The Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Magnus opus takes us back in time in the medieval era of 13th century and the elegance cinematic visuals are true artistry of this 2hrs 45 minutes long film that even for a second we cannot get our eyes away from it. The narration starts off with the backdrop of two regions, Afghanistan and Singhal [now known as Sri-Lanka]. The film begins introducing Alauddin Khilji as Ranveer Singh from the Khilji dynasty making an impact in the kingdom who dreams of conquering the world by his vicious ways. While there comes the queen of Singhal, Rani Padmini as Deepika Padukone hunting a deer in her homeland who accidentally meets the King of Mewar Rawal Ratan Singh played by Shahid Kapoor. They both develop an immortal belongingness that is showed with a lot of grace and charisma by Bhansali. The Prince of Mewar bows down and ask the Queen of Singhal to become his bride and she is now welcomed into the Kingdom of Mewar as the princess of the Rajput Kingdom, Maharani Padmini. The beautiful traditional appearance of the Rajput empire is showcased magnificently with pure discipline and mesmerizing attire that is literally a joy to watch. The palace of Chittorgarh is shot with sheer cinematic brilliance and it's a visual delight when you watch it in IMAX. The other narration shows the rise of ruthless king history ever witnessed. It was the expansion of Alauddin Khilji from the Khilji dynasty who takes on the throne by betraying his blood relation Jalaluddin Khilji played by Raza Murad. Now, the lusty Afghan King is determined to see the immense beauty of Maharani Padmini which becomes the only motive of his life.
Malik Kafur played by Jim Sarbh, the slave of Alauddin is lethal and callous wazir that even eyes lusty look on Allaudin's bride. Aditi Rao Hydari as Mehrunissa Allauddin's bride plays a positive part even after being on the negative side. She gets to deliver some catchy heavy dialogues that can be admired. Raza Murad as Jalaluddin Khilji plays a special appearance seemingly well and his make-over is spot on. The best part of the film is the disciplined portrayal of Maharani Padmini, whose valour and wise Rajputi nature is narrated perfectly. You will fell in love with the Rajputi culture, tradition and the bravery which is in their blood. Shahid Kapoor as Maharaja Rawal Ratan Singh is princely, charming, majestic, the man of his words, the man with great ethics and values, a true gentleman King with a heart of Gold.
The climax maybe cliche as most of us know how it ends. But the end is extremely emotional and connecting that makes us salute those Rajput ladies who did Johar as their men lost the battle but didn't bow down to anyone else.This pride, this pure soul of these ladies couldn't be stolen by anyone else.
The dialogues of the film are penned by Prakash Kapadia and the Mewari and Afghani dialect are absolutely taken care of. It is the dialogues of the film that gives a lot of heart to this period drama. Sanjay Leela Bhansali's screenplay is intriguing and majestic to the eye, after all, he does what he is best at. The costume design team needs an ovation because the attire was the very right reason that the film looks authentic and a back of those times. SLB lays down perfection through set design and the war scenes from the battle-field looks even real than the reality. The vast palace of Mewar, the wide shot Chittorgarh, or Khilji's Delhi Sultanate. The sets are eye pleasing and take us back in time.
The songs are nevertheless a masterpiece. Starting from 'Ghoomar' sung by Shreya Ghoshal highlights Rajput traditional dance form which Deepika delivers with absolute finesse and sheer class. The next song 'Ek Dil Ek Jaan' crooned by Shivam Pathak resembles the chemistry of King Rawal Ratan Singh and Maharani Padmini. The royal chemistry is beautifully portrayed with lovely gestures between the two and talking with their eyes. The scene from the song where Deepika is embedding Shahid's turban with pearls wins our heart.
This film is a true tribute to the Rajput pride, their values are princely and though Alauddin Khilji wins the battle by betrayal, he loses the war of his life. Because at the end, the dignified Rajput valour shines brightly. Give it a thorough watch for the stellar performance from the entire cast.