Deepika Padukone Padmavati
Deepika Padukone in Padmavati Twitter

The movie 'Padmavati' has been making headlines ever since it was announced. As the release date, December 1, inches closer, controversies and protests against the movie have reached an all-time high. The movie, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, tells the story of Rani Padmini, the brave queen of Chittor, and her sacrifice when confronted by Alauddin Khilji's evil intentions.

On one hand, the movie's release is becoming more and more uncertain due to protests by certain factions of the Rajput community. On the other hand, the trailers, posters and videos of the movie keep intriguing the viewers.

As you eagerly wait for the historical drama to hit screens, IBTimes Singapore brings you a complete preview of what to expect from the film and how accurately it can depict the legendary queen whose story it tells.

Rani Padmini: All you need to know about the elusive queen

Padmavati
A painting of Rani Padmini Facebook

Rani Padmini was first talked about in Padmavat, an Awadhi poem written in 1540 by Mallik Muhammed Jayasi. The poem describes her as a heavenly beauty, whose praises reached places far and beyond. She was said to be so attractive that goddesses became envious. Her story was retold in the 16th century in a Rajput adaptation titled 'Gora Badal Padmini Chaupai'.

Padmini is said to have been born in Simhala-dvipa, which comes under present-day Sri Lanka. Jayasi also states that the queen had a talking parrot named Hiramani, who praised her beauty so much in front of Chittor's ruler, Rawal Ratan Singh that he longed to marry her. He finally achieved his dream by participating in her Swayamvar after many brave adventures.

Khilji's obsession with possessing Padmini

Padmavati
Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji Facebook

Padmavat states that a courtier from Chittor, Raj Purohit, turned out to be a sorcerer called Raghav Chaitanya, who was responsible for informing Khilji about Padmavati's beauty and arousing a desire in him to possess her. He had done so to take revenge after being insulted by Ratan Singh.

Khilji reached Chittor, met the king and expressed a desire to catch a glimpse of the beautiful queen. Kind-hearted Ratan Singh agreed, while also unconsciously familiarising Khilji with the security measures of the fort in the process. After seeing Padmini's reflection in a mirror, Khijli was maddened with a desire to lay hands on her, prompting his attack on Chittor and capture of the king and Padmini's husband.

After a brave battle, when Padmini realised that they were losing, she decided to sacrifice her life to save her honour, embracing the Jauhar tradition, wherein Rajput women jump into the fire to avoid being captured by the enemy. It is said that hundreds of Rajput women sacrificed their lives with their queen.

The movie and what it has portrayed so far

The movie trailer, song and posters have been released, drawing mixed reactions from people. Some have accused Bhansali of portraying Khilji as a barbarian, while some have criticised Deepika Padukone's unibrow look. Recently, protests were made against the song "Ghoomar" as it showed the Rajput queen dancing communally without covering her head.

Going by the released glimpses, it seems as if Bhansali is towing the line between creative expression and faithfulness to history. Whether he twists the tale remains to be seen, however, he has already released a video saying that he has not done so or included any dream sequence between Padmini and Khilji.

Historical aspect kept aside, the trailer appears majestic and promising. But when it comes to history, Bhansali has the reputation of distorting facts and legends, as is evident in his Devdas and Bajirao Mastani.

What will be the fate of Padmavati can only be judged after the movie graces screens. For the next part of the film's review after its release, keep your eyes on our website...