Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati - a matter of pride or prejudice?
Filmmaking is no child’s play. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali masters this art and is a class apart. He has an eye for detail, immaculate command to narrate a captivating story on celluloid and the craftsmanship to leave the audience spellbound by weaving enchanting visuals that look like a painting in motion. He spins magic every time he narrates an inspiring tale which deserves to reach a wider audience base.
A filmmaker’s creation often mirrors his perception. We see his craft the way he presents it but what we make out of it reflects our ideology. And it is certainly not wrong to have a perspective or an opinion. Everyone has more than one - to each his own.
Two individuals may have entirely different sets of ideology but this can never justify the hatred they may cultivate for each other.
Unfortunately, Padmavati has made headlines for all wrong reasons since its inception. There have been massive protests against the film. A number of groups that have agitated against the film have resorted to violence in some form or the other and have even threatened to stall its release.
They have vandalised the sets of the film and damaged property, burnt effigies of Bhansali and a certain group has even physically assaulted the filmmaker.
This is no way to oppose. Protestors could have also chosen to be civil enough while raising their concerns and expressing grievance in a manner that wouldn’t have attracted condemnation.
“It is a well-known fact that Rani Padmavati had died in mass self-immolation and was a symbol of bravery for women. But from what we have got to know, some historical facts have been distorted in the movie. This will not be tolerated,” a leading daily report quoted Kuldeep Tomar, district president of Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha as saying.
The film hasn’t released yet. How can one assume that ‘some historical facts have been distorted in the movie’? Moreover, people associated with the film including the filmmaker have time and again issued statements to put all fabricated/misleading stories to rest. They have clarified that the film doesn’t have any dream sequence between Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji.
Bhansali also addressed protestors through a video message on November 8, 2017, clarifying that the film glorifies and upholds the pride of the Rajputs. He said he has made the film with honesty and great responsibility. He also spoke about how the valour of Rani Padmavati has always inspired him.
You can listen to what Bhansali said, here:
— Padmavati (@FilmPadmavati) 8 November 2017
And now that the filmmaker has reiterated that there’s nothing objectionable in the film, protestors must show some faith in him and stop agitating.
Bhansali had faced similar protests during the release of his film Bajirao Mastani. Now whether or not the filmmaker was factually correct in narrating history is a separate issue. But by assuming Bhansali has distorted or misrepresented facts in Padmavati, protestors are doing more harm than good to their cause.
The film which stars Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati, Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji is slated to release on December 1, 2017.
Groups that feel the film may have objectionable content must wait until the film releases because violence will only draw criticism. Acts of aggression are nothing but cringe-worthy, hence it is imperative that protesters handle this matter with maturity and be more responsible while raising their views.