Padmaavat was released after intense discussion that created immense before its launch. Brought to life by Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, production designs by Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray as well as cinematography by Sudeep Chatterjee have created an exceptional experience.
Padmaavat is an epic, set in 14th Century India that narrates a tale of love, pain and courage. For Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray, the production designers of the movie, it was essential to create an authentic look and feel that enhanced the cinematic experience. The first task assigned by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the director, was to design a set for an elaborate dance scene for which they did 30 drawings in three days. Impressed with what they had created, the director tasked the duo to design and create all the sets for Padmaavat.
As Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray are both Fine Arts graduates, their entire team too consisted of artists and not a single architect. Pre-production work was done over a period of three months. The challenge was that there was hardly any material available for that particular time period.
In the case of Chittor, as the actual fort had been demolished over time, the team relied on its remnants, other structures from the period, 16th Century paintings and ancient books. Padmavati and Ratan Singh’s chamber is majestic and beautiful, while mirrors were used to give the special effect and the interiors were painstakingly created with great detail. Jalaluddin’s fort, which is the first visual of the movie, has Afghanistan and Moroccan design and architecture. Alauddin Khilji’s fort and palace in Delhi were represented with darker colours, while beautiful Afghanistan designs were also added to the sets.
The jungle and cave temples of the Kingdom of Singhal (Sri Lanka) entailed a different thinking process. The director had wanted Subrata and Amit to create a jungle that was magical. Although all sets were designed by referring to various material available from the period, Subrata and Amit stress that ultimately all sets were done in their own way. Sudeep Chatterjee, director of photography, explains that in every feature, three vastly different worlds had to be captured on camera. Wide angles and long shots were a key feature in the cinematography as the idea was to show a world that the audience had not seen previously.