Thin crowds greet Bollywood film after rumors set off anger

Source: Associated Press

By MUNEEZA NAQVI

NEW DELHI (AP) — There was anger about a rumored romance between a Hindu queen and a Muslim invader. There were death threats. There were buses burned and grandstanding politicians.

 

But when the Indian film “Padmaavat” was finally released on Thursday amid heavy security and breathless TV coverage, Bollywood’s latest over-the-top offering turned out to be just that: an opulent period drama with multiple songs and dances and a thin story line and not the slightest hint of the rumored relationship.

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At a theater in the Indian capital, dozens of policemen and even a few armed paramilitary troops were posted outside. There were no posters announcing the release and less than a 100 people watched the film in a theater meant for a thousand viewers.

The film is based on a 16th century epic Sufi poem, “Padmavat,” in which a brave and beautiful Rajput queen chose to immolate herself in a ceremonial fire rather than be captured by the Muslim sultan of Delhi, Allaudin Khilji.

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