Filmmaker Hansal Mehta is upset about Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s historical drama “Padmavati” getting postponed, and says he is disappointed with the government’s stance. The filmmaker also said that he regrets his decision to “record a video” for the forthcoming 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). “Sad that bullies have prevailed again. The government’s stance is disappointing but not unexpected. After all what is a film compared to elections? ‘S Durga’, ‘Nude’ and ‘Padmavati’ to begin with. Many more to come,” Mehta tweeted on Sunday. In a string of posts, Mehta continued his rant: “I regret recording a video endorsing IFFI – it was done in good faith for the love of films and much before all this happened.
“I was told by many industry leaders that it was a wise strategy to delay ‘Padmavati’. Truth is that people have resigned themselves to government inaction in the face of such blatant terror. The only advice given is to shut up, retreat and accept these attacks. “So SLB (Bhansali) should show the film to those who threaten to have him beheaded?
And get their approval?” “Padmavati” has been mired in controversy over conjectures that it “distorts history” regarding Rajput queen Padmavati, a contention that Bhansali has repeatedly denied.
The film’s producer and distributor Viacom18 Motion Pictures on Sunday released a statement that read: “Viacom18 Motion Pictures, the studio behind ‘Padmavati’, has voluntarily deferred the release date of the film from December 1, 2017.” Some Hindu groups have been protesting against the movie’s release while some political outfits have demanded that its release be deferred in view of the Gujarat Assembly elections. The makers have also not got a clearance yet from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which said the application from the makers was “incomplete”.
The film features Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles. A new release date will be announced once the “requisite clearances” are in place. Filmmaker Anurag Basu also took to Twitter to share his thoughts about the “bizarre” row. “It is bizarre! The whole ‘Padmavati’ row is based on just presumptions. Protesters have not seen a single frame of the film yet, but they know that history has been tampered! How? I can understand the desperation! Karni Sena and other protesters will face huge existential crisis post the release of ‘Padmavati’ so they are trying to juice out maximum,” he tweeted.
Singer Sophie Choudry also posted: “So angry about what Deepika Padukone is going through and now ‘Padmavati’ postponed. When will the industry stand together and fight the bullies who threaten to destroy cinema and art? We are known throughout the world for our film industry and yet we allow this to happen? Shame.”
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