Release date finally set for Bhansali's film Padmavat

One of Bollywood’s most anticipated blockbusters of last year, the film about a Rajput princess faced opposition from right-wing Hindu nationalist groups

Deepika Padukone in Padmavat.
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It is official: Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial Hindi film Padmavati will finally release on January 25.

Not only that, it will be re-named Padmavat with some other modifications made to the film as well. One of Bollywood's most anticipated blockbusters of last year, the film met heavy opposition from right-wing Hindu nationalist groups.

Padmavat tells the tale of a widely revered 13th-14th century Hindu Rajput princess named Padmini, played by Deepika Padukone in the lead role.

The original release date was set to be December 1, but the studio was forced to defer it because of the controversy surrounding Padmavati.

The groups demanded the movie be banned claiming it hurt Hindu "religious sentiments" and "tarnishes" the Hindu princess' image. There were even threats to burn down theatres that would screen the film.

Padmini is widely thought to be a fictional character with her story inspired by a poem written by poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540.

The 164-minute movie will compete with Akshay Kumar's social drama Pad Man, directed by R Balki and also stars Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor.


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