New Delhi: After facing several blockades and controversies, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film "Padmavati", which was retitled "Padmavat" and again "Padmaavat", will be released on January 25, makers of the film announced today.
Viacom18 Motion Pictures announced that the film will be released worldwide in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil. The film was earlier scheduled to be released on December 1.
However, the film will not be screened in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan has banned the film earlier citing public sentiment, while today, Gujarat government issued a notification preventing the screening of the film across the state saying it is necessary for law and order.
Rajasthan and Gujarat was among the states that announced a ban on the film last year amid fierce protests by Rajput groups. The groups had objected to the depiction of their legendary Queen Padmini and alleged a distortion of history, even though experts are divided over whether the queen's story is fact or legend.
The Rajput Karni Sena, which led the protests, has threatened to vandalise cinema halls screening the movie, despite the censor board's go-ahead.
On December 28, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) cleared the film with a U/A certificate, but called for modifications, including a change in the name from "Padmavati" to "Padmaavat" - the title of Malik Muhammad Jayasi's epic, which is believed to be the source of the film - and a disclaimer on historical accuracy.
Announcing the release, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO of Viacom18 said, "'Padmaavat' is a cinematic masterpiece in every sense of the word. We hope that we will surpass the expectations of our fans from across the world. We are humbled with the immense support we have received from the government authorities, the Central Board of Film Certification and the entire film fraternity."
In a statement, the makers of the film said that "Padmaavat" is the first Indian film that will have a global IMAX 3D release.
The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, depicts the story of Rajput Queen Padmini, who, according to legend, preferred to die to protect her honour rather than submit to Delhi's Sultan Alauddin Khilji, who was said to be obsessed with her beauty.
Before taking a decision, the censor board set up a special panel of historians and members of royal families in Rajasthan, who watched the film and suggested changes.
Meanwhile, "Padmaavat" has disrupted the release dates of Anushka Sharma's Pari, DaasDev and reportedly of Sidharth Malhotra's Aiyaary. Currently, "Padmaavat's" only competition at the box office is Akshay Kumar's PadMan, produced by Twinkle Khanna.
Both the films will now capitalise on the Republic Day weekend.