Padmaavat Review: Turns Out the Karni Sena Was Right


Padmaavat Review: Turns Out the Karni Sena Was Right

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


ack in November, when the Padmaavat juggernaut began its inevitable run, the upholders of Rajput pride insisted that their anti-Padmaavat sentiment stemmed from the film’s disrespect to their community’s “valour, sacrifice, and strength”. This of course went on to lots of other nonsensical “midriff” issues but the prime contention remained this core disrespect. Turns out, they were right all along – just wholly un-intentionally.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali had set out to make a lavishly simple film. A blatant “good Hindus, bad Muslims” narrative, designed as a paean to the “courage, valour, and sacrifice” of the Rajputs. But somehow, at the end of its three-hour runtime, the whole thing goes belly up and ends up being an embarrassing tragi-comedy of how incompetent the Rajputs were at strategising, making decisions, seeing through trickery, or coming up with legit excuses. In fact, such is their dedication to all-round stupidity that it makes Padmaavat’s roguish villain, the very bad and almost beastly Alauddin Khilji, look like the hero. Khilji’s over-the-top portrayal by Ranveer Singh is easily the best thing about Padmaavat.