RTIwala Writes: After the success of Bajirao Mastani, Sanjay Leela Bhansali is back with another legend, the Legend of Rani Padmavati. The question is, who was the ‘good egg’ or the antagonist in the story? Well as the saying goes, “Everything is fair in Love and War”, is it? Well, there are a number of facades and a number of avenues that can be followed while presenting a conjecture of the story.
Rani Padmavati: A Story of Love or Courage and Sacrifice?
Padmavati was a legendary 13th-14th-century Indian queen (Rani). The earliest source to mention her is Padmavat, an epic poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540 CE. The text, which features elements of fantasy, describes her story as Padmavati was an exceptionally beautiful princess of the Singhal kingdom (Sri Lanka). Rawal Ratan Singh, the Rajput ruler of Chittor, heard about her beauty from a talking parrot named Hiraman. After an adventurous quest, he married her and brought her to Chittor. Alauddin Khalji, the Sultan of Delhi also heard about her beauty and attacked Chittor to obtain her. Meanwhile, Ratan Sen was killed in combat with Devpal, the king of Kumbhalner who was also enamored with Padmavati’s beauty. Before Alauddin Khalji could capture Chittor, Padmavati and her companions committed Jauhar (self-immolation) to protect their honor.
Now who is the good egg and who is the antagonist? Leaving it to our readers to be the judge, I’ll move on with the story.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati, the perfect blend of Love and War
Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is known to create larger than life sets and weave dramatic love stories with opulent themes and all that comes with it, is back again with another love story, filled with rage, passion, betrayal, and war.
For a change, Bhansali has cast a new personality in Padmavati, that person is none other than the recipient of Best Male Debut for Ishq Vishk (2003), Best Actor for Haider (2014) and Best Actor (Critics) for Udta Punjab (2016), Shahid Kapoor. Shahid Kapoor, who will play the role of Raja Rawal Ratan Singh, King of Chittor and Padmavati’s husband, wanted to make the most of the love triangle and only agreed to the project if the director gave him an even proportioned screen time as Ranveer. According to sources, Sanjay has ‘rewritten portions of the film with Kapoor in mind, and has brought in long monologues befitting his histrionic strengths’.
Apart from Shahid, Bhansali has made sure to cast the dynamic duo, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. Ranveer Singh as the Mughal Sultan Alauddin Khalji and Deepika as the beautiful and mesmerizing Queen Padmavati of Chittor, whereas Aditi Rao Hydari will play the role of Mehrunissa, Sultan Alauddin Khalji’s wife.
Rani Padmavati: To criticize or not, is a choice to be made!!
Now, is Alauddin’s quest for love justified? If it isn’t, then how can one say that what Ratan Sen did was right, as he followed somewhat the same procedure to seize hold of the beauty he had merely heard about. Some may say that Alauddin knew she was the Queen to the King of Chittor, that is she was married, but then a wise man once said that everything is fair in love and war. But is a war because of Love justified, bloodshed of several innocent people justified. King Ratan had the love on his side as well but was this a war of Love against Love. All the complications and counterpoints are justified in one way or the other, some may feel that Alauddin was passionate about the beautiful Rani Padmavati. Some may feel that King Ratan Sen was defending his throne and one true love, the love for which he went through a great series of adventures.
Some may say that Rani Padmavati was a brave woman to protect the honor of the kingdom, but some may counter to that by saying, was she protecting the honor of the Kingdom or that of herself? These are some never-ending debates which won’t ever come to halt. Anyways we solicit our readers to ponder upon these never-ending debates.
(Inputs by Rijul Mittal)