Mumbai: After much controversies, delays, violent protests and heated debates, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama 'Padmaavat' finally released on Thursday morning, but to cancelled shows in some places.
A few theatres cancelled the morning shows on Thursday. A signboard at a theatre in Gurgaon read: “Dear guests, the screening of the movie Padmaavat has been cancelled.”
Eager movie buffs who had braved the early morning Delhi winter chill to catch the first day first show expressed their disappointment in Facebook posts.
In a closed group, someone named Sai Prasad Narendran complained, “Stood for an hour outside PVR Anupam from 7 am to 8 am. They finally announced the cancellation of the show. It’s bloody cold and I am bloody disappointed.”
While commenting on his post, another person named Sundar Padmanabhan said, “The same thing happened to today’s 8:40 am show at Inox Janak place!” Both PVR and Inox officials refused to comment on any development related to Padmaavat. Our sources, however, confirmed that the shows were running despite what the signboards suggested.
Those who watched the film in the afternoon shows came back impressed with the beefed up police security.
“It was a much ado about nothing situation since the movie pretty much glorifies the valour and bravery of Rajputs, instead of denigrating them. I was a little worried about attending one of the earliest shows, as I expected violence.
Thankfully, there was heavy police arrangement in and around the theatre. They wouldn’t let people carry even pens! In fact, there were five cops in the movie hall I was in, to ensure peaceful proceedings. As far as the movie itself went, I felt it lacked the depth of the usual Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie. Ranveer Singh and Jim Sarbh stole the show, while the other characters were pretty one-dimensional. Of course, given it was a Bhansali movie, the sets were opulent and the cinematography striking. However, I came back underwhelmed with the experience,” says Vandana Gandhi, a banker.
Fear of trouble and disturbance is making many movie buffs wary, and they feel it would be safer to wait and watch for a few days before booking their tickets. “I would rather wait for two-three weeks as I want to play safe. This controversy is long drawn, and might escalate. So I will definitely wait,” says Manoj Virmani, a resident of Gurgaon.
“This is the first time that I am scared to get entertained. I never imagined watching a movie would be embroiled in so much controversy,” says Sarthak Tokas, a 26-year-old hotelier in Delhi. “I’m not going to risk watching it in the first week, and I have urged my family members and friends to avoid it too,” says Anju Talwar, a homemaker from Gurgaon.
But actress Raveena Tandon feels the controversies and resultant wariness should not deter movie lovers from watching the film. She says, “People should definitely go. There is enough police to handle the situation and we should not be cowed down by these publicity-hungry loony political fanatics.”...