On Controversy’s Path: Analysing the Period Drama Padmaavat
Keywords:Hindi cinema, Controversies in hindi cinema, Indian cinema, Bollywood, Padmaavat
India is a country with a rich multicultural history. And the Indian audience has a thirst to know their past. As an immersive art form, a film can transport its viewer into the world that is depicted on the screen, and thus history has been a popular subject for film makers and audience. A journey that started in the 1950s with films like Anarkali has continued over the years with films like Mangal Pandey: The Rising, Legend of Bhagat Singh, Manikarna: Queen of Jhansi, Samrat Prithviraj and so many others. The journey for these films to the silver screen in recent years has not been an easy one, with many a historical film facing dissent from several sections in India. Perhaps one of the most widespread controversies in recent decades has been over the film Padmaavat that released in the year 2018.
This study explored the censorship debate that surrounded the film from 2017-2018 and the various factors and sides involved in it. The film that was panned by various groups was still a huge success at the box office. Using a case study approach, this research analysed this multi-faceted response to the historical film. Along with an in-depth analysis of the controversy, the present work also assessed the narrative tools, theme, characters, plot and other storytelling elements that have been employed in the making of the film. This helped construct a clear and concise timeline of the controversy and also to understand how a film maker may create a successful and engaging period film.