Padmaavat – why the controversy?


I watched Padmaavat yesterday.

Nice direction, great camera & lighting and fantastic action by Ranveer Singh. Deepika and Shahid Kapoor too did not disappoint.

At no scene, the Rajput dynasty and its subjects were shown in a bad light; instead the movie reinforces the courage, might, values and wealth of Rajputs.

It also clearly portrayed the vicious, cruel, and deceiving nature of Alauddin Khilji. Other than Khilji’s queen, I couldn’t see a single person on Khilji side shown in a positive light.

So what is Karni sena protesting for? In what way the history is distorted in this movie – even though the movie makers never claim it to be an factual representation of history?

I too in school days have read and heard about the Muslim emperor who was fascinated by the Rajput queen after seeing her reflection in a mirror.

Bansali being Bansali, and Ranveer being a bit overacting hero, this obsession became a prominent part of the movie. I also felt the movie ended a bit abruptly. Other than these two glitches, I enjoyed the movie.

I do not agree with rituals similar to Jauhar or Sati.

That said, to give benefit of doubt to Bansali, the movie did show the Rajput women unsuccessfully attempting to stop the enemy by throwing fire.

After several months (Diwali to Holi and more) of blockade, war and the men using all available weapons to fight the Khilji’s might army, I can empathize with the decision of the Rajput women to self-immolise themselves.

It should not have happened, and again, I am not supporting Jauhar, but Jauhar might have been the last resort for the women of a proud dynasty of a long gone era – to not allow their enemies to touch them, or even see them, even after they are dead.

To those who are against Padmaavat: please watch the movie once; you might re-consider your criticisms.


Barfi! – the review

After college years, I think it is the first time I watched two movies in same weekend!.  While Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine was a huge disappointment, Anurag Basu’s Barfi turned out a delicious experience.

Barfi is a sweet love story told in the backgrounds of scenic Darjeeling and busy Kolkata of 1970s and 80s.  Barfi will surely take you back to the relaxed atmosphere of good-old days.

One could easily understand that the story could’ve happened only in India of 1970-80s.  In current times, it is almost impossible to see real life versions of grumpy but kind-hearted police officer (played by Saurabh Shukla) and the silent but always smiling maid of Jhilmil Chatterjee (Priyanka Chopra).  Sadly, our times and generation have lost the innocence, naughtiness, love and close-knit relationships portrayed by characters of Barfi.

Ranbir Kapoor has demonstrated again that he is a versatile actor who can stay strong for years to come.  More importantly for Bollywood, Ranbir also proved he could carry a movie all by himself to box-office success.  Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D’Cruz too do not disappoint us.  Both their characters represented two different faces of women in love.  Ileana’s expressions were delicate and commendable.  Priyanka did justice to the role of an autistic girl – and ensured (mostly, not always) to respect the fine line between acting and overacting.

What else I liked in the movie?  The music and lyrics were pleasant – including those of title and final credits songs.  I also liked the out-of-sequence story-telling, even though we have seen this in a number of movies, including the most famous Pulp Fiction (now, that was a movie!)

Heroine – the review

Hopes were high when decided to watch Heroine, but the Madhur Bhandarkar movie was a big disappointment.   The movie about Bollywood, its actresses, actors and journalists had nothing new to say; the movie just went behind usual cliché’s on Bollywood we’ve seen and heard umpteen times in television, cine magazines and newspapers.

The only positive thing about this movie is Kareena Kapoor’s acting; Kareena tried to justify the role of Mahi Arora, but was very much restricted by the script in first place.  None of the other actors/ actresses had no big roles to play; they just appeared and vanished in screen in periodic intervals.

Overall, a very ordinary movie, and you miss nothing if you don’t watch it.