Well, it finally got approved. And I kind of agree with everything the Censors did. At least, as it is presented by them and the spin they are putting on it. I am sure there are all kinds of political realities on the ground that I am missing which makes them not so great. Oh, and I think we can aaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllll agree that swapping Vaani for Shraddha is a disaster of epic proportions.
Padmavati to Padmavat
On December 28th, the Censors viewed it, along with 3 historians, and came out with 5 suggested changes. The 3 outside experts were (according to google) Arvind Singh, a member of a historical ruling family of Udaipur, Dr. Chandramani Singh who is an art historian with a specialization in artifacts from Jaipur, and Dr. K. K. Singh who I can find nothing about. There probably are better qualified people out there in the world, but at least these 3 seem like reasonable men, Dr. Chandramani Singh has a couple of books published, not best sellers but legitimate academic type things, and Arvind Singh has been recognized by the UN for charitable work and has global connections. They aren’t isolated folks who prefer to blind themselves to the world around them.
The censors recommended 5 changes (as reported on Bollywoodhungama.com):
1. To change the disclaimer clearly to one that does not claim historical accuracy
2. The title to be changed from Padmavati; the discussed change is to Padmavat as the filmmakers have attributed their material/creative source as the fictional poem Padmavat and not history.
3. Make modifications in the song ‘Ghoomar’ to make the depiction befitting the character being portrayed
4. Modify the incorrect/misleading reference to historical places
5. Add a disclaimer which clearly makes the point that the film in no manner subscribes to the practice of Sati or seeks to glorify it.
I am fine with, even happy about, all of this changes except for Number 3.
- For the first, THANK GOODNESS. Let us hope this is an end to the argument that this film, and the entire Padmavati story, has any historical basis at all. It probably won’t be, but at least we can hope.
2. For the second, again, THANK GOODNESS. I have been saying all along that the only source for this story is that poem, which is not history, and any reminder of that is all to the good.
3. For the third, eh. I’m happy selfishly because I am so sick of the Bhansali big song numbers, anything that makes him try something different is great for me. I am not happy because it is bowing down a little to the idea that this film is somehow “insulting” a culture. But at least it is a change related to an entire culture, not to these particular imaginary people, I assume the issue is that Rajput royal women to this day would not join in a song and dance.
(Also, 92 million people have already seen the song, so it’s kind of too late to worry about it)
4. I am assuming this is related to the first and second changes, once again clarifying that this is about an imaginary poem, not a real battle or anything.
5. Well, this can’t hurt! I don’t know that Sati is a huge issue in India today, but it’s certainly not something I would want a film to be seen as promoting. So, fine, this change is okay with me too.
The bigger question, obviously, is not the changes themselves but that the Censors took so incredibly long to review and approve this film. Was it because they wanted to be sure that their review process protected the film from any further objections? Or because they had political instructions to delay and increase the conflict as long as possible? Did they take the special review board seriously or were these the changes they had always planned and were just waiting for the right time to reveal them?
I don’t know! Let’s discuss.
Vaani for Shraddha in Shahid’s Next
The previous news, I am open minded and considering about what it all means. This news, there is clearly only one correct reaction and I refuse to consider any other. Vaani for Shraddha is a TERRIBLE exchange and this film is doomed DOOMED!!!!!!
This is Batti Gul Meter Chalu, the film by the Toilet director which will have a similar story of the common man fighting for basic services, this time electrical power. Shahid is supposed to star, which is an interesting new direction for him, playing more the common man kind of character. And it was originally going to co-star Illeana D’Cruz, which I think would have been PERFECT. Experienced enough to be a co-lead, but not so big that she would over-shadow Shahid. Then Katrina, not so good, might actually over-shadow Shahid, plus not sure if she can play the every woman type. Then Vaani, which I was super excited about. She was great in Befikre and I wanted her to keep working and was very curious to see her opposite Shahid.
(Befikre! No one seems to remember this movie except me)
But now, SHRADDHA!!!!! She is moving through the upcoming films of 2018 like some kind of dark plague bird, destroying all she touches. First Saaho, now this. Why, Shraddha? WHY???? Why can’t you just leave good things alone?????