Amidst the ongoing controversy in India, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati has been certified and passed uncut. However, that’s not in India but in the United Kingdom. The movie has received the green signal from British Board of Film Classification.
PADMAVATI (12A) moderate violence, injury detail https://t.co/2S1pF33WVN— BBFC (@BBFC) November 22, 2017
The BBFC summary notes that Padmavati is a “Hindi language epic drama in which a Sultan leads an invasion to capture a Rajput Queen”, and has “moderate violence, injury detail”. The Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh starrer has been given a 12A rating (12 years and above, to be accompanied by an adult) with no cuts. The duration of the film is 164 minutes which makes it 2 hours 44 minutes. The Hindi version is 3 hours 13 minutes which implies the international version is slightly shorter.
The release date that has been mentioned is December 1st, 2017. The classification was probably applied for before the producers, Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions, postponed the release following numerous protests and threats from right-wing groups and the Indian censor board’s delay in certifying the film. The Indian censor board rejected the movie’s application for certification on the ground that it was “incomplete”. So, this raised a significant question. Is Paramount planning to go ahead with its UK release even though it has not been cleared by India’s CBFC?
Clearing all the doubts, the makers have clearly said that ‘Padmavati’ will not release internationally before its India release.
Back home the scenario is a lot different. With the way things are night now, the film is expected to release in early 2018. Some BJP ruled states and a state government run by Congress in Punjab have decided not to allow its screening. The list includes Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. A senior BJP functionary in Haryana has also announced a bounty of Rs 10 crore for anyone who beheads Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
On the other hand, West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, has backed Padmavati’s release calling the protests against the film a super emergency.Veteran actor Shabana Azmi and noted lyricist Javed Akhtar have come forward in support of the movie. While Azmi questioned the silence of Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on the death threats issued to the makers of Padmavati, Akhtar said, “I am willing to listen to the argument of a common Rajput. But not these Ranas (members of the erstwhile royal family) or royal family members of Rajasthan. For 200 years they stood inside the courts of British rulers and saluted them with their turban tied. Where was their Rajput pride then? They became kings only because they accepted the slavery of British rulers. They mustn’t talk about their dignity.”