The reason why Padmavati release date has been postponed and the consequences
The 'Padmavati' filmmakers are understood to have taken the decision after the censor board returned their application, even as protests escalate across the country
After weeks of drama surrounding the film - with fringe outfits demanding a ban on it and lead actor Deepika Padukone asserting that "nothing can stop the release" - Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati witnesses yet another and possibly the final twist in the tale. Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, the producers of the Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor and Padukone-starrer, issued a statement yesterday saying that the studio has "voluntarily deferred the release date of the film from December 1, 2017." The studio emphasised its "respect and regard for the law of the land and all our institutions and statutory bodies including the Central Board of Certification." It also stated that a new release date will be announced once the requisite clearances are in place.
Shahid Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in 'Padmavati'
This comes close on the heels of the CBFC returning Bhansali's drama on Friday over incomplete application. Industry insiders say the final nail in the coffin came in the form of the film's private screening for select journalists that was organised late Friday evening. A source reveals, "The filmmaker had kept a special screening for select channel heads, who then went ahead to vouch for the film and how it doesn't hurt religious sentiments. This left many at CBFC annoyed. Prasoon Joshi [CBFC chief] too lashed out at the filmmaker for screening a movie that was yet to receive a censor certificate."
Prasoon Joshi and Sanjay Leela Bhansali
The source adds that the CBFC also pointed out to the makers how they had not adhered to the rules — Rule 41 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 states that a film must be submitted for certification 68 days prior to its release date. "This rule has never been implemented before. In the past, we have seen instances of films getting their certificates in the release week. But, the board has suddenly decided to become stringent," says the insider, adding that it may spell trouble for the forthcoming releases as well. "If they uphold the rule, many films including Firangi and Tiger Zinda Hai might miss their release date."
What's the phatka?
Trade analyst Amod Mehra says that the producers of Padmavati will be adversely affected by the delay. "It's obvious that the delay will cause losses. There is also a possibility that the audience might lose interest in the film, which also affects the collection." Mehra adds that the postponing of the period drama will also give an advantage to other films. He points out, "If Kapil Sharma's Firangi releases as per its schedule on November 24, then it will enjoy an uninterrupted run. The next big release is Fukrey, which is on December 15, and I won't be surprised if they advance the release. If they do, they stand to get a clear window at the theatres before Tiger Zinda Hai releases."
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