'Padmavati' controversy: Sanjay Leela Bhansali to screen film for special committee before release
After months of controversy over 'Padmavati', filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali to screen the magnum opus for special committee before December release
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati is no stranger to controversy. The tension around the Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh-starrer reached a high yesterday when Mumbai cops detained 15 members of Akhand Rajputana Seva Sangh who were protesting outside the filmmaker's office in Juhu. Their demand was that the drama be shown to them before it reaches the Censor Board and by extension, before its release.
Still from Padmavati
Now, mid-day has learnt that Bhansali has taken the initiative to quell the tension - he will be screening his film to a special committee. The development took place on Saturday night, unbeknownst to the protestors.
RP Singh, national president of Akhand Rajputana Seva Sangh, confirms, "I got a call from Mahavir Jain, who is the mediator between Bhansali and the Rajput Sanghatan, on Saturday night. He put me on a conference call with Shobha Sant [CEO, Bhansali Productions]. She told me that they were ready to show the movie to a team before release. The screening will be held sometime between November 15 to 18."
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Singh adds that a special committe will be put together for the purpose. "A team that will include members of the Rajput community, literati and historians will be constituted by Rajyavardhan Rathore. Once we see the film, we can convince others that the film doesn't distort history in any way. On the other hand, if we see a misrepresentation, we can express our reservations."
He reiterates that their biggest concern is the alleged romantic sequence between Alauddin Khilji and Rani Padmini. "The makers said that there was no dream sequence, but they never gave it in writing."
Protest outside Sanjay Leela Bhansali's office in Mumbai yesterday
He also expresses concern over Kapoor's character. "We've heard that the Raja [Maharawal Ratan Singh] has been shown in a negative light. Aap Raja ko galat nahi dikha sakte hain. We also wanted Bhansali to show Raja's trusted shoorveers, Gora and Badal - they sacrificed their lives to set the Raja free. Bhansali needs to assure us that our concerns are unfounded."