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‘Padmaavat’: A visual treat sans a soul

All the political brouhaha that surrounds this film is unwarranted.

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Film: “Padmaavat”; Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali; Cast: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Jim Sarbh, Aayam Mehta, Ujjwal Chopra, Raja Murad, Aditi Rao Hydari; Rating: ***

All the political brouhaha that surrounds this film is unwarranted.

Inspired from the epic poem, Padmavat written by Malik Mahummad Jayasi, which is considered a fiction laced in history, the film is a work of art that is mounted on a lavish scale.

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Set in the thirteenth century, the poem and the film named after the legendary Rajput queen of Mewar, in actuality is the story of Alauddin Khilji, the Turko-Afghan ruler of the Delhi Sultanate.

It exposes Khilji’s obsession for the beautiful queen. After hearing tales about her, Khilji lays siege to the Chittor Fort in Rajputana to capture her. But the brave and righteous queen along with the other women of the palace, in order to save their honour commit jauhar – self-immolation.

Technically the film is astutely mounted. The director has laboured over the production designs which include the sets, locales and the costumes. Visually every frame is extravagant and enthralling. The lengthy shots with seamless camera movements give an enhanced cinematic experience. The wide-angle shots capture the locales beautifully.

The film is well-executed and has all ingredients of a block-buster, but the wow-factor is missing.

And the fault lies in the writing. This story is not weak but its execution definitely is. Every scene, from beginning to the end, is dramatised to give the story a larger than life feel and thus in the process, the finer nuances of the characters are lost.

Case in point is the introductory scene of Padmavati and Maharajah Ratan Singh of Mewar. They meet, but at no stage does the film establish their chemistry. Their romance is very perfunctorily projected.

This apart, the plot laden with cinematic liberties and verbose expositions, makes this poetry on screen a bland affair as the shock value is tempered.

What keeps you hooked are definitely the performances. Every actor is in the skin of their character. Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji is pulsating with his onscreen energy.

Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati is effortlessly convincing. Shahid Kapoor as Maharajah Ratan Singh has a restrained demeanour and is competent.

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In special appearances – Raza Murad as Jalaluddin Khilji is captivating whereas Aditi Rao Hydari as Khilji’s wife Merunissa is wasted.

But it is Jim Sarbh in a supporting role as Malik Kafur the prominent eunuch slave of Alauddin who lights up the screen. A prolific actor, it is interesting to watch him emote. And his myriad expressions are definitely a treat to watch.

As for the 3D effects, initially they are a bit distracting, but over a period of time, with the mesmerizing camerawork, the viewing experience is smoothened. But the animations lack finesse, especially in the scene with the ostrich.

As always, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s films rank high with its music and back-ground score. This one is no different. The dances and the action sequences are well-choreographed. The songs integrate seamlessly into the narrative. But it is the songs, “Khali bali ho gaya hai dila” and “Ghoomar,” that stand out.

Overall, this tale of valour is indeed a visual spectacle but lacks the soul.

Entertainment

Sanjay Dutt defeats cancer, issues statement with health update

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Mumbai, Oct 21 : Actor Sanjay Dutt, who recently confirmed that he was fighting cancer, on Wednesday shared a health update saying he has come out victorious in his battle with the disease.

Dutt posted a statement on Instagram expressing joy while making the announcement.

“The last few weeks were very difficult time for my family and me. But like they say, God gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. And today, on the occasion of my kids’ birthday, I am happy to come out victorious from this battle and be able to give them the best gift I can-the health and well-being of our family,” the statement read.

The actor thanked his family and doctors for taking proper care of him. He also expressed his gratitude to well-wishers for showering him with love.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the unwavering faith and support from all of you. I am eternally grateful to my family, friends and all the fans who have stood by me and been my source of strength through this trying time. Thank you for the love, kindness and the countless blessings that you have sent my way. I am especially grateful to Dr. Sewanti and her team of doctors, nurses and the medical staff at Kokilaben Hospital who have taken such good care of me in the last few weeks. Humbled and grateful,” he concluded.

Dutt’s fans and colleagues are extremely happy.

“One of the best news,” a user commented.

“So happy to hear this. Stay healthy,” wrote another.

A few days ago, Dutt had addressed his battle with cancer in a video posted by his friend, celebrity hairstylist Aalim Hakim.

In the video, the actor showed his scar mark, saying: “Good to be back in the salon. Got a haircut. If you see this, this is a recent scar in my life, but I will beat it. I will beat it, I will be out of this cancer soon.”

On August 11, Dutt, who was hospitalised a few days before that due to breathing problems and chest discomfort, shared that he was taking a break for medical treatment.

Although the actor or his family members did not reveal anything officially at that point, trade analyst and film industry insider Komal Nahta subsequently confirmed that the actor had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

“Sanjay Dutt diagnosed with lung cancer. Let’s pray for his speedy recovery,” Nahta had tweeted.

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Prithviraj Sukumaran tests positive for novel coronavirus

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Pithviraj Sukumaran has tested positive for the novel coronavirus recently. The actor took to Twitter to reveal that he is asymptomatic and will be in home quarantine till he tests negative.

The Ayyappanum Koshiyum actor was shooting for his upcoming film, Jana Gana Mana. The film’s director Dijo Jose and many of the crew members had tested positive for Covid-19. So, Prithviraj decided to get himself tested for Covid-19.

During the Unlock 5.0, the government has given permission to conduct film shootings with 100 people on the set following safety measures. Recently, Prithviraj participated in the shoot of his upcoming film Jana Gana Mana in Ernakulam, Kerala.

After the crew members of Jana Gana Mana tested positive for Covid-19, Prithviraj decided to get himself tested even though he was asymptomatic. The results of Covid-19 test turned out to be positive.

Taking to Twitter, Prithviraj revealed that he has tested positive. He wrote, “I’ve been shooting for Dijo Jose Anthony’s “Jana Gana Mana” since the 7th of October. We had strict protocols in place with regards to Covid regulations and associated safety measures. As is the norm, all involved in the shoot were tested before the schedule started and after the last day of shoot in the courtroom set we had put up, tests were repeated.”

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Entertainment

Sushant case: NCB arrests brother of Arjun Rampal’s S African girlfriend

Sushant was found dead on June 14 at his Bandra flat. The NCB registered the case on the request of Enforcement Directorate after several alleged chats relating to drugs came to the fore.

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Mumbai, Oct 19 : In another major development in a drug case related to death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Sunday arrested the brother of actor Arjun Rampal’s girlfriend Gabriella Demetriades.

According to NCB officials privy to the probe, the drug law enforcement agency has arrested Agisilaos Demetriades.

The NCB official alleged that Agisilaos, a South African national, was arrested after it came to the fore that he was in touch with the drug peddlers arrested in Sushant’s case.

He was produced before a local court and sent to NCB custody.

Earlier the NCB has arrested Sushant’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, Sushant’s house manager Samuel Miranda, personal staff Dipesh Sawant and several others.

Rhea spent 28 days in jail before getting bail from Bombay High Court in the case.

The NCB has also questioned several Bollywood divas including Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, and Shraddha Kapoor in connection with the case.

The NCB has also arrested former Dharma Productions executive producer Kshitij Ravi Prasad in connection with the case.

Sushant was found dead on June 14 at his Bandra flat. The NCB registered the case on the request of Enforcement Directorate after several alleged chats relating to drugs came to the fore.

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