singh watched the movie and asked reservations on the content. Singh said the movie illustrated Hindus and Muslims in poor light.
- Ban – On 30 Jan 2018, Malaysia became the first country to outright ban the movie. Malaysia’s National Film Censorship Board (LPF) chairman Mohd Zamberi Abdul Aziz said in a statement that the storyline of the film itself is of grave concern as “Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country”, reports variety.com. “The storyline of the film touches on the sensitivities of Islam. That in itself is a matter of grave concern in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country,” Aziz said.
- Violence – In the days leading up to the film’s release, violent protests began breaking out across India,as well as riots. In Gujarat, for example, hundreds of suspects were arrested for rioting. There have been incidents in Haryana where mobs protesting the film’s release attacked several passenger vehicles. A protest mob torched a Haryana Roadways bus, injuring several people on it. A protest mob in Haryana also attacked a school bus with teachers and children, the youngest, four years-old, with stones and sticks.
Due to the numerous controversies associated with Padmaavat before its release which resulted in banning the film in certain states, the film’s commercial performance was highly unpredictable. The film was released in only 70% of places in India. However, despite limited screenings, the film earned an estimated ₹5 crore (US$780,000) in Wednesday paid previews. The following day, the film opened nationwide across 4,800 screens of which over 500 screens were shown in Tamil and Telegu. It earned an estimated ₹19 crore (US$3.0 million) nett on its opening day in India, excluding previews, which was considered impressive despite its ban in numerous big states and marked a career best opening for Ranveer Singh, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Shahid Kapoor and fourth biggest for Padukone (behind Happy New Year, Chennai Express and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani). On Friday, the film added another ₹32 crore (US$5.0 million), owing to national holiday on Republic Day. This was followed by a gradual fall on Saturday taking in another ₹27 crore (US$4.2 million). Through Sunday, the film delivered an opening weekend of ₹114 crore (US$18 million) and became the fourteenth film to enter the 100 crore club in just under 4 days. Furthermore, it broke the record for the biggest IMAX opening in India with US$461,000 from 12 screens. However, due to its limited screenings, the film nevertheless lost over ₹35 crore (US$5.5 million) in box office receipts during its opening weekend.
Outside India, the film broke all-time opening day records in Australia (A$367,984), surpassing the likes of Dangal and the dubbed-Hindi version of Baahubali: The Conclusion. One of the reason behind the film’s successful run in the country was because Paramount (the overseas distributing company) was able to secure release in all three major theatre chains (Hoyts, Event Cinemas and Village Cinemas) unlike other Bollywood films which have to choose between the two latter. In the United States and Canada, the film grossed $1.13 million on its opening day. This was followed by the biggest ever single-day for a Hindi film with $1.8 million on Saturday, breaking the previous record held by PK ($1.41 million). Although Baahubali: The Conclusion still holds the record for all Indian films, that is inclusive of three different languages. It went on to set a new opening weekend record for a Hindi film with $4.2 million, and witnessed the second best per-theatre-average inside the top 10 with $13,188 from 324 theatres. As of 6 February 2018, the film has crossed ₹400 crore (US$62 million) worldwide, making it one of the top 10 highest-grossing Bollywood films of all time, and the highest ever for a Bollywood film not starring one of the three Khans. The film entered the 200 crore club domestically, making Ranveer Singh, at age 32, the youngest leading male actor to do so.
Although Ratan Singh (identified with Ratnasimha) and Alauddin Khilji are actual historical figures, Padmavati’s existence is not historically proven. Khilji did attack Chittor in 1303 and conquered the fort, but he did not wish to capture Ratnasimha’s wife. Historians of Khilji’s period did not make any reference to a “Queen” of Chittor while mentioning the conquest of the fort. The poem Padmavat, which was written 200 years after the incident, ends with Jayasi’s own words, “I have made up the story and related it.”
Historian Rana Safvi criticized the film and said, “Bhansali was faithful to neither history, geography nor the epic [Padmavat] on which he based his film.” According to Safvi, portrayal of the Khiljis in the film is historically inaccurate. Jalaluddin Khilji is portrayed as an arrogant, cunning, ambitious and cruel man. He was actually popular for being a mild-mannered and humble ruler. Jalaluddin ascended the throne of Delhi in 1290 only to bring peace after the death of Sultan Ghiyas ud din Balban. He did not lead an attack on the Delhi Sultanate in India from Ghazni, Afghanistan. The film shows an unsuccessful assassination plot by Alauddin’s nephew, one which seriously injures the Sultan, but none of this actually happened. Historically, Ratan Singh (Ratnasimha) departed from the battlefield and surrendered to Khilji. The two never engaged in battle.
Portrayal of Alauddin Khilji
Alauddin Khilji’s portrayal in the film has been severely criticised by historians and critics. Business Standard India wrote that Khilji was portrayed as an “Indian Khal Drogo, wearing a fur coat and gobbling meat” in the trailer of the film. Historians believe “the sultan of Delhi who successfully stopped repeated attempts by Mongols to invade India would have been one of the most sophisticated men of his times.” Historian Rana Safvi explained why Khilji was sophisticated. “It was under his rule the Delhi Sultanate heavily drew from Persia, one of the oldest and most sophisticated civilizations of all time. The rulers followed the exact code of conduct and etiquette as in Persia. It would have been very formal – the eating, dining and sartorial choices.” Safvi stated that Khilji was portrayed as a barbarian in the film only to show him as a villain and Ratan Singh (played by Shahid Kapoor) as a sauve and sophisticated rival. Historian Archana Ojha of Delhi University stated that Khilji’s look and clothing in the film was inaccurate. Khilji (played by Ranveer Singh) wears furs in the film, but historically he used to wear cotton clothes. Ojha said that the film was “too exotic and grand.”
Shantanu David of News 18 criticised the portrayal of Khilji in the film as “an intemperate, sadistic horn dog with no morals and severe impulse control issues.” David asserted that people who watch the film should not expect to see the real Khilji for he was nothing like this. Khilji was cruel and a tyrant but he was not the kind of man to run after women in order to conquer kingdoms. He was only interested in expanding his Sultanate’s territory with conquests and hence attacked Chittor. Bobby Naqvi of Gulf News said, “the director [Bhansali] broke a basic rule by turning a fictional character [Padmavati] into a flesh-and-bone symbol of beauty and valour and projected a real king [Khilji] as a barbarian with a ravenous libido — a depiction neither found in Jayasi’s poem nor in history books.” Sonal Giani, an LGBTQ activist and actor, said, “It would help if SLB [Sanjay Leela Bhansali] had stuck to the persona of Khilji that the historians showed, and not portrayed him as a madman.”
Anna M.M. Vetticad of Firstpost stated that Bhansali’s aim was “to pedestalise Rajputs and demonise the Khiljis, to pander to the larger Hindu Right via Rajputs by slandering a Muslim king.” She further added, “Alauddin wants a woman for himself, he is portrayed as lustful, whereas Ratan’s betrayal of his first queen for Padmavati is sweet romance.” Hemanth Kumar of The News Minute opined that Bhansali portrayed Khilji as “a personification of monster.” Similarly, Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV said, “The Muslim ruler of half of India, Alauddin Khilji, is presented as an unprincipled brute, likened to the asuras (demons of Hindu mythology), and even Yamraj (the god of death).”
Padmaavat was banned from screening in Malaysia (a majority Muslim country) due to the negative portrayal of Khilji. The Home Ministry of the country stated, “He [Khilji] is portrayed as a Sultan who is arrogant, cruel, inhumane, devious with all kinds of trickery, unreliable and who does not fully practice Islamic teachings.”