There is finally some light at the end of the tunnel for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s beleaguered Padmavati. The Central Board of Film Certification has given the period production a UA certificate and recommended that the film be renamed Padmavat to avoid the suggestion that it explores the life and times of the fictional Chittor queen Padmini.
The board has also suggested at least 26 changes, according to reports. If Bhansali and producer Viacom18 Motion Pictures agree to these changes and the suggested title, the movie can be released over the next few months. Should they contest the recommendations, Padmavati will be re-certified by the Revising Committee and the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal.
“The series of events around this film have been unprecedented and CBFC has proceeded within the guidelines in a mindful and positive manner,” the board said in a press release, “The certificate as per procedure will be issued once the required modifications are carried out and final material submitted.”
Among the movies whose titles have been changed for various reasons: Bhansali’s Ram-Leela, which became Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, the Salman Khan starrer Tubelight, which was originally Mental. Billu, initially called Billu Barber, Finding Fanny from Finding Fanny Fernandes and Madras Cafe, formerly known as Jaffna.
One production that stuck to its guns despite protests was Abhishek Chaubey’s Udta Punjab, about the state’s rampant drug problem.
A title change might not stop the protests against Bhansali’s movie, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. The film has been accused of distorting historical facts and glorifying Khilji on the basis of the trailer and a song sequence. Padmavati missed its scheduled release date on December 1, and has since been waiting for clearance from the censor board. A release might finally take place, but has Padmavati already been severely crippled by the controversy and the censors?