Padmavati in fresh row over screening for media houses

Padmavati in fresh row over screening for media houses

Controversial movie Padmavati on Saturday waded into another row after Censor Board chairman Prasoon Joshi objected to its screening before select media houses before its certification.

This is seen in some quarters as a strategy to build a consensus over its content.

The Deepika Padukone-Ranvir Singh-starrer film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali ran into trouble after a section of the Rajput community claimed that the movie portrayed Padmavati, a Rajput queen, as having a relationship with Allaudin Khilji. The fate of the movie's release also hangs in balance as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) returned the movie citing improper documentation.

Joshi said it was "disappointing" that the film was being screened for the media and getting reviewed on national channels without the CBFC having seen or certified it.

"This compromises the role of systems and balances that are part of a functioning industry. It's myopic to treat the certification process haphazardly to suit one's convenience. Holding (the) CBFC responsible and pressuring it to accelerate the process on the one hand and attempting to subvert the very process on the other, sets an opportunistic precedent," he said.

India TV editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma said, "After seeing the film, I can say with full authority that there is not a single scene, not a single sequence and not a single dialogue that hurts Rajput pride. On the contrary, I can say that all Rajputs will feel utmost pride in seeing the entire film that has been made after exhaustive research by Bhansali."

CNN-News18 deputy executive editor Zakka Jacob wrote, "There's not a single slight against the character of Queen Padmini...there's no dream sequence of her with Alauddin Khilji; indeed, they don't even share screen space at any point during the film. Having just come out of a special screening of Padmavati, I can safely say that all the objections of the Karni Sena and other protesting groups are misplaced."

Actress Shabana Azmi said the film industry should boycott the International Film Festival of India to mark its protest against threats to Bhansali and Deepika.

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