Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati is expected to hit the theaters on December 1, 2017. The trailer of the eagerly-awaited film was released recently and was received with a positive response. As always, the trailer showcases the trademark strength of Sanjay Leela Bhansali in creating visually stunning spectacles. Padmavati is the story of Rani Padmavati, the Rajput queen and the wife of Rawal Ratan Singh, the ruler of Mewar. In 1303, Alauddin Khilji attacked Mewar with the aim of capturing Padmavati. The Rajput forces were defeated. However, instead of surrendering to Khilji, Padmavati is said to have committed jauhar (self-immolation) to protect her honor. The film portrays her story and stars Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh in the lead roles.
There is Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati, dressed in traditional costumes and jewelry. Since the film is based on Padmavati, the background music in the trailer is also about her. The lyrics say, "Rani sa Rajputi shaan hai, Rani sa mhaari aan baan hai." The queen is the pride of the Rajputs; she is our honor and dignity. She is often seen inside the temple of Lord Shiva with the shivling and the tridents, representing the legend of Parvati and Shiv.
The most discernible aspect of the trailer is that it brings out the sheer wickedness of Khilji. The first time he enters the screen, the tone of the background music changes. We see that there are birds kept captive in their cages in his lair, as if showing us how he prefers to keep people in control. Khilji is narcissistic as he is often seen near the mirrors. In the scene, where he is being carried on the chair by some men, there are some wild animal statues in the front. Also, notice how the two ends of the chair on which he is seated look like the open mouth of a wild animal. The same thing is observed in his lair, where there are two pillar-like structures that seem to look like the open mouth of some animal. Khilji eats like a wild animal. He wears clothes that are made of fur-like material. He fights and wins various gladiatorial contests. All these scenes show Khilji's ruthlessness and he is being compared to a wild beast. Ranveer Singh has completely transformed himself into this evil incarnate.
In addition, we see that all the three characters in the trailer have scenes with fire. The opening and the ending credits in the trailer are also written as sparks of a fire. Since the act of jauhar is significant to the story, perhaps, that is why there is an emphasis on fire in the trailer credits as well.
There is a bit of Bajirao Mastani in Padmavati, especially, in the war scenes that have a sepia color palette that resembles the scenes in the former film. In Bajirao Mastani, Mastani defines her love for Bajirao where she speaks three statements that end with woh ishq. She said, "Ishq—Jo toofani dariya se bagawat kar jaaye, woh ishq; bhare darbar me jo duniya se lad jaaye, woh ishq; jo mehboob ko dekhe toh khuda ko bhool jaaye, woh ishq." Sanjay Leela Bhansali always emphasises and repeats some words. Oo ke tera, tera, tera zikr hai. In Padmavati, we see something similar again where Rawal Ratan Singh narrates the characteristics of a Rajput warrior, and he ends the phrases with woh Rajput, like Mastani did using woh ishq. He says, "Chinta ko talwar ki nok pe rakhe, woh Rajput; ret ki naav lekar samundar se shart lagaye, woh Rajput; aur jiska sar kate phir bhi dhad dushman se ladta rahe, woh Rajput." He mentions ret ki naav, a boat made of sand, and later in the trailer, we see a ret ka toofan, a sandstorm with a warrior galloping towards it. There are some other similar touches from Bajirao Mastani's trailer as well, such as men dressed in red headgear, the use of fire on the arrows, among others as shown below.
Padmavati and Bajirao Mastani
In all of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's films, there is a leitmotif of weaving representing the bond of relationships. For instance, the flag-weaving scene between Kashi and her mother-in-law in Bajirao Mastani, or Sakina weaving carpets in Saawariya. Here also, there is a particular scene where Padmavati was shown to be weaving pearls on Ratan's turban. It is one of the most beautiful scenes in the trailer.
Weaving ScenesThere is always a lot to see in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's films and he seems to be one of the rare filmmakers who still understand the mesmerizing power of the big screen. As a fan and an admirer, I am eagerly waiting not only to watch Padmavati but also learn from the vision of an indefatigable auteur.
Weaving Love—A Motif in the Films of Sanjay Leela Bhansali—Link
Dialogue of the Day:
"Rajputi kangan me utni hai taakat hai, jitni Rajputi talwar mein."
—Rani Padmavati, Padmavati
—Rani Padmavati, Padmavati