You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Indian Epic ‘Padmaavat’ Faces Obstacles, Despite Censor Clearance

The delayed release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s $30 million historical epic “Padmaavat” faces a rocky road when it finally releases in India Jan. 25.

The film was due to release Dec. 1, 2017, but producers Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions postponed it after protests from Rajput Hindu groups. Deepika Padukone (“xXx: Return of Xander Cage”) stars as the Hindu queen Padmavati whose husband is king Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor). Their kingdom is under threat from the Muslim ruler Alauddin Khilji.

The protesters alleged that the film contained a dream sequence suggesting a multi-faith romance between Khilji and Padmavati. Hindu groups repeatedly vandalized the film’s sets while production was ongoing.

India’s Central Board of Film Classification approved the film with a UA certificate, after making five cuts and changing the title from “Padmavati” to “Padmaavat.” However, the states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh will not allow the film’s release.

On Monday, the producers bought full-page advertisements in Indian newspapers stating that the film is based on the epic “Padmavat” by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi, and is a work of fiction; the film does not have and never had a dream sequence between Khilji and Padmavati; and that the film is an ode to the valor and courage of the Rajputs.

Historically, the queen Padmavati and her women aides committed ‘Jauhar’ (self-immolation) rather than be captured by Muslim invaders. Women belonging to Rajput fringe groups in Rajasthan have threatened to burn themselves ahead of the film’s release.

Having in October announced “Paramount Pictures has come on board to exclusively distribute ‘Padmavati’ in international markets outside of India,” Paramount has now revealed a much smaller release, from Jan. 25. In an email to Variety, Paramount said it will handle “Padmaavat” only in the U.K. and Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. But not the U.S. or Canada.

The film will open against “Padman,” a female hygiene drama starring bankable star Akshay Kumar. Sony Pictures is releasing worldwide.

The Jan. 25 release of action thriller “Aiyaary,” starring Manoj Bajpayee and Siddharth Malhotra has now been pushed to Feb. 9.

More Film

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

  • berlin film festival placeholder berlinale

    Berlin Film Festival 2019 Award Winners: Complete List

    The 69th Berlin Film Festival kicked off on Saturday, with 16 films vying for the Golden and Silver Bears, among them such critically acclaimed entries as Wang Xiaoshuai’s Chinese drama “So Long, My Son” and “By the Grace of God” by François Ozon. Juliette Binoche served as Jury President, with other members of the jury [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel,' 'Lego Movie 2' to Lead President's Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” is holding a slim lead ahead of “Lego Movie 2’s” second frame with an estimated four-day take of $29.1 million from 3,790 North American locations. “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” meanwhile, is heading for about $25 million for a domestic tally of around $66 million. The two films lead the pack [...]

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content