Deepika Padukone on ‘Padmaavat’: “I find her journey so relevant today”


Even as her latest film ‘Padmaavat’ (2018) drew criticism from various feminists including Bollywood actor Swara Bhasker, Deepika Padukone has claimed the film “looks at the power of women.”

“It looks at the power of women. Today again we are standing up for ourselves with dignity… I find her journey so relevant today,” Padukone said about her character in the film; Rani Padmavati.

In a long letter to filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bhaskar accused the film of making her feel “reduced to a vagina.” She took particular offence to the film’s purported finale, in which Padukone’s character commits herself to fire to protect her honour, reports the Hindustan Times.

Further sharing her excitement over the box office performance of the film, Padukone said, “At this point I am not thinking about the last three months. The last three days have been so overwhelming that nothing else matters. I am in a mood to celebrate. I am grateful for all the love and support.”

‘Padmaavat’ finally released over the weekend after months of protests and threats. The movie has been facing protests and death threats by a group called the Karni Sena ever since the shooting began in January 2017. The protests continue even now, and the film saw limited release in a few states owing to the violent protests.

The period drama is based on the 16th century epic ‘Padmavat’ by poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi. Karni Sena has alleged that it distorts history and undermines Rajput valour. This was vehemently denied by the filmmakers.

The film also stars Shahid Kapoor, who plays the role of Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh, who plays Alauddin Khilji, but it was Padukone who faced the wrath of the Rajput community who issued death threats to her. “When Rani has so much strength, why would she need others? In my personal life I fight my own battle, I don’t need anyone,” she added.

The lavishly mounted film has so far secured Rs 110 crore at the box office over the weekend and the leading lady is overwhelmed with the response. “The amount of love, support is unprecedented and most important the blessings that I am getting. I feel what have I done to deserve this (love),” she said.

For Padukone, this was the most difficult role in her decade- long career. “This role of a queen had no crutches like she doesn’t have a sword, she doesn’t get on a horse and goes on battlefield – but there is sheer inner strength and resilience which I had to show through my eyes,” she concluded.

‘Padmaavat’ is in cinemas now.

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