Padmaavat: How Jim Sarbh humanises Ranveer Singh’s tyrant, Khilji
In Padmaavat, Jim Sarbh plays a slave who becomes a tyrant’s companion. He plays a man who is more than just a friend and less than a soulmate to Ranveer Singh’s Khilji.Updated: Jan 26, 2018 17:37 IST
Jim Sarbh made his presence felt with 2016 film, Neerja. His peculiar accent and cynical character caught the audience’s eye. He did the same in Sushant Singh Rajput-starrer Raabta. The film didn’t do well and he lost a chance to captivate the audience again. But he is back with full force in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, the most controversial film of recent times.
Now, when everybody is talking about the film’s grand sets and Ranveer Singh’s acting, he is getting mostly overlooked. Not many realise that Jim Sarbh’s Malik Kafur made Singh’s Alauddin Khilji a more nuanced character. More human, in fact.
Jim Sarbh, who has trained for years in theatre, has shown how he can restrain himself from going overboard in Konkona Sensharma’s A death In The Gunj. Bhansali gave him the chance to be a bit overdramatic, and he grabbed it with both hands.
Sarbh plays a slave who becomes a mad king’s companion. This is more than just a friendship and less than a soulmate. They are probably lovers, though Bhansali has refrained from making it clear in the film. Sarbh’s Kafur occupies an elevated position for a slave, but he is still not Khilji’s confidante.
This is where you witness Sarbh’s excellence. He is subdued yet sarcastic. He doesn’t spare even Khilji from his sarcasm, but he also sings for him from behind a veil when Khilji forces himself on a woman.
He caress the king’s back with soft feathers, his love palpable in every move. He protects the king’s identity and social status by remaining what he was, a slave. An outspoken one, though.
He adds a new dimension to Ranveer Singh’s character by becoming the mirror through which we see the Sultan. He demonstrates how a tyrant can also have a human side, a man with no redeeming qualities can still be likable.
So, while you applaud the opulent gorgeousness of Bhansali’s extravagant frames, appreciate Sarbh’s fluid performance which brings heart to the opulent spectacle.
Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha