What’s the game? Why has there been no official announcement on the release date of Padmavati yet? What’s the real story? Nor is there official confirmation that the film’s title, as recommended by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on December 30, has been really changed to Padmavat. It’s all hearsay. There’s something here that’s definitely funny. Or fishy!
While social media and TV channels have been buzzing with the news that Padmavati is releasing on January 25 and highlighting the imminent box office clash it will have with Padman, there’s been not a peep from the producer, director, distributor and actors of the period drama about its release. Nor how excited they are that the controversial film is finally going to see the light of day. The question of them expressing regret that Padmavati will eat into Padman’s pie that Republic Day weekend does not arise at all.
According to a Bollywood trade expert, “This is a master strategy on their part. It’s a team decision not to officially announce the release date or even talk about it. They left it to the trade analyst and film critic Taran Adarsh to do that. The idea behind this is simple. The Padmavati team which reportedly argued, disagreed and was divided today on releasing the film with Padman, is waiting and watching the public and industry reactions to the ‘unofficial’ release announcement. If they find popular opinion going against them, they can always deny the news, claim to have nothing to do with it, and then officially announce Padmavati’s release at a later date. That’s why everybody associated with the film has been mum today on the Republic Day release!”
Not surprisingly, this is true. The official Twitter handles of Padmavati, producer Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, distributor Paramount Pictures, and actors Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor talk about everything but Padmavati and its January 25 release. Viacom, Bhansali, and Paramount being diplomatically quiet is understandable. But the stars neglecting to talk about their much-anticipated film’s release is strange. Ranveer tweets about the woes of European football club Arsenal, Deepika about the many wishes she got for her birthday on January 5, and Shahid about Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globe Awards this morning! “There’s no official word that the film’s title has been officially changed to Padmavat too,” said the Bollywood trade expert. “No ads in the newspapers. Though BookMyShow, the online ticketing platform, is officially selling tickets for Padmavat!”