July 17, 2018
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From ‘Padmavati’ To ‘Padmaavat’, How Did Removing The Face Of The Movie From The Poster Made A Difference?

After innumerable problems that Padmavati faced, the movie was at last approved, but at what conditions?

The Sanjay Leela Bhansali film will be released with certain modifications suggested by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) after certain Rajput groups, mainly the Karni Sena, alleged that the movie distorted history. The makers of controversy-ridden period epic Padmaavat, originally titled Padmavati, on Sunday announced that the film is set to release on January 25. But the green light comes with a price and it’s more than dropping of its ‘I’ and adding an extra ‘a’, which the makers made clear by posting full-page “disclaimer” advertisements on the front pages of several newspapers. The disclaimers are as follows :

* The film ‘Padmaavat’ is based on the epic ‘Padmavat’ by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi which is a revered work of fiction.
* The film does not have and never had a dream sequence between Alauddin Khilji and Rani Padmavati.

*We have made this film as an ode to the famed valour, legacy and courage of Rajputs.

*The film portrays Rani Padmavati with utmost respect and does not tarnish her repute or misrepresent her character in any manner.

*The film has been cleared with only five modifications by the CBFC and is officially approved for release in India with a U/A certificate.

*There are no further cuts or modifications to the film.

“Padmaavat is a film that every Indian will be proud of. Please visit your nearest theatre on January 25 to experience it yourself,” reads the last line.

The new ad of the movie is uncanny and seems to us more like a plea to not offend anyone across the country, especially the ones claiming it to distort their history. The ad is begging people to give the movie a chance. You can just imagine the makers and actors, with their hands folded, asking people to come to the theatres because they have poured their time, money, and sweat (and blood) into it. After all this, how ironical is it that the woman leading the men – Deepika Padukone is not even in the poster. The subject of the movie is missing, the very essence of the movie cannot be seen on it’s poster. Was this not unfortunate enough? After weeks and weeks of delays, the movie is still banned in Rajasthan on Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s recommendation and Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and now Gujarat (all BJP-governed states) have pulled the curtain on the film as well.

It’ the 21st century and still so unusual because a movie cannot still be accepted as a piece of art that it is and cannot judged by parameters other than direction, dialogue delivery, music etc. How was it looked upon as a community validation stamp? Why could it not be loved or loathed on the regular grounds?

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