Tag Archives: padmavati

Not Padmaavat; Padmavati would have been the better title for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film

What’s in a name? Judging by the recurrent noise around the release of Padmaavat, tons of chest beating, arson, stone pelting and hooliganism.

Beyond the news, the renaming of Bhansali’s film was an exercise in futility. For his grand tale is a salute to the bravery and sacrifice of a Rajput queen — one who was gorgeous, free-spirited, smart and deft at statecraft. It’s an ode to the sum total of edited truths about Rajput glory (mostly myths rather than historical fact).  The best way to do justice to this elaborate tribute to (real and imagined) Rajput glory would have been to retain the name Padmavati, for the film caps Bhansali’s interpretation of the woman.

Of course, what I say is in hindsight. The makers had to give in to the Central Board of Film Certification’s directives — or lose out on showing Padmavati/Padmaavat at all. Sad, but true.

Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat

Like some of Bhansali’s female protagonists of the past, Padmavati has all the makings of a true hero. She is a skilled archer who hunts in the lush, green jungles of Sinhala (modern day Sri Lanka), marries a besotted Rajput king, Rawal Ratan Singh, and moves to the desert kingdom of Chittor: a regal fort where at least 10,000 oil lamps are lit at all times, every piece of fabric is richly embroidered silk or satin, and well-crafted pots and pans are part of every frame. Here, Padmavati settles in to be the loved, worshipped queen — a homemaker to the hilt. When trouble comes knocking in the form of a lustful, conquest-crazy Alauddin Khilji, she advises her husband smartly on statecraft and war games. She also rescues him from Khilji’s dungeons, while inflicting damage on the enemy (with some help from the latter’s long suffering wife). In the end, haplessly bound by a code of male-dictated honour, she decides to jump into a blazing fire with all the women in the fort, to save themselves from the pillage of a victorious Khilji.

At every given moment in the story, Padmavati stands tall as the ideal queen. Her husband’s first wife, Nagmati, sadly is given little to say or do; at times, she is projected as petty — which is unfair, given the injustice meted out to her when Rawal Ratan replaces her with a newer, prettier model is not addressed at all. Of course, she merrily jumps into the fire too.

The filmmaker has focused on courage under fire by highlighting the quiet dignity of Mehrunissa, Alauddin Khilji’s wife. She is the voice of reason, always overruled but fearless.  Both Padmavati and Mehrunissa are intent on the guidance and persuasion of their headstrong husbands. In Padmaavat, the women are the pillars of strength for their men. Both queens here are able, rational people. Yet, both surrender to a premise of life dictated by men. In this aspect, of empowering his women yet falling short of making them active actors in determining their lives, Padmavati and Mehrunissa are a culmination of Bhansali’s interpretation of women.

Over time, SLB’s women have evolved, yet stayed passive during grand finale moments. Bhansali’s defiant, heartbroken female protagonist, Nandini, doesn’t give in to convention despite being forced to marry. Her battle is passive aggressive, never overt but the kind that wreaks havoc in a marriage. His women in Devdas were huge creative liberties: There is Paro’s cantankerous mother, deafening the audience with her tirade against Devdas’ mother, the haughty, over-jewelled zamindar’s wife. There is Paro, heart broken, humiliated and yet adjusted to a pragmatic marriage. There is Chandramukhi, the courtesan with a heart of gold. Each woman plays a crucial role in influencing Devdas’ life, an ineffectual, privileged, weak protagonist — but none of them has any say over his destiny. Women in Bhansali’s films have well-written dialogues, don’t give in easily — but finally, always surrender to the dictates of society.

When Bhansali chose to make women the center of his story, he made them noble with a capital N. He whitewashed the heroine with greatness in the films that followed. In Black, Michelle is determined, good and set on conquering her physical challenges. Sophia in Guzaarish is silently loving; aching but willing to make sacrifices.

Only later did Bhansali give his heroines some teeth. In Goliyon Ki Rasleela: Ramleela and Bajirao Mastani, his female protagonists oscillate between good and evil, and actively shape the story.  Supriya Pathak’s role of Dhankor, quietly menacing and deadly, is the strongest female character SLB has ever created. Her cold choices, and later, regret shape the film’s story. Leela’s journey — from innocence and free spiritedness, to defiance, and surrender to love — is captivating. Leela takes control of her destiny, in choosing to die along with her lover, Ram. She doesn’t give in to her natural destiny easily either.

Similarly, in Bajirao Mastani, with a single scene where Kashi Bai confronts Bajirao on his decision to make Mastani his kept woman, Bhansali underlines the injustice she suffers. Bajirao’s widowed mother in this film is head strong and dogmatic, just like Mastani is determined. Their mutual animosity turns to brinkmanship. Yet, in the climax, Mastani gives in and is willing to be imprisoned, rather than pick up her weapons again. Therein lies the contradiction of Sanjay Bhansali’s interpretation of women: the filmmaker empowers them only to take away their ability to battle male codes of conduct.

One can always argue that Bhansali’s films are based on historical incidents or myths, so altering a story line beyond a point isn’t feasible. However, that becomes contradictory, as SLB has always liberally played with history. From Khilji’s Mongolian inspired costume, to use of elephants in open warfare in a desert, to the magnificent wealth attributed to a small Rajput kingdom — he has interpreted history to fit his glitzy narrative. Towards its end, Padmaavat the poem indicates a lusty Rajput king too, willing to kill for the queen of Chittor. But Bhansali has erased that detail. He had similarly re-interpreted Bajirao Mastani as well.

In the climax of Padmaavat, when Rani Padmavati and the noble women of Chittor have locked themselves inside the fort as they set out to commit jauhar (self immolation), Khilji is held back by hot coals flung by the women. This scene could be SLB’s tribute to Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala. The 1980s classic’s supremely powerful climax showed the oppressed women flinging chilli powder by the kilo-loads on to a cruel employer.

One so wished Bhansali hadn’t stopped himself at just using the technique from this film, but actually gone a step forward and shown Padmavati and the women retaliate against Khilji. Sacrifice has its place, but there is glory in battle too.

Then again, this is a flight of fancy. For, in the days of Karni Sena and school buses being attacked, Sanjay Bhansali’s passive aggressive women seem to make better sense; if nothing else, then just to survive the toxic, vitiated political climate that runs the show today.

Virushka, Baahubali, Dangal, Padmavati: A complete A-Z glossary for everything Bollywood got up to in 2017

Ah, 2017! A year that kept us Bollywood watchers on our toes, busy as bees. If only it would slow down some! While that shows no signs of happening, here’s a quick recap of all the particularly attention-grabbing things Bollywood said or did over the past 12 months, arranged here as an A to Z glossary for your reading convenience. Don’t stop till you get to the end!

A

Azaan

Awoken from his slumber by the sounds of the azaan from a nearby mosque, a disgruntled Sonu Nigam shot off a tweet that had TV channels buzzing, talking heads talking, and debaters debating. Matters reached a ‘head’ (ahem) when a fatwa was issued against Sonu by a cleric, who promised a princely sum to anyone who’d shave the singer’s hair and parade him around the country. Sonu shaved his hair off himself and demanded the bounty. Last heard, he still tosses and turns in bed, bemoaning the azaan and the loss of his silken tresses.

B

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

It came, it saw — and it conquered the box office. Long before it petered to a stop with its handsome earnings of Rs 1,700 crore, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion was already a sensation. That was due, in no small part, to the success of the original film. But SS Rajamouli, Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Prabhas and Ramya Krishnan created magic yet again in the franchise’s concluding part — a few controversies notwithstanding in the run-up to its release. Not only did Baahubali 2 go on to become (for a while, until Dangal‘s China release) the highest-earning Indian film, it also had a slew of other records to its credit: first film to cross Rs 1,000 crore, fastest Rs 100 crore earner, only Hindi film to cross Rs 500 crore in domestic collections and so on.

For Bollywood watchers, 2017 marked the best of time,s the worst of times

C

Central Board of Film Certification

After a highly controversial tenure, CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani was replaced with adman-lyricist Prasoon Joshi. The film industry heaved a sigh of relief, Nihalani went on to produce the skinfest Julie 2, and Joshi settled down to the task of balancing creative freedom with censorship laws.

D

Dangal

Dangal should have been 2016’s biggest news. And it was. Then, it opened in China over May 2017, and became the talking pint for this year as well. From its original earnings of Rs 700+ crore, Dangal‘s dream run in China (it would collect over Rs 1,200 crore from that territory alone) helped catapult it past PK and Baahubali 2 to become the highest earning Indian film of all time. Odes were written to Aamir Khan’s genius, and Bollywood had the shining figure of Rs 2,000 crore to aspire to.

E

Ed Sheeran

Also, eugenics

First, there were the million variants of ‘Shape Of You‘. Then, there were the hysterical fans that greeted him when he performed in Mumbai. Just when Ed Sheeran began to think that India (and Indians) had treated him pretty damn well, he was subjected to a Bollywood party (thrown by Farah Khan) that made him the butt of all memes. As photos of a somewhat dazed-looking Sheeran began to do the rounds of social media, Twitterati (who hadn’t been invited to the party) wondered if he’d been held hostage by the celeb crowd, or if he made do with wearing trick glasses that had eyes painted onto them (to cover up the fat that he was snoozing behind them).

As regards, ‘euegenics’, see N for Nepotism.

F

Fairness creams

In a year that saw rampant attacks on Africans living in India, Abhay Deol chose to highlight the casual racism of Indians by taking aim at fairness creams. He ‘named and shamed’ celebrities who did endorse these creams on his social media account — and got into a minor tiff of sorts with Sonam Kapoor, who pointed out that Abhay’s cousin Esha Deol had also appeared in a commercial for said unguents.

G

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan

Perhaps the self-proclaimed godman had an inkling that his luck would soon run out. And s, before he received his 20-year jail sentence in the latter half of 2017,  MSG (the ‘Messenger of God’) squeezed in not one, but two films that had a theatrical release. Hind Ka Napak Ko Jawab — MSG Lionheart 2 and Jattu Engineer were works of such inspired creativity, that we do not have words to describe them. We’ll just leave you with this little gem instead, and let MSG do the talking:

H

Hrithik Roshan

After it dominated the entertainment industry discourse in 2016, the Hrithik Roshan-Kangana Ranaut feud was back in the spotlight. This time, because of a long and impassioned social media post written by Hrithik Roshan, in which we asked why there was no trace of an alleged seven-year-long passionate affair, except for a series of one-sided emails that had already been sent to the Cyber Crime Cell? Kangana responded, and the slugfest continued.

I

IFFI

The International Film Festival of India (or IFFI as it’s known to one and all) found itself talked about less for its heavy star presence and programming than it did for what was seen as an attempt at heavy-handed censorship. First, the films S Durga and Nude were dropped from the festival line-up, prompting IFFI jury members Sujoy Ghosh and Apurva Asrani to resign. Then, despite a Kerala High Court order directing the IFFI officials to screen S Durga, director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan was kept on tenterhooks until the eleventh hour of the fest as to the fate of the screening. Amid a notice issued by the regional office of the CBFC in Thiruvananthapuram, S Durga was not screened after all.

J

Justin Bieber 

Also, jauhar and Johar

Jagga Jasoos

The ‘Sorry‘ singer’s much-hyped concert in Mumbai came down to a mostly lip-synced performance. But apart from his lacklustre onstage act, Justin Bieber did manage to set off some fireworks between Sonakshi Sinha and Armaan Malik, who had a nasty Twitter feud over whether or not Bollywood actors should sing professionally.

For jauhar, see P for Padmavati; check N for Nepotism for Johar; and U for under-performers for Jagga Jasoos

K

Kangana Ranaut-Karan Johar

When Rangoon stars Saif Ali Khan and Kangana Ranaut (joined later by Shahid Kapoor) appeared on Koffee With Karan, the episode began normally enough. But then Kangana got into her groove, calling Karan out for having made fun of her when she first became part of the industry, and labelling him the ‘flag-bearer for nepotism’. And thus was triggered an exchange that kept Bollywood watchers engaged for several more months to come.

Johar had some good news to celebrate as well this year: see under M for memoirs and Y for young ‘uns.

L

Lipstick under my Burkha

Also, legs

The film deemed too ‘lady-oriented’ by the CBFC finally released to much acclaim across India this year. Lipstick Under My Burkha triggered much-needed conversations about women and sexuality, while its triumphant path to the theatres was an inspiration on its own.

Legs — specifically Priyanka Chopra’s, when she met Narendra Modi. When PeeCee and the Prime Minister happened to be in Berlin at the same time, the actress dropped by for a meeting. The off-white dress she chose to wear was demure enough, but for some ‘patriotic’-minded Twitterati, Priyanka’s bare legs were too much to bear, and they launched a vicious attack against the actress. Her reply? Another image of herself, with her mother Madhu Chopra, both of them showing off their shapely legs. Scoreboard — PeeCee: 1; Sanskaari Trolls: 0.

M

Mahira Khan

Manushi Chhillar

Also, M for Memoirs – Karan Johar, Rishi Kapoor’s

Mahira Khan’s Raees released in India in January. The actress, however, could neither participate in the film’s promotions, not celebrate her cross-border release, because of the boycott on Pakistani artistes issued in 2016 after the Uri attacks. Later in the year, photos of Mahira — sharing a smoke with Ranbir Kapoor while on holiday in New York — went viral, causing a further backlash against the actress. Twitterati picked over everything from the act of her smoking, to her choice of clothing (a casual, white halter-neck dress) and companion (a Bollywood actor).

Manushi Chhillar brought home the Miss World crown after a gap of 17 years and quickly became India’s favourite ‘daughter’.

The memoirs of Rishi Kapoor (Khullam Khulla) and Karan Johar (An Unsuitable Boy) had readers and Bollywood fans talking for a long, long time with their mix of style and unabashed truth-telling.

N

Nepotism

Also, National Awards; North-eastern cinema

Triggered by the Kangana-Karan spat, ‘nepotism’ became the word most commonly brought up in discussions about Bollywood (for a while at least). At IIFA, Saif, Karan and Varun Dhawan put up a skit which took jabs at Kangana and ended with the trio proclaiming: “Nepotism rocks!” Varun issued an apology after the incident, Saif got into discussions of eugenics, and Karan put up Instagram pics of his babies. Many thinkpieces were written, some soul-searching may have been engaged in — what all of it resulted in remains to be seen.

The National Awards witnessed some high drama after Akshay Kumar was named the Best Actor winner for Rustom this year. That filmmaker Priyadarshan — who has been a longtime collaborator of the actor’s — was the head of the jury that awarded Akshay the honour drew much comment.

And the cinema of the North East got some inadvertent (but not unwelcome) attention when Priyanka Chopra called her home production Pahuna the first film to emerge from the region and referred to Sikkim as a state ‘troubled by insurgency’. PeeCee was subjected to a social media backlash and a swift lesson on the North East. Amid calls for her to be removed as the tourism ambassador for Assam, Priyanka issued an apology and the matter was resolved.

O

Om Puri

Om Puri’s demise was among the first celebrity deaths of 2017. The 66-year-old actor was found collapsed at his Mumbai home.

P

Padmavati

A controversy that came to define Bollywood in 2017, the Padmavati row began with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali being roughed up by Karni Sena members while shooting in Rajasthan. The trigger: a rumour that there would be a dream romantic sequence depicted between Rani Padmini (Deepika Padukone) and Allaudin Khilji (Ranveer Singh). From that incident, a major conflagration ensued, which saw death threats being issued to Deepika and SLB, much discussion over Rajput pride and Rajput history, and an indefinite postponement of Padmavati‘s release.

Q

Quarrels

We wish it had been on a Qantas flight just so this entry could have been more alliterative, but even without the aid of such literary devices, the quarrel between Sunil Grover and Kapil Sharma was dramatic enough. On a flight from Australia to India, mid-air, the two collaborators had an argument that led to an inebriated Sharma attacking Grover. Grover walked out of Kapil’s show, leading to a phase that saw its TRPs plummet, the show being taken off air for a while, and Kapil himself entering treatment for stress-related issues.

Another not-so-saucy spat: the one over writing credit for Simran, that ufolded between Apurva Asrani, Kangana Ranaut and Hansal Mehta.

R

Raees vs Kaabil

Also, Rajkummar Rao; Reema Lagoo

Raees vs Kaabil was the big box office clash of 2017 for Bollywood. The Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan starrers went head-to-head (or toe-to-toe if that’s the phrase you prefer) at the theatres; the Roshans cried foul, the Raees team (Excel Entertainment + Red Chillies) pleaded helplessness (their film had already been delayed because of the Uri aftermath), and amid furious reportage of the box office numbers, the SRK-starrer pulled ahead.

With starring roles in Behen Hogi Teri, Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, Bareilly Ki Barfi, and the Bose web series by ALTBalaji, it was a good year for Rajkummar Rao. Along came Newton, which not only cemented Rao’s position as one of Bollywood’s finest actors today, but also became India’s entry to the Oscars — and 2017 can indeed be considered a year full of high points for Rajkummar.

Tu Tu Main Main and Hum Aapke Hain Koun…! star Reema Lagoo passed away this year, aged 58.

S

Shashi Kapoor

Also, small-town India

Shashi Kapoor, Bollywood’s handsomest leading hero of all time, passed away aged 79. Tears were shed, hearts were broken, and the end of an era was noted.

Small-town India had its moment in the spotlight as Bollywood celebrated stories set outside the metros and tier-I towns. From Toilet: Ek Prem Katha to Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, small-town India provided great characters, settings and stories to Bollywood in 2017.

T

Tubelight

The Salman Khan-starrer was supposed to shine bright, but instead flickered and died out at the box office. Why this deserves an entry of its own? Because when was the last time you remembered a Salman Khan release not being accompanied by a wave of juggernaut-like euphoria that swept everything in its path? Of course, Tiger Zinda Hai has brought some balance back into the world of shell-shocked Salman fans in the time since.

U

Under-performers

Tubelight, Jagga Jasoos, Jab Harry Met Sejal, Rangoon, Raabta, A Gentleman, Chef — 2017 seemed like a graveyard where big-budget/banner/highly-anticipated films went to die. While some received a critical drubbing, others couldn’t bring in the box office megabucks they were expected to. Will 2018 be any better? Such at least, is the hope.

V

Vinod Khanna

Also, Varun Dhawan; Vidya Balan; Virushka

Bollywood bid adieu to Vinod Khanna, who passed away aged 70 after a battle (reportedly) with cancer.

Meanwhile, Vidya Balan and Varun Dhawan had a good year — Vidya for what was widely hailed as a return to form in Tumhari Sulu, and Varun for his moneyspinners (Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya and Judwaa 2) in a year that saw few films cross the Rs 100 crore mark.

For Virushka, see W for weddings.

W

Weddings!

Or rather, *the* wedding. We’re talking about Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma nuptials of course. Airport sighting, Tuscan getaway, Delhi-Mumbai reception, it seemed like there was no end to the couple’s shaadi-related updates. Not that we’re complaining — rarely have we seen a pair more photogenic than these two. And we’re sure wedding planners are going to see a stream of requests for Virushka inspired events.

X

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

Following close on the heels of Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone too made her Hollywood debut this year with the Vin Diesel film. Making a fair impression as she did the rounds of late-night chat shows and red carpets, Deepika also got Vin to come down to India where he charmed fans.

Y

Young ‘uns

Ishan Khatter. Jahnvi Kapoor. Sara Ali Khan. Young Bollywood was ready for its moment in the spotlight, preparing for their debuts, all that nepotism talk be damned. Meanwhile, the youngest of the lot — Taimur Ali Khan — continued to rule social media, chubby cheeks, green eyes et al.

Z

Zaira Wasim

The Dangal actress had a mixed year: She was viciously cyber-bullied for a meeting with Mehbooba Mufti, then got into a war of words over Twitter with politician Vijay Goel, before speaking out against an alleged harassment incident, and being praised for her role in one of the year’s best films, Secret Superstar.

Padmavati: Udaipur royal family expresses ‘reservation’ on being part of examining committee

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmavati has been at the eye of controversial storm all throughout this year. Be it the director physical assault on the film’s set in Rajasthan, the whole Karni Sena outrage, death threats from various fringe groups, stalling of the film’s release, or the CBFC’s dissent over private screening — Padmavati has been there and seen that.

Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Now, in the recent course of events, it was decided that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) will appoint an examining committee that will scrutinise the film’s factual content.

Meanwhile, the Udaipur royal family has expressed reservations on being part of the committee. In a letter, written to the CBFC Chief Prasoon Joshi, Vishvaraj Singh of Udaipur said:

I have very strong reservations about seeing the film as to my mind it will open a Pandora’s box of new and pointless discussions. Owing to the manner in which the film’s production has progressed from its very inception and seeing to how related matters have developed, I would insist on a formal clarification of the points raised by me before I make a decision regarding being on the Committee.”

Singh further continues,”I cannot help but observe that all this extra effort is going into presenting a product that has been discredited and one that from the very beginning only exemplifies an unprofessional and unethical style of functioning,” as reported by DNA.

Joshi had reportedly written to Singh extending an invite to come for a screening of the film as a member of the examining committee. It was reported that the film could be expected to release only after March, as per the CBFC protocol.

Padmavati stars Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in leading roles and is based on the life and times of the 13th century fabled Rajput queen Padmini of Chittorgarh who chose self-immolation over falling prey to the clutches of foreign invader and ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, Alauddin Khilji.

Padmavati has a risk cover of Rs 160 crore, reveals director of insurance company

Padmavati has not only been a risky project for the makers of the film, but also for the insurance company that worked with them on the project.

Aatur Thakkar, Director of Alliance Insurance said, “It has been a difficult project from the very beginning, as you are aware the sets of the film were attacked by fringe groups. However that was nothing compared to the threat the movie faces now.”

Alliance has been associated with Padmavati since the very beginning and they claim to take a lot of pride in this association. Thakkar added, “we have not only insured the movie during production but also covered them for a safe release. We are also protecting their revenues if they get affected post a release.”

Padmavati had been postponed from its earlier release date of December 1, and the film has been banned in five states including Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan even before the Central Board of Film Certification certified the film. This is definitely not a good sign for the makers, who have a risk cover for the film of Rs 160 cr, apart from the production insurance.

Thakkar informed, “The risk commences only once the movie is allowed to release and there is a claim like situation if the release is disturbed, affecting the revenues from ticket sale collection. We are hoping every thing settles down and the movie releases soon as the filmmakers and the media has promised that there is nothing in the movie which should create this havoc .”

Here is a list of films that fell prey to politics before its release:

Garam Hawa (1974)

The film remained uncensored by the CBFC for nearly 8 months fearing communal violence. But KA Abbas showed the film to government officials leaders and journalists before it found its way to the cinema halls.The film was premiered at Regal cinema prior to the release, and Bal Thackeray, who had threatened to burn down the cinema halls, got to watch the film at a special screening.

Aandhi (1975)

The film was a political drama and was alleged to be inspired from the real life story of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi and her estranged husband Feroz Gandhi. The film did not get a proper release while Indira Gandhi was in power and later got banned during the emergency. But in 1977 after the Congress was defeated and Janata Party came into power the film got a proper release on national television.

Shahenshah (1988)

There were allegations, which were later dismissed by the court, of Amitabh Bachchan’s involvement in the Bofors scam before the release of the film. Audiences were curious to see the film as it was his first release after a gap of two years. It released to a thundering response despite protests and trade pundits said the protests actually helped the film at the box office.

Khalnayak (1993)

This Sanjay Dutt film’s release coincided with his arrest in the 1993 Mumbai blasts. But the controversy, again, played a part in the film’s huge success.

Fanaa (2006)

Aamir Khan’s statement in support of Narmada Bachao Andolan got him into trouble with then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. The film did not get released there even the actor’s effigies were burnt. But the controversy helped the film and it was a big hit.

Jo Bole So Nihaal (2005)

 Jo Bole So Nihaal was in the eye of a storm for allegedly insulting the Sikh religion. Large-scale protests were seen in Jalandhar and other cities of Punjab. Sikh organisations threatened to launch more protests if the Central Board of Film Certification failed to impose a blanket ban but the film released despite the warnings. It, however, had to be pulled out of many halls because of protests and the producer lost crores.
Water (2005)

The movie faced opposition during its shooting from Hindu organisations in Varanasi. The sets were destroyed. The Uttar Pradesh government decided to stop the shooting on 31 January 2000. The shooting was shifted to Sri Lanka later. Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray had said that he hated Deepa Mehta the most. Shiv Sainiks even burnt DVDs of the film. The movie was released in India much later in March 2007.

Fire (1996)

On its opening day in India, some film theatres were attacked by Hindu fundamentalists for depicting a lesbian relationship.The film was withdrawn and sent back to the Censor Board. But, later it was released uncut.

My Name is Khan (2010)

Before the release of My Name is Khan, Shah Rukh Khan had stated that he had no qualms about having Pakistani cricketers playing in the IPL. This didn’t go down well with Shiv Sena, who tried to obstruct My Name is Khan‘s release. The movie, which finally managed to reach the theatres, was given heavy police protection and had a fractured start at the box office. But the film later went to become a big hit and won critical acclaim as well.

Bombay (1995)

Mani Ratnam’s film was a inter-religion love story set in the backdrop of the Bombay riots. The film was slammed by both Hindu and Muslim leaders of Mumbai. Muslim leaders alleged that there was a biased depiction of the Mumbai riots in the film, and as a result Ratnam had to screen the film for Bal Thackeray before it released in Maharashtra.

Ranveer Singh on working with Shahid in Padmavati: ‘Excited to collaborate with him’

After starring as the lead protagonist in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela (2013) and Bajirao Mastani (2015), Ranveer Singh is all set to play the antagonist Alauddin Khilji in Bhansali’s next period drama Padmavati.

ranveer-shahid-380

Bhansali’s Padmavati has just recently gone on floors and stars Deepika Padukone in the titular role as the beautiful queen of Chittor who plays a pivotal role in a battle.

While Ranveer Singh was already slotted to star in the film opposite his alleged real life girlfriend; the news of Shahid Kapoor joining the cast as Raja Ratan Rawal Singh — Rani Padmini’s husband also sparked rumours about a rivalry brewing between the leading men on sets.

While the shoot of Padmavati has just taken off; Ranveer Singh took time out to clarify a few things about his alleged rivalry with his costar in an exclusive interview with HT Cafe.

He told the daily that when he found out that the script required a third hero, he spoke to Bhansali that they “should get the best possible actor to play this part.” And I am very excited about Shahid [coming on board]. I think he’s a brilliant actor and an amazing inclusion to our team. He will add immense value.”

He also added the reports of any friction between the actors was not true since he and Shahid share a warm and affectionate equation with each other and also work out at the same gym. “I have tremendous amount of respect and admiration for his work and him as an actor. I have been watching his films even before I got into the industry. I am excited to be collaborating with him.” Singh elaborated in the interview.

This is not the only point of controversy surrounding Padmavati though. Reports had suggested that Sanjay Leela Bhansali had been asked to portray the historical drama with historical accuracy by a political organisation, or he wouldn’t be allowed in Gujarat.