×
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

  • UGC Distribution Closes on Mariano Cohn’s

    Ventana Sur: UGC Distribution Closes Market Hit ‘4 x 4’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — UGC Distribution has beaten out all other suitors to clinch what had became by Friday morning the most anticipated deal of this year’s Ventana Sur market: All rights to France on Argentine Mariano Cohn’s “4 x 4,” sold by Latido Films and distributed throughout Argentina by Disney. After mounting speculation about which [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Hits $152 Million at International Box Office

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” has already grossed more than $150 million outside the U.S., Michael Masini joins “Birds of Prey,” and Freestyle buys the documentary “Shamanic Trekker.” BOX OFFICE Warner Bros.’ tentpole “Aquaman” has taken in $152 million overseas in 36 markets, with $135 million of that from China, where it opened on [...]

  • 'Winter's Night' Review: Enigmatic, Offbeat Korean

    Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night'

    There are thousands of films about love’s beginning, and a great many about love’s end. But far fewer deal with a relationship’s late-middle: the spreading, sluggish delta of coupledom when decades of familiarity, if they have not bred contempt, at least threaten irritation. “Winter’s Night,” Jang Woo-jin’s playfully melancholic third feature, after the acclaimed “A [...]

  • Tomasz Kot UTA

    UTA Signs ‘Cold War’ Star Tomasz Kot (EXCLUSIVE)

    UTA has signed “Cold War” star Tomasz Kot. He has appeared in more than 30 films and 26 plays as well as dozens of television series. Most recently, Kot has received award-season buzz for his starring role as Wiktor in Pawel Pawlikowski’s feature “Cold War” for Amazon. The project has earned him a nomination for [...]

  • Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening

    Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening Palm Springs Film Festival

    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh [...]

  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies

    Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77

    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max [...]

  • Most Popular Films 2018: The Best

    9 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired by This Year's Most Popular Films

    From superheroes to super nannies, 2018 was a year full of memorable characters — and memorable movies. Whether you’re a big film buff, an avid follower of a popular franchise, or have a couple movie fans in your life, here are nine gifts that capture the fun of some of this year’s biggest films. 1. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content