Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest grand creation, “Padmavati” has been drowning in controversies as the Rajput community fears the filmmaker may be misrepresenting history. There have been political threats, vandalism against promotions of the film, a call to behead Padukone and Bhansali, and more. Unfortunately, filmmakers have now deferred the release indefinitely due to delays in film certification.
The film’s production house, Viacom18 Motion Pictures stands wholly behind Bhansali and his film, but due to these unforeseen circumstances, they have announced the film will not release Dec. 1. Here is the full statement Viacom 18 Motion Pictures released:
“Viacom18 Motion Pictures, the studio behind ‘Padmavati’ has voluntarily deferred the release date of the film from December 1st 2017. Along with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, amongst the most gifted film makers of his generation, Viacom18 Motion Pictures has created a beautiful cinematic masterpiece in ‘Padmavati’ that captures Rajput valor, dignity and tradition in all its glory. The film is an eloquent portrayal of a tale that will fill every Indian with pride and showcase our country’s story-telling prowess across the globe. We are a responsible, law-abiding corporate citizen and have the highest respect and regard for the law of the land and all our institutions and statutory bodies including the Central Board of Film Certification. We always have and are committed to continue following the established procedure and convention. We have faith that we will soon obtain the requisite clearances to release the film. We will announce the revised release date of the film in due course. We stand firm in our commitment to tell endearing tales that resonate with our audiences the world over as we have in the past with our other projects such as ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’, ‘Queen’, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ and many more.”
Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, and Ranveer Singh star in this historical drama about the legendary Rajput queen, Rani Padmavati. All three stars are in support of their director and have continuously stated that their film honors the legend and does not disrespect the Rajputs or the historical significance of Rani Padmavati. Bhansali himself has released a video denying the charges against the film.
Community leaders who have not seen the film are claiming that Bhansali has distorted their history and is disrespecting the legend of Padmavati, which irks many in the film fraternity. Many Bollywood stars have also been vocal about the baseless attacks against the film. Actors and filmmakers have spoken up on Twitter against the political activists who have called for the beheading of Padukone as well as attacks on Bhansali and the film.
And as far as #Padmavati is concerned I wish it is the biggest hit ever as that would be the befitting rejoinder to all these loony threats!
— Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) November 19, 2020
Smriti Irani is preparing IFFI dats possible only bcoz the Indian Film Industry brings such acclaim to it but keeps quiet about Padmavati!
— Azmi Shabana (@AzmiShabana) November 18, 2020
— Nikkhil Advani (@nikkhiladvani) November 19, 2020
I’m appalled at the drama that’s unfolding.. it’s ludicrous and I’m so ashamed of some of these Indians.. https://t.co/LMNnewDOKT
— Sonam Kapoor (@sonamakapoor) November 19, 2020
The row, death threats & public display of violent abuse over the FICTIONAL story of a FICTIONAL queen wud be funny & ironic if it hadn’t been a dangerous sign of how normalised communalism has become in our public consciousness #Padmavati
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) November 18, 2020
Its bizarre!! the whole #Padmavati row is based on just presumptions.
protestors have not seen a single frame of the film yet,but they know tht history hs been se tampered! How! 😂😂
— anurag basu (@basuanurag) November 19, 2020
We r not going to be held ransom by a minuscule group of goons who even threaten murder over a film.its not the voice of the nation.Never forget the majority of the country believes in sanity, and the rule of law #padmavati #SLB @deepikapadukone
— Gauri Shinde (@gauris) November 18, 2020
The film depicts the legend of Rani Padmavati as told by the Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi in his epic poem. The poet had described Padmavati as a beautiful princess (possibly of a kingdom in present-day Sri Lanka) whom the Rajput of Mewar, Rawal Ratan Singh marries. When Alauddin Khaliji, the Turko-Afghan leader of the Muslim Khaliji dynasty, hears of Padmavati’s beauty, this ruler of the Delhi sultanate attacks Chittor Fort to capture the queen as his own but in order to save herself, Padmavati commits Jauhar, killing herself in sacrifice to protect her honor and stay true to her husband.
Whether Padmavati was a fictional queen or not depends on who you ask, but she is important to many who fear her honor and their heritage subjected to distortion by Bollywood. However, does that permit them to attack the film and call for the beheading of Padukone? Or make judgments without viewing the film itself? Which side are you on?