India's Viacom 18 Delays 'Padmavati' Release amid Religious Controversy

By Shackleton, Liz | Screen International, November 20, 2017 | Go to article overview

India's Viacom 18 Delays 'Padmavati' Release amid Religious Controversy


Shackleton, Liz, Screen International


Death threats have been made against the star and director.

‘Padmavati’

India’s Viacom 18 Motion Pictures has delayed the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s historical epic Padmavati following a religious controversy that has plagued the film since it was in production.

Originally scheduled for worldwide release on December 1, the film has Paramount Pictures on board to distribute outside India, marking the first time the US studio has handled a Bollywood release.

Based on an epic poem, the film stars Deepika Padukone as the Hindu queen Padmavati, Shahid Kapoor as her husband, Rajput king Maharajah Ratan Singh, and Ranveer Singh as invading Mughal warrior Allaudin Khilji.

According to some Indian religious groups, the film features a dream sequence suggesting a romance between the Hindu queen and the Muslim invader. The religious groups, including the Shree Rajput Karni Sena, are aligned with a warrior caste that traces its lineage back to the Rajput kings.

Some fringe members of the groups attacked the Padmavati sets when the film was in production. More recently, they’ve issued death threats for Bhansali and Padukone, who are now both under police protection. …

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