If a Mumbai Mirror report is to be believed, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavat has been cleared by the CBFC with a U/A certificate and in all probability will release on January 25 alongside Akshay Kumar’s Pad Man. The film, initially called Padmavati and supposed to release in December, has been riddled with controversy even before its trailer dropped in early October.
Bhansali known for making sweeping period films based on his interpretation of history, was physically assaulted by the Karni Sena on his film set. The fringe group claimed the director was disrespecting the god-like figure of ‘Rani Padmini’ by implying a romance between the queen and the Delhi Sultanate’s Alauddin Khilji, without even having access to the film’s script. Another set of the film in Kolhapur was vandalised and burned by the group.
In spite of repeated assurances from the director and the studio bankrolling the film that there is no such ‘dream sequence’, the groups have refused to back down from their protests. To the extent that they’ve even threatened director Bhansali and lead actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone with their life. Director Bhansali even released what looked like a hostage video, to clarify that they had upheld the Rajput community’s values and valour while making the film. After which Viacom 18 took the call of deferring the film’s release to 2018.
Apart from 5 modifications suggested to the film, the CBFC also reportedly has asked the makers to change the film’s name to Padmavat based on the poem of the Sufi poet Mallik Muhammad Jayasi. The final cut of the film reportedly clocks a running time of 163 minutes, which is understandable given director Bhansali’s reputation. There’s a reported 190-crores at stake for the film’s studio with this film, and with its clash against Akshay Kumar it will be interesting to see how it affects either film.
While Bhansali’s film was one of the most awaited last year, Akshay Kumar has been on a hot-streak of Republic Day blockbusters since 2015 with Neeraj Pandey’s Baby and then Raja Krishna Menon’s Airlift in 2016. Get the popcorn ready!