This is just porn; stay away from it.
I don’t have much to say about the movie, but I would like to comment on the director. Critics aren’t allowed to abuse the crew. But I am not a critic. So I take my liberty here - to call Sanjay Leela Bansali (SLB) a sweet SoB!
Padmaavat is a wet dream for any Hindutva ideologue. An exemplary ‘Hindu’ Kingdom. An evil, unscrupulous and voyeuristic ‘Muslim’ ruler invading them. They stick on to honour, the Muslim plays his usual game and scores a pyrrhic victory.
But women, the most fragile creatures on this planet, uphold the honour by committing Sati. But this is a recurring template right? Why would I call this deliberate? Why do I doubt the ‘liberal commitments’ of SLB?
If SLB could have stopped at this, I would have left him there. But he goes on to show how Alauddin rewrites history to erase his wrong doings. This dovetails well with the limited worldview of the quintessential Hindutva dude. That the entire history of this country is a constant Hindu vs Muslim brawl.
He might use this to vindicate one action his mother is most worried about - visiting Muslim ghettos of the city clad in saffron, brandishing tridents.
This worthless movie hardly incited any feelings in me. Sure, it makes a mockery out of the people who have actually read history. But the movie comes with a ‘fictional’ tag. This tag is not meant for the halfwits who vandalised school buses. But it flies in the face of our so called liberals!
SLB exercises his creative freedom in portraying Alauddin Khalji the way he please. When it comes to Padmaavati, this unrestrained freedom ends. The unfettered creative expression is just Maya and she has to conform, SLB has to conform. May be this is what he wanted, I don’t know. More than the visual appeal and the immediate premise of the story, there is a take away.
Karni Sena profited from the drama. SLB profited from the drama. Liberals are one casualties who took a stab right on their chest to protect this heap of trash. Sure, I appreciate the art. If there were no controversy, I would have enjoyed the movie too. But pardon me, this drama is too uncouth for my taste.
Then I realised that the lengthy disclaimer was in fact meant for our liberal class. They jumped into the bandwagon without realising what is it that they are protecting. As I was watching the movie, I felt a vacuum. A vacuum for movies and popular art that actually celebrates our composite culture.
I am not hurt by this movie. Not even disgust or repugnance, but a translucent dispassion. More than the content of the movie, the drama around it got me. I am not going to rate this movie. I will just hate it.
The powerful elites depend on social divides to protect their vested interests. A divided society helps foster inequality. I am not preaching my ideas here. This is a shitty movie, don’t waste your time on it. Spend that time reading the real history of our nation.
This is porn; stay away from it!
PS: Alauddin Khalji is in fact one of the greatest kings of India, who protected India from the Mongols. Mongols swept across Eurasia, destroying cultures and dissolving empires. Had Alauddin lost, we would have been learning an entirely different history! Alauddin instituted many economic reforms that survived till the British. His market reforms and troops reform laid a firm foundation for the Sultanate.
Delhi Sultanate created many trade and cultural channels across the subcontinent. These channels helped with the national integration which started in the nineteenth century. History doesn’t happen in water tight compartments. It is absurd to compartmentalise Indian history into Hindu and Muslim epochs. This is being done as a means to divide our society and promote hatred. SLB may not be doing this, but he is capitalising on it. Screw him!