MUMBAI—After months of uncertainty, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial Hindi film "Padmavati" will release on Jan. 25 as "Padmavat" with a U/A certificate. It will clash with Akshay Kumar's "Pad Man," which releases on Republic Day.
"It will release as 'Padmavat' on Jan. 25. The film has got U/A certificate," sources at the film's production banner Viacom18 Motion Pictures told IANS.
"Padmavati" – now "Padmavat" – was earlier slated for release on Dec. 1, but the studio had voluntarily deferred it following a long-stretched controversy.
The movie, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, has been mired in a row after the Shree Rajput Karni Sena claimed it distorted historical facts related to the Rajput community.
The group has been persistent in its demand for a ban on the movie despite Bhansali's clarification before a Parliamentary committee that the row over the movie was just based on rumors.
Last month, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) – in consultation with a special advisory panel – decided it will grant U/A certificate to the movie but subject to five modifications, including title change.
The makers were asked to add disclaimers – one of them regarding not glorifying the practice of Sati and also relevant modifications in the song "Ghoomar" to befit the character portrayed.
An official communication from team "Padmavat" regarding the final modifications has not been made yet.
Its release date announcement led to a stir in the film trade circles.
Film and trade business expert Girish Johar told IANS: "It's a complex situation for 'Padmavat.' They have too short a time before the release, plus there are hurdles for it as certain states have announced a blanket ban, and the Karni Sena continues to oppose the movie.”
"However, from the box office point of view, it's a great thing that two big films – ‘Padmavat' and 'Pad Man' – will release on the extended weekend. It will be a huge weekend. Audiences will have a choice of both films. Obviously, the better one will have a longer run."
"Pad Man" will see Akshay Kumar take on the role of a real-life hero who introduced low-cost sanitary napkins for the hygiene and safety of women in his village.
According to the buzz, the "Padmavat" release announcement has also impacted the release date of movies like "Aiyaary" and "Pari."