‘Padmavat’ to release 25 January

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s historical drama, Padmavat, which has been mired in controversy, is set to release on January 25.

The movie, which was retitled on the directions of the CBFC about a week ago, has finally received a nod from the censors. On the day of its release, it will clash with R Balki’s Akshay Kumar-starrer Pad Man.

While Bhansali was unavailable for comment, sources told Mirror that Viacom 18, the producers of the movie, were busy at work to get the film out in the next 18-odd days.

Meanwhile, the release of Neeraj Pandey’s action-thriller Aiyaari, featuring Manoj Bajpayee and Sidharth Malhotra, has been postponed from January 26 to February 9, as the producers wanted to avoid the mammoth box-office clash.

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“On Friday, the Central Bureau of Film Certification (CBFC) granted Padmavat a U/A certification. The certified runtime of the Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoorstarrer is 2 hours and 43 minutes (163 minutes),” a source close to the development told Mumbai Mirror.

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Bhansali is not new to box-office clashes. In 2015, his previous release — the period-actionromance Bajirao Mastani — had clashed with Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Dilwale and the box office numbers clearly suggest that the Ranveer Singh-starrer historical managed to impress audiences.

It even swept the National Awards and won several Filmfare Awards. But this time around, the competition will be stiff. Akshay Kumar has historically ruled the Republic Day weekend with patriotic-action thrillers such as Baby (2015) and Airlift (2016) which were both received favourably by audiences.

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Padmavat’s fate seemed to sealed right from the time the film went on the floors when members of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena had attacked the crew and vandalised the sets. Following several rounds of deliberations, the CBFC had invited Rajasthan-based professors to review the film but later, CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi had clarified that the role of the special panel was for “advisory purpose only”.

“In the decision of the CBFC, some parts of advice do find reflection, but as iterated, the final decision for certification is with the CBFC committee which has taken a pragmatic and balanced view. Unnecessary controversy should not be made out of it,” Joshi had said.

Padmavat has been mounted on a Rs 190-crore budget, while Pad Man marks the production debut of Twinkle Khanna.


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