Moneycontrol
Dec 07, 2017 06:55 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Love could finally conquer hate as Padmavati may release just before Valentine's Day

Padmavati could hit theatres on February 9 after a schedule sent out by distributors to overseas chains like US/Canada mentioned this date for the film’s release, according to a Box Office India report.

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

It looks like film lovers will have a lot to look forward to in 2018, especially in the first half. After the Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar-starrer 2.0 got an April release date, it now appears that Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial film Padmavati is likely to release in February next year.

Padmavati could hit theatres on February 9 after a schedule sent out by distributors to overseas chains like US/Canada mentioned this date for the film’s release, according to a Box Office India report.

Trade pundits were earlier speculating that January 26 (Republic Day) could be the D-Day after the makers had indefinitely deferred Padmavati's release — originally scheduled for December 1 this year — following widespread protests over its interpretation of history. But it now seems the film will get pushed to the second month of 2018. This may prove beneficial for the makers of the film with Valentine's Day and the Mahashivratri holiday around the corner of Padmavati’s possible release date.

However, it will only be after the Gujarat election results are declared on December 18 that there will be any clarity on the film’s release date. It is yet to get a thumbs-up from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

Earlier this year, at the three-day FICCI Frames conference Uday Shankar, Chairman, FICCI Entertainment Committee and CEO, Star India, had said that with growing incidents of self-appointed street side groups trying to push censorship through, the creative minds were imposing self-censorship and freedom of expression was being undermined. He further said that such censorship left no room for civil debates and disagreement.

While the film industry continues its fight for creative freedom, it is yet to be seen if the news of Padmavati showing on the big screen will go down well with those opposing the content of the movie.

Facing the wrath of Rajputs and political groups, Padmavati is likely to see a ban in yet another state after Rajput Karni Sena demanded that Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar take immediate steps to ban the film in Haryana.

During FICCI Frames, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra also Chairman, FICCI Film Forum had said, “The committee on censorship headed by Shyam Benegal has strongly recommended the abolition of censorship and advocates the issuance of film certification based on age for preserving freedom of expression in the country.

According to a Deloiite India report, the Indian film industry is the largest in the world in terms of number of movies produced with around 1,500 to 2,000 releases every year in more than 20 languages.

While the sector is taking steps to progress both in terms of content and film-making technique, the prevailing censorship norms holds back the industry in many ways. Extended time to monetisation, risk of reduction of good content are some of the factors that lead to loss of business for the industry.

Even Hollywood movies are subject to these censorship norms leading to delays in public viewing that often discourages viewers in watching the movies in theatres, resulting in challenges for releasing Hollywood films in India.
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