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Brothers on a roll

‘I knew my character is an underdog in the film, I’m happy that the hero of the film is getting so much love’ Shahid Kapoor on playing Ratan Singh

Padmaavat has weathered quite a few storms but its “hero”, Maharawal Ratan Singh, a.k.a. Shahid Kapoor, is glad he is getting his due.

The actor considers the role the biggest risk of his career as people did not know much about the character. He said many people questioned him for taking up the role, as Padmavati (Deepika Padukone) and Sultan Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) were already popular.

“…I knew my character is an underdog in the film, I’m happy that the hero of the film is getting so much love. Out of the three characters, people know a lot about Padmavati, about Alauddin Khilji, but nobody knows about Rawal Ratan Singh. Now you know his journey was also so spectacular,” Shahid said in a group interview, “validated” with the praise that the film has received after its more-than-fair share of delays and controversies.

“Everyone is talking about it being the top grosser but it’s a great film. We have come a long way, journey of a year and a half... There was a point we were wondering will it be able to release properly. It’s been a turbulent and emotionally draining journey.”

Turbulent it has been, for more than the usual reasons. While political and Karni Sena protests marred the pre-release, once the film hit the screens, it sparked another debate. Whether the film glorifies the banned archaic practice of jauhar (self-immolation).

Actress Swara Bhaskar even penned an open letter to director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, calling him out for apparent reverential projection of the practice.

Shahid disagrees. “What happened right before the jauhar scene? The king died. How can it be a celebration? Padmavati believed she would want to go into the fire as opposed to handing herself over to a man who is so evil, that he is ready to kill the entire kingdom to achieve one woman. Now you decide whether that’s a good thing or bad,” said the actor.

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