Padmaavat creates box-office history, disappointing protestors

Apurv Shukla

‘Padmaavat,’ a much anticipated and discussed Hindi film was finally released worldwide on January 25, 2018, after a delay of almost two months.

Opposition from some groups in India alleging that the film distorted historic facts and trouble at the Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board) contributed to the delay.

Based on the Poem written by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi, ‘Padmaavat’ chronicles the life of Rani Padmini of Rajasthan.

Objection and Vandalism

The film was mired in controversy right from its days of shooting.

‘Karni Sena,’ an organisation purportedly representing the warrior clan of Rajputs – vandalised the sets of the film in Rajasthan and the Director of the film Sanjay Leela Bhansali was assaulted.

Protestors were of the view that the film tarnished the image of Rani Padmini and was an insult to all Rajputs and their pride.

The Censor Board appointed a panel of historians to watch the film and cleared it early last month. It proposed a few cuts including changing the title of the film from the original ‘Padmavati.’

A few states still declared that they would not release the film in the light of the perceived law and order situation that could arise if the film was screened.

Supreme Court Verdict

Producers of the film then petitioned the Supreme Court, which ruled in its favour, and cleared the way for all India release of ‘Padmaavat.’

Fringe elements still created ruckus and indulged in vandalism, forcing some exhibitors in some cities to cancel shows.

However, the film opened with rave reviews and strong box office performance.

The combination of Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Bhansali occurred for the third time with this film, creating their best film till date.

‘Padmaavat,’ matches Bhansali’s aesthetic, and larger than life canvas with an engaging screenplay. Ranveer delivers his career’s best performance as the powerful ruler of the Delhi Empire –Alauddin Khilji.

Deepika in the titular role, is sure to walk away with most of the awards.

Those disappointed

The only people disappointed would be those who protested the film. They created trouble and mischief, which resulted in disruption of normal life for many people.

These radical outfits, even before watching the film, and even after clarifications by the filmmakers and clearance by the Censor Board, mindlessly resorted to destruction actions. Was it all a ploy just to generate publicity and create a bigger market for them?

Padmini glorified

The film glorifies princess Padmini and talks passionately about Indian warriors and their sacrifices. The director’s artistic brush paints all frames of the picture beautifully.

This includes depiction of self-immolation by women, practicing of Jauhar; possibly the only let-down of the film.

These protests and delays in the film’s release made headlines worldwide. It showed the haplessness of the authorities in dealing with minority, which was breaking laws.

It raised questions about the connivance of these protestors with politicians.

‘Padmaavat’ is a must-watch for all.

Editor’s Note: According to ‘Bollywood Mascot,’ an industry watcher, ‘Padmaavat’ continues to hold well at the domestic box office and collected Rs 15 Crore on Day 5 (Monday) of its release. The film is the first ‘Rs 100 Crore’ Bollywood movie of 2018 with the total collection exceeding Rs 129 crore as at January 30, 2018.

Padmaavat Image Courtesy: Bollywood Mascot

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