Padmaavat in Sydney

Padmaavat, name changed of the movie ”˜Padmavati’ directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali which created great furore and angry protests in India with torched buses, vehicles, has finally seen the light of the day as it gets to see the cinemas on this Thursday on January 25 in a worldwide release.  Although the protests and threats are still happening in India as the screening day approaches.

Its initial release in December was banned with Rajasthan’s Karni Sena complaining that the movie did not portray the valour of the Rajput women as beautiful Rani Padmavati along with thousands of Rajasthani women had committed Jauhar to protect their honour rather than falling prey to the Muslim invader Allauddin Khilji. Wild protests were held all over India setting the country alight, movie sets destroyed, with threats to cut Deepika Padukone’s nose while Sanjay Leela Bhansali was slapped and bounties of 5 crores promised on both their heads.

Producers of the film challenged the ban on its screening with the highest court saying that since the movie has been cleared for certification by the Central Board of Film Certification, banning the film any further would amount to violation of Freedom of Expression right.

The censor board had appointed a panel of historians to look into the claim that the film contains historical inaccuracies. The movie was finally cleared with a few changes on the condition that Bhansali and Viacom18 Motion Pictures change the title from Padmavati to Padmaavat to align it closer to its source material.

Claims Sanjay Leela Bhansali, “The film does not have and never had a dream sequence between Alauddin Khilji and Rani Padmavati. We have made this film as an ode to the famed valour, legacy and courage of Rajputs. The film portrays Rani Padmavati with utmost respect and does not tarnish her repute or misrepresent her character in any manner.”

The historical drama is based on the 16th century poem of the same name by Malik Muhammad Jaisi starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. Sanjay Leela Bhansali does take liberties with scripts in his films as he did while making Devdas based on Sharat Chander Chattopadhyay’s novel. While the old classic Dilip Kumar Devdas stayed loyal to the story Sanjay’s Devdas got Paro and Chandrmukhi to meet and even dance in the famous ‘dola re dola’ dance, a meeting that never happened in the real story. Here in Padmaavat he has tried to film Khilji meeting Padmavati which never happened according to the Rajputs. Says the director that Khilji does not meet Padmavati but Karni Sena chief refuses to see the movie though having been invited by Bhansali to its screening. In all this drama common man’s life is hampered by stone-throwing goons who are burning buses, scooters and vandalising cars and public property.

Its a different story overseas like in Sydney the movie is being screened by RANI ”“ Rajasthani Association of NSW Inc. to fundraise for the underprivileged girls of Rajasthan by building sanitary facilities for girls at Rajkiya Adarsh Utccha Vidyalay in Gendaliya village, Bhilwara, Rajashtan. The red carpet event asks cinema goers to come and support the worthwhile cause,

”Come dressed in Indian traditional couture dressed no less than Rani Padmavati or Rana Ratan Sen, the organisers request strictly not to dress as Alauddin Khilji and have put a disclaimer: “We promote Rajasthani culture. Rani Padmavati is out pride, we do not support any misrepresentation of facts, if any in the movie.”

Reporters in India who have seen the movie in pre-screenings say that they did not find any scenes between Rani Padmavati and Allauddin Khilji, rather the movie depicts Rajasthani Rajput women in a light that everyone would be proud of.

Padmaavat is also at other cinemas around Sydney as the film has created great curiosity in everyone.



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