Bollywood star Akshay Kumar announced on Friday that he has decided to delay the release of his film Pad Man, thereby giving Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat a clear window to hit the screens on January 25 after a prolonged struggle.
While it was set to be the first major box office clash of the year on January 25, Pad Man will now release on February 9, 2018. “My film was going to come on January 25, and Padmaavat was also releasing on the same date. I was rehearsing for Filmfare Awards, and Bhansali sir came there and said I have done a lot of films with him, and if I can move my film. See, we are one family and I can understand he has gone through a lot. He has put a lot of money and the studio people have put a lot of money,” Akshay said. “I would want Padmaavat to release solo and would like to wish him luck.”
The Toilet star addressed a joint press conference with Bhansali at his residence. “Sanjay is a very personal dear friend of mine. He asked for it, so I went for it,” Akshay added. Asked why Pad Man had to shift and not Padmaavat, he said, “They have a reason to release it this time. It is very essential for them to release it as quickly as possible. So I understand that. The point is it’s not about fighting or clashing. We both (the films) can easily come on this date because the business will still happen. There are around 5,000 theatres and we both can share it, but at the moment, the stake of their film is much more higher than mine.”
Bhansali expressed gratitude to Akshay as well, adding that he will be grateful to him for a lifetime. “I requested Akshay if he can shift the film because he is such a big star and our troubles might have increased if we would have released the film together. He knows all our troubles, so he didn’t even take two minutes and said, ‘Whatever you want, however you want, I am with you’,” Bhansali stated.
Akshay’s Pad Man – which marks his wife Twinke Khanna’s maiden production venture – tells the story of a real-life superhero who invented a low-cost sanitary pad manufacturing machine to bring a menstrual hygiene revolution for women. Its unique story, inspiring message and Akshay’s portrayal once again, as a common man’s hero, has kept the anticipation level high for the R Balki directorial, which also features Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte.
Earlier, Pad Man was slated to clash with Aiyaary. But after the makers of Padmaavat secured a U/A certificate from the censor board after incorporating five modifications, and locked the release date as January 25, the makers of Aiyaary shifted the film’s release date to February 9. Now, the clash is back to square one, with even Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety crowding the February 9 date.
It has been a long journey for Padmaavat, which stars Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. From being assaulted on the film’s set in Jaipur to his set being vandalised in Kolhapur to getting threats from detractors, Bhansali has been facing the ire of organisations that are up in arms against the period drama since its inception.
Months after facing opposition, the makers, Bhansali Productions and Viacom18 Motion Pictures, clarified that the film is based on 16th century Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic poem Padmavat, and does not distort historical facts, as was being alleged by some Rajput outlets. “It is an ode to the famed valour, legacy and courage of Rajputs,” the makers have maintained.
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