At a time when all efforts are being made to shoot Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s purported historical opus Padmavatiin strict secrecy and with utter discretion, the ‘together’ pictures of the film’s lead Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone have generated a serious case of the heebie-jeebies in the film’s team.
The wounds are yet to heal from the attack by a Rajput organization that the Padmavati team suffered in January during an outdoor shooting schedule in Jaipur. The Padmavati team was again attacked in March while shooting in Kolhapur. In both the cases, the damage to the film’s movable property and more crucially to the crew’s morale was indescribable.
Bhansali’s brief after the grief was terse: be very careful and discreet, he advised Ranveer and Deepika who are playing antagonists and do not share one single frame together, let alone the song that the couple was rumoured to share after a bored journalist decided to indulge in some fiction writing, thereby triggering off waves of violent protest by offended Rajput clans for whom Rani Padmavati is a reverent demi-goddess and whose animosity towards her Muslim invader Alauddin Khilji(Ranveer Singh) is non-negotiable.
Says a source close to the development, “Mr Bhansali doesn’t care whether Ranveer and Deepika are seeing each other. He just wanted them to be discreet about public appearances together, as the filmmaker wanted to avoid the image of the two actors as a couple as this could harm the film where their hostility and not their compatibility is the driving force.”
The picture of Ranveer and Deepika kissing together that has gone viral has deeply upset Bhansali. This PDA, say sources, is the last thing he needs for his beleaguered film.
“At a time when the film’s anxious producers Viacom 18 Motion Picture and director Sanjay Leela Bhansaliwant to ensure that those protesting against the film are convinced that Ranveer and Deepika have no scenes together a picture of them getting cosy in public is eminenty avoidable,to say the least,” says a disgusted source close to Padmavati.
Perhaps, say the optimists, the incriminating picture is a hoax.
“Kya farq padta hai(what difference does that make?). Cinema is all about perception. And that picture tells it all,” says the source.
As Padmavati gets ready to release on November 17 we can only remind the film’s over-zealous pair that this film’s success is extremely important to all concerned.