'Padmavati' Song: Why Does A Woman's Talent Get Weighed Down By Heavy Costumes?

Ria Das
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Padmavati song

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmavati' is set to release in a little over a month's time. A sneak peek of the movie shows Deepika Padukone, who is playing the title role, doing the same old SLB-type thumkas in the 'Ghoomar' track.


There are as many as 66 twirls by Deepika in the song. Oh, wait! What’s all the more interesting about the latest song is that the actress danced in an elaborate attire and jewellery, reportedly weighing 20kg.

While both the male protagonists Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor are secondary here, Deepika’s fans are going gaga over her looks.

The film offers extravagant visuals and equally elaborate outfits. But we only hope that’s not all SLB has to offer. The film is not out yet, so we can't argue about Deepika's acting and the level of research done on her role. Watching the song made me think of how unfair this world is when drawing male and female characters logically

I was awestruck seeing Ranveer Singh in Alauddin Khilji’s avatar, but it pales when compared to the 'Ghoomar' song.

Also read: The gender pay gap in Bollywood is huge: Says Vidya Balan

Don't get me wrong. I do not hate Deepika or Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Yes, I certainly hate it when people rank her as the best in the industry only based on one aspect. Like my friend Raj would say. “She is hot!!”


While he was making that argument, I was waiting for him to add more specification than merely drooling over her 'hotness', but he stared back blank.

The obsession with looks more than talent is what is stopping the film industry from becoming a more gender-neutral society. If only the sexiest were considered the best, they would be eligible for the Oscar!

The film has generated so much anticipation that I was hoping to see the historical character of Padmavati as a tough decision-maker, not just a beautiful queen displaying unbelievably filmy moves on the dance floor.

Also read: You Are Not Alone says Deepika Padukone on depression

It's sad that in Bollywood, the acting skills of women aren't given much importance. The focus on costume, dance and visuals takes away from the power of the character. By reducing a historical character to just a dance, aren't we reducing their role in history?

'Padmavati' is not the only movie where you see women characters merely looking good. Take the example of the grand ‘Bahubali’ – one of the highest-grossing Indian films worldwide – in which characters of Avantika and Devsena are fierce at first but later sidelined just to make the male hero look good. Ditto for Bhansali's other movie, 'Bajirao Mastani'. Conclusion? Disaster!!

READ: Deepika Padukone becomes first Indian to join Forbes’ highest paid actresses list

So the bigger question is – is this how we measure talent these days? Are we that blind that we cannot differentiate between powerful acting and just a showpiece? Why can’t we have a clapworthy strong feminist role in a film where the actresses won’t be judged or expected to show off a variety of looks? Oh, and the obsession with fair skin too. Are people ready to watch a dark-skinned or not-so-perfect-figured actress when paying 350 bucks for a movie?

It's sad that a respected filmmaker like SLB has depicted Padmavati as the perfectly crafted Rani and not as a powerful woman in history. Then again, the film isn’t out yet, so let's not speculate too much..


We believe Padmavati was more than just than just a beautiful queen. Shouldn’t she be appreciated for her strong will and rugged nature? The Rani who would die before surrendering herself to a merciless king!

Also read: ‘I will not hide my baby bump on screen’: Kareena Kapoor

There’s no doubt that gender equality is still a far cry in this country. But messages in Bollywood films are lapped up by the audience. In such a scenario, SLB should have sent a more powerful message for Padmavati than the glossy Ghoomar song!

What do you think? Write in with your comments.

Also read: My story of battling weight gain, infertility and how I came out of it

Feature Image Credit: India Today


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