Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat (erstwhile Padmavati) has been in news for the longest time now. It all started with Rajput Karni Sena vandalising the set of the film, alleging that the film distorting history leading to protest and even threatening physical harm to actor Deepika Padukone. As per latest reports, after Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC)’s proposed cuts and a change of title, the film, also starring Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, is all set to hit screens on January 25.
Interestingly, the film releases on the same day in Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister of the country, Ranil Wickremesing, has expressed his desire to watch the film. His office has requested the Sri Lankan censor board for a special screening of Padmaavat. As per distributor Kalapi Nagada of Cinekorn Entertainment, that is distributing the film in Sri Lanka, they have been informed about this by the censor board.
“So much has been happening around Padmaavat that in a way has generated a lot of curiosity around it. The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka has requested for a special show and I have informed Sanjay Leela Bhansali (director of the film) about this,” says Kalapi, adding that the date of the screening has not been decided yet. Hindustan Times, however, could not independently verify the claim.
Ask him how the citizens of the Island country reacted to the controversy around the film and he adds, “In a way, the film being in news all this while has created a good hype. Everyone wants to watch out why is the film facing so much resistance in India? What has it become a political issue? Initially, we were releasing it in 55 screens, but now it will release in 85 screens,” adds Kalapi, who has earlier distributed films such as Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015), Rustom (2016), Kaabil (2017), Tiger Zinda Hain (2107) and Kaabil (2017).
Kalapi also shares that Deepika and Sanjay have a sizable number of admirers in Sri Lanka. “Both Deepika and Sanjay have a huge fan base in Sri Lanka,” he says, adding that Padmaavat promotions are on. They have been putting hoardings, giving out print and TV ads etc.