Audiences are split between those who adore the film for its splendour and fabulous performances, and others who are criticising its alleged glorification of the medieval practice of jauhar (self-immolation). However, the debate only seems to have spurred everyone and their grandma to watch the film and find out what the fuss is all about.
Fact is, the staunch opposition the film had faced all through its making and in the run up to its release has had the effect of whetting audience interest, creating a craze for the film at the turnstiles.
With the film already having collected Rs.149.50 crore at the Indian box office, Sanjay Leela Bhansali is expectedly gleeful. He told a leading daily, “There are creative angels who come and bless such films. There is some divine energy that says this is the way it should be. It is fascinating to go with the flow. If you are supposed to face the attacks or these kinds of protests that we have gone through, it’s a part of the film’s destiny.”
Leading lady Deepika’s prediction of Padmaavat making an “earth-shattering box office performance” is very much on track. The film registered the highest opening weekend for a Hindi film overseas (excluding China). The film has collected $12 million (Rs.76.24 crore) in the first weekend in the international market. In addition to this, it has set a new record becoming the highest single day grosser in North America. Its collections in North America on January 27 were a delectable $1.85 million. Padmaavat’s collections in the first four days (Thursday-Sunday) $4.9 million has overtaken that of Aamir Khan’s PK ($3.56 million), which had thus far held the record of having the largest Bollywood opening in North America. Like they would say in the film, that is a matter of guroor, indeed!