Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bollywood epic Padmaavat, set to release in UK cinemas by Paramount Pictures UK on 25th Jan, is still facing protests in India.
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After death treats were issued to lead actress Deepika Padukone and Bhansali, followed by multiple Indian states banning the film and the local Certification Board in India refusing to classify the film, Padmaavat was postponed.
After five cuts and a name change from ‘Padmavati’ to ‘Padmaavat’ the film will finally get a general release this week.
Based on 16th century Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic poem Padmavat, the movie faced resistance from its early stages due to rumour-mongering.
The film that showcases the valor of Rani Padmavati, Maharawal Ratan Singh and the famed Rajput ethos of honour, bravery and sacrifice, has from early last year sparked a furor in India inciting violence against the makers and cinemas showing the film.
The Supreme Court in India earlier this week ruled that all states must show the film. The protestors disagree saying that Padukone’s portrayal in the film ‘disrespects’ Rani Padmavati. Multiple cinema chains have already been vandalised.
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Karni Sena, a Rajput caste extremist group, last year threatened UK citizens and encouraged their followers to burn down UK cinemas screening the film. By doing so, they incited violence and committed hate crime, an offense in Britain. Rajput groups in the UK also decided to protest the film, albeit without violence.
Also starring Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, the film has been classified by the British Board of Film Classification twice, the original and edited version, both with a 12A rating.
The Mayor of London’s office informed BollyNewsUK that the Mayor‘s Office of Policing and Crime has been alerted following the threats.
The Home Office stated “The UK Government will not tolerate any groups who spread hate or deliberately raise community fears and tensions by bringing disorder and violence to our towns and cities and the police have comprehensive powers to deal with such activities.”
Cineworld Cinemas PLC, the second largest cinema operator in Europe, who also control the 60 percent of the UK Bollywood market stated, “At Cineworld we show a diverse range of films to cater to all tastes and preferences, so we look forward to releasing an edited version of Padmaavat on 25 January at our cinemas.
They added, “As always, we take security very seriously and have rigorous procedures in place to protect our customers.”
Paramount Pictures UK will release Padmaavat (Hindi) in UK cinemas from 25th January 2017 in 2D, 3D and at selected sites in IMAX 3D.