Mumbai police posted inside cinema halls binge on Padmaavat

Updated: Jan 31, 2018, 19:21 IST | Suraj Ojha and Santosh Wagh

We speak to a few police personnel who have been posted inside cinema halls screening the film

Police personnel at PVR Phoenix
Police personnel at PVR Phoenix

Padmaavat had to be given a thick security cover for its release, what with the fringe fire continuing to blaze. One thing led to another, and before they knew it, some of them had watched the movie nearly 20 times. We are talking about the personnel of Mumbai Police, who can't stop gushing about Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus. They have the entire film by heart now, with some saying they know all the dialogues better than show-stealer Ranveer Singh.

Padmaavat released worldwide last Thursday after months of controversy and threats from the Rajput Karni Sena. Cops across the state had been put on high alert with heavy bandobast at theatres running the movie. In Mumbai, policemen continue to be posted not just outside the movie halls, but also inside to keep an eye on the audience.

Constable Sudhakar Patil has watched the movie 11 times at a Chembur mall
Constable Sudhakar Patil has watched the movie 11 times at a Chembur mall

Back to back
Sachin Pradip Gavhane, a constable posted at Inox CR2 Mall in Nariman Point, said, "I have watched the movie more than 13 times. It runs in my mind all day." "Though our focus is on the audience inside the theatre, we can't avoid the movie — our one eye is on the audience and the other on the screen," laughed Gavhane's colleague, constable Manish Shinde. The situation is pretty much the same at other theatres in the city with personnel posted outside and inside on 10-hour shifts. Constable in every shift is bound to end up sitting for at least three shows a day.

Police personnel at Inox in Worli's Atria Mall. Pic/Atul Kamble
Police personnel at Inox in Worli's Atria Mall. Pic/Atul Kamble

Mahendra Hirawale, a constable posted at Inox in Worli's Atria Mall, said, "I have seen it 12 times with some shows back to back. I've never been a movie buff… poore life ki kasar iss ek movie se poori ho gayi." The film has left quite an impact on many of them, with some claiming to know the dialogues better than its actors. Constable Shridhar Gudulkar, who was posted at PVR Phoenix in Lower Parel, said, "I have seen it 16 times; if anybody quizzes me on the movie, I can answer in a heartbeat. Even Ranveer (Singh) probably doesn't remember his film and dialogues as well as I do." Echoing him, constable Rupali Karande said, "I watched it 11 times; I have it by heart now, including the dialogues of even the side actors."

Constable Sachin Gavhane, posted at Inox in Nariman Point, has lost count of how many times he's seen the movie, but it's definitely more than 13
Constable Sachin Gavhane, posted at Inox in Nariman Point, has lost count of how many times he's seen the movie, but it's definitely more than 13

Secure screening
Just ahead of Padmaavat's release in Mumbai, city cops had swung into action, carrying out preventive arrests of more than 100 Karni Sena members on the very first day.

Constable Rupali Karande has seen it 11 times
Constable Rupali Karande has seen it 11 times

After the Supreme Court had ruled out a stay on the film's release, Mumbai Police had assured of its peaceful screening in the city, and ensured the same, despite many groups threatened to disrupt shows. Cops said they are confident that the screening will go on smoothly and anyone trying to stall it will be dealt with sternly.

Piracy plaint
Makers of Padmaavat have approached the state's cyber digital unit, an anti-piracy unit formed four months ago in association with the film industry, after numerous prints of the movie surfaced online. They have requested the government to look into it. "The unit is running a pilot project in collaboration with the industry, wherein platforms on which pirated content is put up are monitored. We are also looking at sites and servers hosting and spreading this content," said an officer.

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