| Bhansali has been living with Padmavati for the last twenty years. One of the reviews was from Namrata Joshi from The Hindu. While I agree with your basic take on the issue at hand, let me point out that patriarchy’s success does not depend on whether men are physically present or not. where (and whether) you will study, whom you will marry, how you will behave… it is insidious.

Not that I care particularly for this decline, but here, in Padmaavat, this descent into the trappings of style means that the horror of jauhar is swept under the rug in leiu of a climax, and worse, it is a climax of triumph, associating jauhar with victory, and that is something I will vociferously oppose. The women committed Jauhar and the men Saka demonstrating the power of the kangan and the talvar to preserve honor in the face of certain defeat and servitude. Instead of waiting, she simply could have died by any means leaving the other women to their individual decisions. Padmavati is presented to him as the epitome of feminine beauty and intelligence and that her presence by his side would enable him to conquer the world. Life went on for the conquered, except the management changed. Set in medieval Rajasthan, Queen Padmavati is married to a noble king and they live in a prosperous fortress with their subjects until an ambitious Sultan hears of Padmavati's beauty and forms an obsessive love for the Queen of Mewar. Truth is even harsher. What I thought was never fully expressed, in the film but was simmering below the surface and that something that I believe most people could empathize with, was Padmavati’s frustration and anger with her husband at not dealing with the situation in an intelligent, practical way. The Bollywood film industry has not touched sensitive themes in a way like their counterparts in other parts of the world have done. Which is why it makes sense that the arrow with Khilji’s missive lands at her feet. On one hand, they’ll be inclined to stand up against hegemony and come out in support of a filmmaker’s right to free expression and a woman actor’s right to work safely, while on the other, from all accounts, Padmaavat is a film steeped in sexism of the 16th century kind – a time when women from royalty were currency in battles between kingdoms, traded to maintain peace and stop hostile takeovers. Nothing shown to me seemed injurious to the Rajput pride nor warranting a snip at the title. Also, Swara B’s criticism that it doesn’t care for the present-day context is surprising, given scenes like the one where Padmaavati responds to the woman who blames her for bringing this ruin on the kingdom with her beauty. Reading the comments section on your post number one ,one can write a thesis on the movie. I have checked a couple or more accounts (apart from the wiki article) and they are all consistent about this. And at this point, I wonder if anyone will make a film on Prithviraj Chauhan? But The movie shows that grim resolve on their part, that belief of theirs. It all changed when the Arabs and later the Turks and central Asian tribes introduced a heretofore unknown concept of “total war” – a war that penalised and punished innocent civilians as much as it did combatants. When you make a film on trauma, a carnage that is as real in your heart as if it happened only yesterday, it is imperative to listen to that voice and that voice alone before anyone else.

It was a purely voluntary act and to label it as patriarchy betrays an ignorance of real history. Thank you for that visual – it made me smile. He conveyed his guilt over not sharing the spoils of Devgiri with the Sultan and said he would duly hand over the same upon the Sultan personally visiting him at Kara. Would Deepika Padukone acting as a Jew, be having a fantasy about some Nazi officer singing a song? I did not read your rebuttal to “gnanaozhi” (I searched with that name though before writing). Clearly this ending wouldn’t have the impact Bhansali was going for and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bhansali chose to rewrite the Jauhar sequence simply for the visual presentation – it was spectacular. or what did India do. Jauhar was NOT Patriarchal imposition. It is a beautiful movie just like a fairy tale with all those fairy lights like in Tangled.

That is the rule every great art work and writer and director follows. Yazidi women were taken by ISIS and sold and resold as sex slaves in markets. They do the opposite of that. Even today, almost 3 decades after it was made, it still holds our interest. You have forced me to reconsider my position. But yet, in the end, those misplaced notions of honour doom her. Movies allow us for such alternate worlds. @Vivek: Me? When Ratan Singh is kidnapped, Padmavati smears mud on her mirrors. Afterall it was her beauty that caused so much mayhem. When the concept of a woman’s honour being the ‘honour of the family’ is force-fed to you as fact from the time of your birth, then we, as women internalise those teachings. So during the Mughal—Maratha clashes in the late 17th Century, time and again, Maratha commanders of certain hill forts would play the saam–daam–dhand–bhed game with consummate skill.

Either that or he was high.

As audience we should live in another world. The whole of Bollywood industry needs to grow up from a culture of insensitivity into a mature industry. At Kara he not just kills his uncle, but also both of his wife’s brothers who were the true heirs to the throne. The author talks of the core theme of the novel Schindler’s list as being the pain of the community that is not understood and difficult to project on screen. The Princess of Devgiri was not the first “spoils of war” for him, there was also the wife of Karna, a gujarati king, who he “took” for himself after destroying, plundering her castle and kingdom and murdering her husband.

In her article she said she wants to protect the battle of this beautiful queen from the most savage attacks she has faced, more savage than the attack on her honor by Allaudin Khilji, in her opinion which is the current one. It could have been one of the reasons. The Bechdel test comes to mind, I have not studied the film to know if it passes or not, but I cannot recall any such conversations that are not about a man, and in the instances when the two queens talk to each other, or Padmavati to other women, it is more like she is talking ‘at’ them rather than ‘to’ them, always in platitudes or maxims. But I do wonder (as Anu did in the other thread) – why not a more painless death and I wonder if they didn”t even want to leave the bodies susceptible to desecration, because then, dishonour? If she could do this, why not that?

LOL. Yes, of course, it was born out of a deeply patriarchal mindset where women were viewed as spoils of war by invading armies, and where their own society emphasized that this rite embodied honour and sacrifice.

There is a general belief that India is becoming less medieval but there are corners of our country where no light seems to fall. Not saying this is comparable to film in any way, but as a concept, freedom of expression in art too has ethical anchors. Brangan, I’m guess I’m confused by your argument that there is no glorification of Jauhar since it was a military strategy, an act of war if you will by a strong willed warrior princess. Thats one of the possibilities. Notwithstanding the Bhansalian drama, If it is a custom, where does the question of choice arise? This is a tangential point, but it tells me that she’s already weary of the troubles to this kingdom — her kingdom — her beauty is causing.

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