What's the fuss about 'Padmaavat' ?

Last Updated 25 January 2018, 10:17 IST

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Padmaavat" finally released today amid tight security and palpable tension but audiences streamed in to theatres across the country to watch the film that has the nation agog.

Initial reports suggested good business for the film, which has been the focal point of protests by various Rajput groups, which allege that it distorts their history and defames their queen Padmavati.

While the occupancy in Delhi was around 60 to 70% for the first show at 9 am, in Mumbai it was lower at 40-45 per cent.

Shows later in the day, including late night, were almost packed. Given that it's a long weekend, trade analysts were hopeful that business would be good.

"The response has been positive so far. We are hopeful it will increase during the day and in the evening," Mumbai-based Nitin Datar, a member of the Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India, said.

Many of those who watched the film condemned the violence of the last few weeks, particularly the stoning of a schoolbus in Gurgaon yesterday, and said the film has nothing objectionable in it.

In some halls, like the Satyam cineplex in west Delhi, the entire front row was occupied by uniformed security personnel. The hall also had bouncers.

A Rajput viewer, who requested anonymity, made it a point to watch the first show in Mumbai's Cinepolis and said it was an "excellent" effort by Bhansali and actually glorifies their culture.

He also said there was nothing offensive in the movie, or in the "Ghoomar" song.

Chunky Mehta, who also watched the film in the same theatre, said it presents the Rajput community in a good light and it is a "shame" that some people are creating an unsafe atmosphere.

Dhruv Singh, who hails from Rajasthan, which has seen several violent protests, referred to the "dream sequence" between Padmavati and Khilji, which several groups had objected to despite Bhansali clarifying that there was no such scene.

"There was not a single dream sequence in the film so I don't know what the fuss is all about. The attack on children, burning buses is not something we Rajputs endorse. It is shameful what's happening.

A young couple was also in the audience at the early morning show at a multiplex in Delhi and had booked their tickets in advance.

"After watching the film we felt all this violence and protests are irrelevant. There is nothing offensive about the film," said the man, who asked not to be named.

(Published 25 January 2018, 10:16 IST)

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