After a long-drawn battle that involved a face-off with the Karni Sena, a fringe group, and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), it was recently revealed that Sanjay Leela Bhansali's period drama, Padmavati, which was renamed Padmavat, would release on January 25.
While one thought the only change made to the film was in the title, a report in Mumbai Mirror says that the makers have been asked to drop all references to Delhi, Chittor, and Mewar -- regions that add crucial context to the film's historical nature.
In all, the cuts amount to a staggering 300 and Bhansali is racing against time at an editing studio to incorporate the diktats of the Censor Board, which is headed by noted lyricist-writer Prasoon Joshi.
While one thought that the dramatic exit of Pahlaj Nihalani, arguably the most notorious Censor Board chief, would herald a positive beginning in the functioning of the controversial Board, it seems not much has changed.
In 2016, Nihalani caused an uproar when he asked for 94 cuts in Udta Punjab, including the demand for dropping the word 'Punjab,' something that'd defeat the point of the film itself.
What the current leadership has asked is no different as without the regional references, a lot of historical contexts will be lost, effectively hampering the narrative and the specificity of the 180-crore budget magnum opus.
In the case of Udta Punjab, producers Ekta Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap went to the Bombay High Court to get their film cleared (only a few minor cuts were imposed), but that's not the case with Padmavat, whose delay has already cost a significant amount to producers Viacom Motion Pictures.
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