Padmavati insured but will it keep its date with screens on December 1?


The studio is taking no chances with Padmavati. The film has supposedly been insured in excess of Rs.160 crore, while the distribution cover sum is yet to be declared. However, even as the film is sought to be protected from the loss of ticketing revenue due to riots, strike, and malicious damage, the threat of disruption continues to stalk this Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial. And D-day, December 1, is less than a month away.

Even as protests in three states gain momentum, exhibitors will be fearful of taking the risk of screening the film if there is a threat or possibility of rioting. Adequate police protection could prevent damage to their properties if it were made available. As of now, apparently, no distributor has been appointed in Rajasthan. Some cinema halls in Jaipur are eager to screen Padmavati, but they will do so only if they get proper police protection. The fear of violence is real, as they receive threats every day via pamphlets warning them not to screen the film.

Some sections feel that the makers of the film should hold a screening for the protesting organizations in advance to prove that the film does not contain any objectionable content and thus ensure a smooth release.

It is also felt that the Censor Board should scrutinize the film to ensure that no facts are distorted, and thus help both parties sort out the issue amicably.

The film was dealt another blow two days ago, when the BJP dashed off a letter addressed to the Election Commission, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the Central government, asking for a stay on its release, claiming the filmmaker had twisted historical facts by wrongly linking queen Padmavati with Alauddin Khilji. This controversial twist will hurt the sentiments of the Kshatriya community, it maintained, and is the reason for the demand that the film’s release be stayed.

Bhansali might have to give in to pressure and conduct those special screenings if the film is to arrive at screens peacefully on December 1.