We have re­gressed as a na­tion, says Deepika Padukone

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Nation - Indo­Asian News Ser­vice let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

As she pre­pares for the re­lease of epic drama Pad­ma­vati, Deepika Padukone is con­fi­dent the movie will tide over the con­tro­versy, hit the screens and win a “big­ger bat­tle” for the in­dus­try.

“As a woman, I feel proud to be a part of this film, and to tell this story, which needs to be told. And it needs to be told now,” Deepika, who plays the ti­tle role in Pad­ma­vati -di­rec­tor San­jay Leela Bhansali’s pro­fessed trib­ute to the sac­ri­fice, val­our and hon­our of Ra­jput queen Rani Pad­ma­vati — told news agency IANS.

Doubts on the ex­tent to which the Na­tional Award win­ning film­maker has fic­tion­alised the story, has led to a spi­ralling con­tro­versy with politi­cians, or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als rais­ing a finger at Bhansali for “dis­tort­ing his­tory” and de­mand­ing that the re­lease of Pad­ma­vati be stalled. Deepika is con­vinced the movie will re­lease, as sched­uled, on De­cem­ber 1.

“It’s ap­palling, it’s ab­so­lutely ap­palling. What have we got­ten our­selves into? And where have we reached as a na­tion? We have re­gressed,” she said, com­ment­ing on the hul­la­baloo the movie is caus­ing pre-re­lease.

“The only peo­ple we are an­swer­able to is the cen­sor board, and I know and I be­lieve that noth­ing can stop the re­lease of this film,” said Deepika, adding that the film in­dus­try’s sup­port sym­bol­ises how “this is not about Pad­ma­vati... We’re fight­ing a much big­ger bat­tle”.

Pad­ma­vati marks the third film that Deepika has worked in un­der Bhansali’s di­rec­tion after ro­man­tic crime drama Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela and his­tor­i­cal drama Ba­ji­rao Mas­tani -all of which, she says, gave her roles “so sim­i­lar, yet so dif­fer­ent”.

“They are very in­de­pen­dent in­di­vid­u­als and very strong char­ac­ters,” Deepika said, her voice ex­ud­ing pride that in “Pad­ma­vati”, while there are two men -- Shahid Kapoor and Ran­veer Singh -- she es­says the ti­tle role, which “does not hap­pen of­ten in a woman’s ca­reer”. “I cel­e­brate that,” she said.

NEW DELHI:

Deepika Padukone

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