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20 Apr 2024, Edition - 3203, Saturday

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Padmavati Row: Political drama before the cinematic drama gets screened?

Indrani Thakurata

Image credit : Illustrative Image


Bengaluru: The film Padmavati is making more noise in the country than the current air quality in Delhi, and that speaks volumes about the subject and us, perhaps. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a prolific Director who has dealt with controversial subjects time and again, beautifully putting forth his vision; be it Khamoshi, Ramleela-Goliyon ki Rasleela, Guzaarish, Bajirao Mastani or Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. But most of his movies, especially the last few ones have garnered undue interest from critics and haters. Many have claimed that his films have distorted history, whereby disrespecting the historical stalwarts, and this time around, it is no different.

Haryana minister Anil Vij claims that the director has tampered with history and has violated the law related to the practice of Sati. His claim of objectionable portrayal of the queen has been rubbished and lapped by people at the same time. The country is divided, and honestly, many are wondering if this deserves so much of screen and print space. “Congress has asked the film to be reviewed. Rajput Karni Sena has called for a Bharat Bandh. I don’t understand if these are for real. We have so many real issues to tackle on day to day basis, this is such a non issue,” says Riya Mukherjee, a history student. Furthering the discussion, Nalin Ranjan Singh, a scriptwriter, co-producer and actor says, “Historical facts should be researched well before making a period film.Creative liberty doesn’t mean distorting the facts. The problem comes in when various historians have different points of view on a particular subject. It is safe to take a neutral stand and not hurt sentiments. Creative liberty can be taken in terms of filming , songs, sets etc. But in this case, no one has seen the film, and yet they are opposing it, we must remember that there is a censor board in this country.”

It is funny how people are jumping to conclusions without even seeing the film. The trailers and the songs have managed to offend, so far. Minister Anil Vij has taken particular offense to Rani Padmavati’s dancing in public. He was quoted explaining her significance and her self immolation act along with 16000 women after Raja Rana Ratan Singh fell in war. “Many are upset because it seems that Sanjay Leela Bhansali is forwarding a single ideology. But my point is, this is a Bollywood movie and not a documentary. Therefore, it will have artist’s impression. You like it, you see it or else you boycott it but you don’t have the right to decide on behalf of everybody. Vandalism in the name of protecting history is unpardonable. Personally, I don’t like these historical dramas but that doesn’t mean I will not give them a chance,” signs off Nishtha Bhatnagar, Film Critic.

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