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Four Movies That Released in Simpler Times But Would Have Shared Padmavati's Fate Today

While the Karni Sena leaders are probably busy sharpening their knives to cut off actor Deepika Padukone’s nose because she dared to defend a film she acted in, we are left wondering if the country should just stop making films on historical characters.

Adrija Bose | News18.com

Updated:November 18, 2017, 10:14 AM IST
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Four Movies That Released in Simpler Times But Would Have Shared Padmavati's Fate Today
(Image: Network18)
Should a film based on a historical character be a work of fiction? That’s the debate that has been giving sleepless nights to the crew of Padmavati, while a number of people of a group that was unheard of till recently are up in arms to defend a long-dead woman who a long-dead man may have seen in a mirror.

While the Karni Sena leaders are probably busy sharpening their knives to cut off actor Deepika Padukone’s nose because she dared to defend a film she acted in, we are left wondering if the country should just stop making films on historical characters. Because, who cares about different versions of history anymore? If you are a filmmaker, you need to listen to the men with knives.

We are not sure where the Karni Sena men were in the last two decades, but we sure are thankful. If the likes of them existed back in the day, we would have missed out on a lot of movies.

Here’s a list, thanking our stars, or the non-existence of men with knives.

Mughal-E-Azam

Mughal-e-Azam, the mother of all period films, is as loosely or closely based on history as Odisha's claim to the Bengali rosogolla. Yet, the film is celebrated even after nearly 60 years. While historians say, in real life, Salim, played by Dilip Kumar, was a heavy consumer of alcohol and opium—the film showed quite a different picture. When the film's Salim returns from his time in the military, he is depicted as a gentle and romantic hero. In contrast, the real Salim was said to have been quite brutal. He castrated one servant, beat another to death, and flayed a writer while he watched because he wrote nasty things about Salim.

If Mughal-E-Azam was to be released in 2017, there would an army of leaders probably threatening to break director K Asif’s bones for painting a glorious picture of a Muslim emperor, who was known to be violent.

Asoka

Shah Rukh Khan as Asoka is a lover boy running and hiding behind trees, singing songs for his romantic interest Kaurwaki. History says it wasn’t anything like that. Asoka wasn’t quite a man with heart before he came to be known as Dharmasok.

Kaurwaki, played by Kareena Kapoor is portrayed as the princess of Kalinga. She was no princes. She was a fisherwoman who was reportedly abducted by King Asoka.

If history is to be believed, doesn’t Asoka sound somewhat like the Karni Sena’s version of Alauddin Khilji? Well, back then, the protectors of history didn’t quite mind the entire fantasy between the ruler and a fisherwoman he had abducted.

Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love story

If this was historical drama was to be released in 2017, we know what its fate would have been. First, a lot many people would try to rename it 'Tejo Mahalay’. Then, another group of people would start a petition asking CBFC, better known as the Censor Board to ensure ‘an eternal love story’ is dropped from its name. And most likely, the film wouldn’t see the light of the day.

Only last month, BJP MLA Sangeet Som announced that he opposes the Mughals who built the Taj Mahal and how they've been portrayed in history. "If such people are still considered a part of (India's) glorious history, I can tell you with full confidence we will change that history," he had proudly declared.

Not sure how much Som can change history, but director Akbar Khan should be glad that the film was released in 2005, not 2017.

Amrapali


In Lekh Tandon’s Amrapali (1966), starring Vyjayanthimala and Sunil Dutt, Ajathasatru falls in love with Amrapali. If it was to be released in 2017, the film crew would have got into some serious trouble. As per Buddhist texts, the emperor who fell for Amrapali was not Ajathasatru, but his father Bimbisara.

The story begins with Ajathasatru, the emperor of Magadha, declaring a war on the Republic of Vaishali. Defeated and wounded in the war, he runs into the dwelling of Amrapali who nurses him back to health. She doesn’t realize that he is the emperor of Magadha whose effigy she has burnt in the post-victory celebrations. Eventually, Ajathasatru and Amrapali fall in love with each other.

The movie could give Game Of Thrones a run for its money if it came to incestuous relationships. Was the father in love with Amrapali? Was the son in love with Amrapali? Were both of them in love with her?

Who cares, it was a beautifully shot film which was also India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 39th Academy Awards. But we know, in 2017, the film sure wouldn’t get this love, at least not from the apparent protectors of history.

If there’s one thing that’s overrated in the current times, it’s rationality. Maybe all these Karni Sena members and such like should be sent to Baba Ramdev’s camp to learn some Pranayama. Or maybe, they should be made to sit through all these movies so that they have a lot more reasons to be angry about.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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