Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s epic drama Padmaavat was on Wednesday cleared for release in Pakistan, said the censor board’s top official. “Padmaavat has been declared fit for public exhibition in the cinema houses without any excision by Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC),” Mobashir Hasan told IANS via social media from Islamabad. The movie has been given ‘U’ certification. According to some distributors in Pakistan, there were apprehensions over the movie given the negative portrayal of Alauddin Khilji.
Asked about it, Hasan said, “CBFC isn’t biased in arts, creativity and healthy entertainment.” He said that for the film’s certification, the CBFC co-opted Professor Waqar Ali Shah, Chairman, Department of History, Quaid-e-Azam University as per rules. “A co-opted member has no voting rights. They are for expert opinion,” Hasan explained. Padmaavat is set for a worldwide release on Thursday.
Satish Reddy, Chairman, Eveready Group of Companies, a key film distributor in Pakistan, told IANS that Padmaavat should have a “very strong” response in its first week. In India, the film’s makers have had a long struggle in getting it to theaters as some Rajput outfits have been up against its release over alleged historical inaccuracies. Shri Rajput Karni Sena activists have been staging violent protests across some parts of the country to stop the film’s release.
Originally titled Padmavati, the movie’s makers were asked to make five modifications — including title change, the addition of two disclaimers and some alterations in a song — before it got a U/A certificate. With Deepika Padukone as brave Rani Padmavati, Ranveer Singh as menacing Alauddin Khilji and Shahid Kapoor as the proud king Maharawal Ratan Singh, the movie — backed by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions — sets out to tell a tale of Rajput valour and sacrifice. The film, replete with Bhansali’s trademark grandeur, is based on the 16th century poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s famed poem Padmavat.