Even as Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus Bajirao Mastani hits the screens this Friday, the accompanying controversies seem unwilling to let the film be.
After the serious protests by the Peshwa's descendants as well as the Bhartiya Janta Party in Pune against Bhansali's epic based on Marathi warrior Bajirao Peshwa, Pune's City Pride multiplex chain decided to cancel three of its shows on Friday, reported ANI.
On 12 December, descendants of Peshwa led by Udansinh Peshwa and Chhatrasal dynasty led by BJP MLA Medha Kulkarni, had organised a protest at Shaniwar Wada to denounce the historical inaccuracies in the film.
From burning effigies to shouting slogans, the protest took a wild turn as the passers-by scampered around, running away from the noise and confusion.
Effigy of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, burnt at Shaniwar Wada to protest again unrealistic portrayal of characters. pic.twitter.com/9u8uOftgDx— Amol Kavitkar (@amolkavitkar) December 12, 2015
In an earlier interview to HuffPost India, 52-year-old Mahendra Peshwa, the ninth descendant of Bajirao Peshwa, said that his entire family was disappointed with whatever little they had seen of the film.
"I understand filmmakers taking cinematic liberties, but what I don't understand is the inefficient research leading to gross historical inaccuracies," said Pune-based Mahendra who works as a consulting engineer and contractor.
The protestor in Pune, meanwhile, had a lot to complain about. "When Bundelkhand was attacked by Muhammad Shah Bangash, Chhatrasal Bundela, who was 80-year-old at the time of the attack, asked Bajirao Peshwa to intervene. Bajirao defeated Bangash, and was offered Mastani’s hand by Bundela, her father. She came in Bajirao’s life in 1722 and died in 1740. However, Bhansali has twisted the facts and it is not acceptable to us as it hurts our sentiments," they told The Indian Express.
Even in Pakistan, a day before its scheduled release, Bajirao Mastani, failed to receive a 'no-objection certificate' from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in Pakistan on Wednesday, according to media reports.
Mobasher Hasan, chairman of the CBFC, stated two reasons: one, the film is in Hindi and their ordinance does not allow Hindi films to be screened and second, it is a historical drama that is indirectly against Islam and Muslims.
Bajirao Mastani, which stars Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra has hit the theatres on Friday, along with filmmaker Rohit Shetty's much awaited film Dilwale, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon.
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