Hindi Film Padmaavat: A Better Ending to a Controversial Start

By Nabeeha Ahmed

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






After countless impediments, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat finally saw the light of day on January 25, 2018.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is no stranger to the Hindi film industry. He has directed numerous Bollywood classics like Devdas, a story about how the life of a man spirals down to alcoholism after he is unable to marry his childhood lover because of her societal status, and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (translation: I Have Already Given My Heart, My Love), a narrative regarding a woman, her past relationship, and her realization of love for her husband.

Lately, Bhansali has been taking great interest in historical period films; the last movie he directed before his newest release was Bajirao Mastani, a film about the relationship between an already married Maratha Emperor and a Muslim princess.

Bhansali’s recent film Padmaavat stars Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh, Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati, and Ranveer Singh as Sultan Alauddin Khilji (depicted below from left to right).

The story takes place in the 14th century, where Muslim Emperor Alauddin Khilji attacks the Kingdom of Chittor after he is infatuated with King Ratan Singh’s Rajput (a particular caste) queen, Padmavati.

Padmaavat, or its original title, Padmavati, was initially set to release on December 1, 2017; however, complications that began in January 2017 placed numerous hurdles in the path of the film.

When rumors of a romantic dream sequence between Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji spread, members of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, a Rajput caste organization, vandalised the set of Padmavati and assaulted Bhansali.

 

 

Protests against the movie did not stop there. When the film’s posters released, many were burned by mobs. Tires, shops, cars, and effigies of Bhansali were burned as well. The Karni Sena eventually threatened to cut of Padukone’s nose, and the aggressiveness escalated when the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party put out a reward of approximately $1.5 million for Padukone’s and Bhansali’s beheading as the film grew closer to its December release. Death threats were given to the entire cast. The Karni Sena called for a nationwide ban on Padmavati, but then demanded a special screening to review the film, to which the producers were willing to arrange after the India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) would evaluate the movie.

Such oppositions compelled the movie’s release date to move to January 25, 2018, which is after the CBFC gave a green signal to Padmavati.

The CBFC cleared the film; however, they made 5 suggestions that were accepted by the production house. One of the amendments was changing the film’s name from Padmavati to Padmaavat— the title of Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s poem from which Bhansali says he based the movie off of.

Bhansali has been accused of misrepresenting history. Many protesters allege that Rani Padmavati is portrayed negatively as there are supposed scenes that emphasize Khilji’s obsession with her, despite Padmavati being married to the King of Chittor. A dance sequence also adds to their complaints. Another portion of the protesters are Rajputs who see Padmavati through a religious perspective. Regardless, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has denied incorporating any scene that may disrespect the Rajput queen. He claims that his film strives to increase the pride of the Rajput community.

In addition to the Rajput opposers, there are people who oppose Padmaavat because of its depiction of “sati”/”jauhar”, or self-immolation. BBC News explains that Padmavati committed the act in Jayasi’s poem after her husband was killed in war. The site explains that the practice originated about 700 years ago and was committed to maintain honor and avoid rape and enslavement from the attacking party. Some believe including this banned tradition in the film glorifies the practice. An article from Firstpost shares that Deepika Padukone believes that the audience must understand the mindset of Padmavati, her situation, and the reason behind her action.

The governments of North Indian states Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, and  Madhya Pradesh had decided to ban the film before its release. Padmaavat producers appealed to the Indian Supreme Court to prevent bans, and on January 18, 2018, the Supreme Court commanded that no state would ban the movie. Had the bans been ignored by the Court, the freedom of cinema and art in India would have been called into question. In article by BBC News, Chief Justice Dipak Misra asserts, “Cinemas are an inseparable part of right to free speech and expression. States… cannot issue notifications prohibiting the screening of a film.” To this, a Karni Sena member expressed to Reuters, “If you have freedom of writers, freedom of expression, we too have freedom of protest.” Protests and vandalisms of theaters are still in progress.

According to Hindustan Times, Padmaavat has accumulated about $1.2 million in North America and $17 million at the box office in India within its first four days of release; it is expected to reach $30 million after the first weekend of February.

 

Check out Padmaavat’s trailer above and leave your thoughts on it in the comment section.

 

 

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Hindi Film Padmaavat: A Better Ending to a Controversial Start”

  1. Paris Viloria on February 4th, 2018 11:30 am

    whoopee!!! That’s crazy how people are so crazy to even call for beheadings. Nabeeha you did an amazing ~~!~!~!~! job on this article! I am so proud. It is full of information, and I really want to watch this movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

  2. Mary Shine on February 9th, 2018 11:20 am

    As a follower of the writer, Nabeeha Ahmed, I respect all your work. This article was especially enlightening because I did not know of this kind of issue going on at all! I hope you bring out more articles that are related to Bollywood because they make me globally aware; they are interesting as well.

    [Reply]

  3. Paul Andrew Yapcengco on February 9th, 2018 11:40 am

    This was a very interesting review, this opened my eyes to Bollywood movies and I might try this movie out as well.

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Hindi Film Padmaavat: A Better Ending to a Controversial Start

    Global Citizenship

    Ambassador Delegates – Berkeley MUN 2017

  • Hindi Film Padmaavat: A Better Ending to a Controversial Start

    Global Citizenship

    Korea Trip: Summer 2017

  • Hindi Film Padmaavat: A Better Ending to a Controversial Start

    Global Citizenship

    Bengali Ananda Mela: A Carnival of Joy বাংলা আনন্দ মেলা: জয় এর একটি কার্নিভাল

  • Hindi Film Padmaavat: A Better Ending to a Controversial Start

    Live Performances

    Live Performance: “Henry V” by William Shakespeare

  • Hindi Film Padmaavat: A Better Ending to a Controversial Start

    1968: 50 YEARS LATER (JANUARY - FEBRUARY)

    The Solution

  • Hindi Film Padmaavat: A Better Ending to a Controversial Start

    ASGL Sports

    Boys Varsity Basketball

  • Hindi Film Padmaavat: A Better Ending to a Controversial Start

    Arts & Entertainment

    Fortnite Battle Royale Game Review

  • Hindi Film Padmaavat: A Better Ending to a Controversial Start

    Arts & Entertainment

    A Look Back at Team Fortress 2

  • Hindi Film Padmaavat: A Better Ending to a Controversial Start

    Our School

    Lady Bobcats Senior Night 2/2/18

  • Hindi Film Padmaavat: A Better Ending to a Controversial Start

    School Events

    Upcycle!!