A REVIEW OF THE MOVIE “PADMAVATI” and A QUESTION….

Bollywood movies have never been my essential source of entertainment and I watch one – sometimes with a gap of three to five years!!  But I was finally dragged to the cinema to watch “Padmavati”. This time, not really kicking and screaming because I was curious about the uproar caused by the movie.
Well – here’s a short review of the movie that has created so much commotion!
(1) The movie could have been easily slashed by at least an hour
(2) The big redeeming feature was, of course, the role of Allauddin Khilji (although slightly overdone at a few places). Very well enacted. In my opinion, underplaying a role is an essential process in the “method acting” style. I guess, he needs to watch more of Anthony Hopkins and Daniel Day-Lewis. But he has enormous potential, for sure
(3) Both Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor need to go back to acting school and possibly learn “method acting” because that’s what is called for in this movie. They were very stiff with some terrible expressions in the close-up shots. Good looks do not necessarily imply good acting!
(4) The cinematography was nothing less than exceptional and the color combos used (to offset the foreground from the background) in each scene was just brilliant
(5) The dialogues were not too bad but quite Bollywoodish. Very average in certain scenes where it could have been much more stylized
(6) Two songs (can’t remember them) were beautifully composed and delivered. The “soundscape design” and post-production sound engineering was of the highest quality – even by international standards
(7) The background music was far too loud for my liking. You do not need to always use thumping storm drums to express suspense and action. The background music-composer needs to watch classic French and Italian movies (or analyze Satyajit Roy’s background scores)  to understand this, because sometimes silence speaks volumes 🙂  Memorable background scores in good movies have never been continuous. Careful study of some Ingmar Bergman movies might help 🙂
(8) Costume design was marvelous, very well researched and a visual treat
(9) Overall direction was heads and shoulders over the average Bollywood movie. There was one flaw that I observed. In one scene where Shahid and Deepika are looking at the oncoming army – their lines of sight were completely different!! A small directorial flaw that will go unnoticed, I am sure. This is my perennial problem… I observe too much 🙂
Finally – the question…
What were the commotion and riots about in India?
I am still clueless. Anyway, it just goes to prove that the adage (from one of my essays) – “Following masses is the surest way to idiocy” still holds true!!
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