This is a a biography of a princess who is raised in wealth and opulence who loses it all during tough times. Yet she maintains her dignity as things around her change for worse.
When a biographical film is made by a relative of the subject or if it is endorsed by them, there is often the danger of losing perspective. ‘Yadvi- The Dignified Princess’ is a film that falls in that trap, but that is just one among its several flaws. A period film, about Yadhuvansh Kumari --- daughter of Patiala’s famous King, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, it is directed by one of the granddaughters of the late princess, Jyoti Singh, who also plays the titular role. The film follows the life of Yadvi, from the time of her birth until her death.
It starts of with trivia about Bhupinder Singh (Chandrachur Singh), including the fact that he donated the Ranji trophy and was the first man in India to own an aircraft. There’s also the legend about how he used Rolls Royce cars to clear garbage after being snubbed by the car manufacturer. These are the only interesting aspect of the entire movie.
Yadvi is set to marry a Rajput prince Govind Singh (Rahul Godara). But after her father’s untimely demise, the Rajput king marries of his son to another princess. Still, Yadvi is asked to go to Maihar by her brothers to take her place as his rightful first wife. Here is when the game of one-upwomanship begins between the two young queens. However, Yadvi remains ‘dignified’ through the ordeal. The real trouble starts as a new lady, Giriraj (Nikkitasha Marwaha) enters her husband's life and transforms the ‘good’ prince to an alcoholic.
According to the filmmakers, the movie tackles the subject of feminism in the 1940s, well before anyone in India was even aware of it. But that’s not evident at all in the film. Being submissive and dignified, even while facing discrimination from your hubby, is hardly feminism!
The performances by the entire cast, including Chandrachur Singh are unexciting. One scene where a drunken prince admits his love for his mistress to his father, is just two minutes of men shouting at each other. What’s commendable is the fact that even on a low budget, some of the scenes almost work in establishing the era, but that doesn’t help the film on the whole.
The music by Anuj Garg is the only thing that works well, including the track ‘Rangreza’ sung by Singh who is a revelation. The entire film is about maintaining the legacy of a princess, but a weak execution coupled with lackluster performances and choppy editing make it a dreary watch.