HomeCultureLeave Bhansali Alone: The Controversy Behind Padmavati

Leave Bhansali Alone: The Controversy Behind Padmavati

Call it my ignorance or my love for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s direction, but I fail to see the need for all the attention and energy being put into stopping his recent movie, Padmavati, from being released (See the breathtaking trailer here #sorrynotsorry). When I read an article about the deference of its release, I was genuinely confused and horrified. The day that my brother and I had marked on our calendars and were desperately and eagerly waiting for had been pushed and I wanted (needed) to know why. This one’s for you Priten!


This is definitely not the first time Bhansali is under attack for his direction. Critics have been trying to crush his beautiful fantasies since Devdas and have continued to for Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ramleela, Bajirao Mastani, and now Padmavati.

The maain concern for protestors is that Bhansali is distorting historical facts in a way that is offensive to the cultural significance in exchange for filmy scenes to please its audience. Critics are also appalled at the (false) notion that the movie overly romanticizes the relationship between the main characters, and by doing so doesn’t respect their roles in history.

Why Its NBD

All of the concerns shared by the protestors are valid, but Goswani quickly proved that they are not applicable in this case. To better everyone’s understanding of the irrelevance of the over-amplified issue, Arnab Goswami, an extremely respected Indian journalist, has seen the film in its entirety and unsurprisingly, sees nothing wrong with it. In fact, he continues to state,

“If the version shown to me will go to the theatres, Padmavati is the greatest ever tribute to Rajput pride. I am not a film critic so I will not go to cinematic nuances, performances, graphics, music. Let’s not talk about that. But in the specific context of the raging controversy, every scene of this film is a fluid cinematic tribute to Rani Padmavati’s greatness.”

He continues to address the biggest issue concerning the film by discussing how the Alauddin and Padmavati do not share even a single scene together. Additionally, he believes even the romance between Padukone and Kapoor is very subtle and displayed with the uttermost delicacy and respect.

The Real Problem

Despite the clear approval from Goswani, protestors remained unphased, and continue to make rash and violent decisions and threats that only harm society.  A ruling party official has offered 1.5 USD to anyone who beheads the lead actress of the film and murders the director himself and protestors have vandalized two movie sets since January. Where was this ruling party official when rapists were running rampant without conviction? A money reward offered by him for beheading a rapist would definitely be a stronger statement. Much stronger than the one attacking a director for a potentially problematic movie. 

It’s so tragic to see society come together for a cause as minor as this one, but close their eyes and sip their tea when it comes to issues like sexual assault, child trafficking, pollution, and poverty. Where is the passion and anger towards solving these issues?

We have more pressing issues to deal with, so can we just leave Bhansali alone? #MessedUpPriorities

Disclaimer: The opinions stated in this article do not represent views supported by the entire I4SC team.

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