Is Sanjay Leela Bhansali pushing his luck too far in ‘Padmavati’?
There is no denying the fact that Sanjay Leela Bhansali is one of the most respected directors in Bollywood, and his films are larger than life spectacles. Bhansali’s last film, the Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone-starrer, ‘Bajirao Mastani’ was one such experience. While the cast and crew of this fictionalised biopic walked away with most of the awards last year, there was a section of people, especially those from Maharashtra, who were upset about the extent of creative liberty taken by the director – it was fictionalised to an extent that some felt there was no point in calling the film ‘Bajirao Mastani’. The costumes, the accent, the era – everything in the film was a figment of Bhansali’s over-fertile imagination.
The news of SLB casting Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Fawad Khan in his next, ‘Padmavati‘ recently came out, there has been a lot of chatter about how the director is pushing his luck too far. According to an author, Ratnakar Sadasyula, “If this movie is actually made, it would be a grave insult to Mewar’s (the place where the film is set) proud spirit. After turning one of the greatest warriors Bajirao into a lovelorn Devdas, Bhansali now glorifying a mass murderer Allaudin Khilji. The entire fort of Chittorgarh, fought to the last man, than give up Padmini to Allaudin Khilji and Bhansali wants to distort history.” Well, given the fact that nobody can take away Bhansali’s freedom to make his film the way he wants, there is not much one can do, but wait to watch the film.
Also, it is a little too early to presume what the maker has in store for his fans. For now, we can only say that the primary casting looks interesting. We can only hope that SLB should try and minimise the distortion of historical facts, and avoid unnecessary hate from detractors.