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U.K. gives nod to Padmavati, but Rajput outfit wants ban

Two boys look at a poster of Padmavati in Mumbai.AP

Two boys look at a poster of Padmavati in Mumbai.AP  

The film has been given a 12A rating by the British Board of Film Classification

The British Board of Film Classification has given the green light for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmavati to be released in the U.K. on December 1. While the film will not be released in Britain on this date, the BBFC’s decision has swiftly been contested by a Rajput organisation in Britain, which on Thursday wrote to the BBFC calling for the certification to be withdrawn.

Mahendrasinh Jadeja, president of the Rajput Samaj U.K., told this paper that he had written to the BBFC calling for it to reverse its decision because of “community” considerations. “We believe it will have great community impact,” he said.

Assurance sought

The group planned to visit the BBFC on Friday to press its case, and was considering further action including protests. “We want an assurance that this film will not be released until the decision is made in India.”

The film has been given a 12A rating by the BBFC, meaning that no child younger than 12 may see the film without being accompanied by an adult, and it has been passed without any cuts.

In its description of the film published this week, the BBFC describes the film as having “moderate violence, injury detail” and as a “Hindi language epic drama in which a Sultan leads an invasion to capture a Rajput Queen.” It is yet to publish the BBFC insight on the film — a detailed account of the contents of the films rated by the regulator, targeted at parents, which explains the decision to rate a film in a particular way.

A handful of cinemas in Britain have begun listing the film on their website, though they are yet to set dates for when it might be shown, including one in Birmingham, and Odeon, a popular cinema chain.

Viacom18 said earlier this week that it had voluntarily postponed the release of the film from December 1.

On November 28, the Supreme Court is to hear advocate M.L. Sharma’s plea against the release of the film outside India. The court had previously said it could not stand in the way of the Censor Board’s independence, following Mr. Sharma’s attempts to halt the release of the film.

While Mr. Bhansali has insisted the drama does not distort history, protests and threats against those involved in the film continue, following the attack on the film’s sets.

Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have banned the film ahead of the censor’s ruling.

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