After getting mired in several controversies, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmaavat was released on January 25 amidst violence by the Shri Rajput Karni Sena and other fringe groups. The movie’s release witnessed violence in at least seven states across India, with protesters blocking roads, burning buses and throwing bricks and stones at a school bus full of children in Gurugram, Haryana.
While it seems like the protests have taken a back seat for now in India, the movie is now facing a fresh hurdle in Malaysia. Malaysia’s National Film Censorship Board (LPF) has barred Padmaavat from receiving a theatrical release in the Muslim-majority nation.
LPF chairperson Chairperson Mohammed Zamberi Abdul Aziz said: “The storyline of the film touches on the sensitivities of Islam. That in itself is a matter of grave concern in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country.”
Surprisingly, Padmaavat had released without incident in Pakistan – also a Muslim majority nation. Mobashir Hasan, chairman of Pakistan Central Board of Film Censors, said, “The CBFC is not biased in arts, creativity and healthy entertainment.”
Padmavat is based on 16th century poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s poem ‘Padmavat.’ The movie describes how Rajput king Maharawal Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor) and his queen Padmavati (Deepika Padukone) attempt to save their kingdom from ambitious, heartless and power-hungry Sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh), bent on possessing Padmavati and dominating India.
The film faced a slew of protests over allegations that the movie distorts historical facts, dents the pride of the Rajput community, and that there were some objectionable scenes between Padmavati and Allauddin Khilji.
Following its release, people have given it mixed reviews, with many highlighting the stunning cinematography, wide-angle shots in the battlefield, larger-than-life sets and costumes that look quite authentic and realistic, and strong performances.
Apart from Padmaavat’s sumptuous palace interiors and classically inspired music, Ranveer Singh’s work as Sultan Alauddin Khilji has received appreciation from none other than Shahenshah of Bollywood Amitabh Bachchan himself. Calling the letter his “award”, an overwhelmed Ranveer took to Twitter to share the picture of the note and a bouquet Bachchan sent him after watching the Sanjay Leela Bhansali period drama.
— Ranveer Singh (@RanveerOfficial) January 29, 2018
After enjoying a huge extended opening weekend, Padmaavat’s total earnings on Day 5 stands with the grand total of Rs 128.25 crore. The film is expected to earn around Rs 160 crore in its first week.