The producers of Padmaavat have moved the Gujarat High Court seeking a direction to the state government to provide police protection to theatres so that the film can be released.
Though the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed film released across the country on January 25, theatre owners in Gujarat have not screened it, fearing violence. The petition by Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd is likely to come up for urgent hearing tomorrow.
Viacom18 Media said it needs the court's direction to the government to provide "adequate police protection" to cinema halls, in view of the widespread violence that erupted ahead of its release last week.
Exhibitors and distributors are ready to release the film but are apprehensive about violence, the petition said. Karni Sena and some other Rajput organisations had launched protests against the film for alleged distortion of history.
There were violent protests outside three multiplexes in Ahmedabad a day ahead of the release, following which the Gujarat Multiplex Owners Association announced that no theatre, be it a multiplex or a single-screen cinema house, would screen Padmaavat.
On a related note, Sanjay Leela Bhansali admitted that he found it mentally difficult to cope with the negativities surrounding the film but did not let it reflect on the screen. "I know I was troubled, I know I was distracted but deep inside, I found the strength to make the film and not let this anguish and disturbance reflect on the screen.''
''In the last few months, I was constantly correcting, making creative touches and taking the film to the next level. That's the answer to all the objections that were based on rumours and a certain agenda that I could not understand.''
''The protests were illogical, they had no reasoning and there was nothing to be discussed. It had reached an obnoxious level with people sitting with swords on national television and giving death threats.''
"Even if I went on every channel on television saying there was nothing wrong in the film, they would not understand it. No amount of justification would have reached them or been heard,'' he added. PTI