Watch: In Padmavati song 'Ghoomar' Deepika Padukone, Sanjay Leela Bhansali adhere to folk nuances
Two minutes into the new song 'Ghoomar' of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's period drama Padmavati, one wonders why the filmmaker known for his larger-than-life canvas is not letting his creativity loose on the screen.
But this restraint comes as a refreshing departure from the director's previous works that he has splashed in his own colours. While 'Ghoomar' also boasts of the Bhansali aesthetic, the filmmaker has deliberately only sprinkled his colours on the song and not splashed it completely into the drum.
He keeps the Rajasthani flavour of the song intact to a great extent. Unlike the case of 'Nagada Sang Dhol' from his 2013 romantic drama Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela, where the local Gujarati essence was conveniently diffused with Bollywood masala, 'Ghoomar' gets both its nuances and the overall impression right.
Though it may superficially appear like any other grand scale Bhansali song, it is in the details of the production design, the intricacies of the production design and majorly the nuances of the choreography where 'Ghoomar' carves out a distinct space for itself.
In order to adhere to the nitty gritties of the folk dance form, Bhansali roped in two choreographers for the song. While Kruti Mahesh Midya has ensured that the song lives up to the high-octane spectacle that it is touted to be, Jyothi D Tommaar has brought her expertise to the dance number by craftily designing every step in accordance with its Rajasthani roots.
Bhansali imbues the song with his own style in the last minute where the pace of the song quickens leading to a sequence high on drama and action. But even in that one minute, with a little help from the leading lady Deepika Padukone, he manages to get the twirls, the ada and the signature steps of the dance form right instead of completely falling prey to his creative liberty.
The colour palette of the song is majorly pale golden and light brown, with the dancers adding the little colour that infuses life into the song. Deepika's attire is red which makes her stand out from the back dancers. The song is supposed to be Rani Padmini's character intro in the film as it is through this dance number that she is introduced to Maharawal Ratan Singh's court after their wedding.
But unlike her previous Bhansali songs, she does not steal the spotlight in every frame of the song. The overall formations and orchestration serve as the focal point and Deepika acts as just another lead dancer of the group, rather than a glamorous Bhansali heroine.
Bollywood filmmakers and music composers, who are short of fresh tunes, can take a cue from Bhansali and go back to their diverse roots in order to come up with songs that are redolent of traditional flavour yet sound fresh given the modern tools of arrangement and modulation.
Songs like these can be instrumental in providing a pan-India platform and a popular appeal to the diminishing folk culture of remote parts of the country. Rather than looking back at the old Bollywood dance numbers for rehash, it will not be a bad idea to look around and reflect the vibrant culture that India boats of on the big screen.
Padmavati also stars Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Aditi Rao Hydari and Jim Sarbh. It is co-produced by Viacom 19 Pictures and Bhansali Productions. It is slated to release on 1 December.