Padmavaat hit the Chennai screens on Wednesday evening in paid premieres without a hint of trouble. The curious came to watch what all the fuss was about even as news kept pouring in that protests had erupted in several northern parts of the country. The movie hit multiplex as well as single screens in the state capital and was also slated to run in other major centres in state.
Industry sources are keeping their fingers crossed over the movie passing the public test here even if they are not sure that such a big budget film would become a super hit. “That is unlikely,” says a source familiar with industry talk. He goes on to say that it was not a mass release on several multiplex screens on premiere day with each multiplex putting on two to three shows. But action is to pick up on Thursday as theatres are listing up to eight shows a day while aiming at the trend of movies picking up its heft in the first few days itself.
Elsewhere, it was pandemonium as Padmaavat, the Bollywood extravaganza directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, as protests erupted in many parts of the country and security was beefed up in several states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, UP and Haryana. The top court had rejected the petitions of Rajasthan and MP on Tuesday paving the way for the historical fantasy to be eligible to be screened in all states in the country.
Will the story of honour, valour and obsession over queen Padmavati, known for her exceptional beauty along with a strong sense of justice, come through well enough on screen is the million rupee question even as critics slammed the movie on websites, some saying it was a bore and others giving it low marks for character portrayal? The jury is still out on the movie with other major public issues like law & order in the forefront now.