Post the trailer release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus Padmavati, fans became restless as they discovered the stellar cast: Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. However, there were groups who strongly protested against the historical accuracy of the film. Padmavati sufffered another delay in its release because of CBFC guidelines of submitting films 68 days prior to the release date.
And then came the protests. Both Bhansali and Deepika were threatened. While several protestors threatened to behead Bhansali, a reward of INR 5 crore to chop Deepika's nose off was also issued. According to reports, since this uproar, Deepika has been backed with tight security everywhere she goes.
At a recent awards show, Shahid was asked to relay a message to his fans as well protesters objecting to Padmavati. The actor stated, "No one wants to make a film to hurt sentiments because it’s for as many people as possible to see. I hope people will believe in that. I don’t know what the end result will be — better than what we expect or worse. People react to a story anyway, and if it has originality and the right cinematic quality, it will work."
The actor also went on to add that he was shocked to see the reaction of the public against Deepika Padukone, the lead actress of the film, “It’s terrible. I didn’t expect this — so much being spoken about a lady. I am very shocked with that."
Speaking about director Bhansali and his precarious position right now, the actor said, “My heart goes out to Bhansali. He’s probably the finest filmmaker I have worked with. He has tried his level best. See, eventually, everything becomes subjective. It’s a democracy and everyone can have an opinion. The whole idea of a democracy is to respect one another’s opinion and do our work with a lot of love, affection, warmth and a belief that the person on the other side is not deliberately trying to harm us. Bhansali has been at the receiving end of a lot of criticism. He has not been able to show his film. And for someone of his calibre to not be able to do that at this juncture in his career is not right. I am just wishing, praying and sending him my love every day of my life. Let’s just see the film because it’s already been shot."
The actor went on to say, "It’s strange the way things have happened, but I don’t think they have worsened. We are surprised that it’s taking longer than anyone had anticipated. The release date has been deferred. People have chosen to make their decisions before seeing the film. I have been saying from the beginning that everyone should decide only after they’ve seen the film. I’ve been urging people to not have any preconceived notions about the film, which are not based on facts. I think facts can be discussed only when people have seen the movie."