Adipurush, a big-budget, recently released Indian mythological film based on the Hindu epic Ramayana, directed and written by Om Raut and Produced by T-Series.
Prabhas starrer adaptation of the epic, featuring Kriti Sanon as Sita, Devdatta Nage as Hanuman, and Saif Ali Khan as Rawana, has, right from its inception, faced a barrage of criticism and controversy, ranging from concerns about religious sentiments being hurt to allegations of plagiarism.
Back in 2020, Saif Ali Khan made a comment where he said that his upcoming film Adipurush was going to show the ‘humane’ side of Ravan, BJP leader Ram Kadam warned actor Saif and director Om Raut that the BJP wouldn’t tolerate any attempts to hurt Hindu sentiments. Later, Saif had to apologise, saying, “Lord Ram has always been the symbol of Righteousness and Heroism for me. Adipurush is about celebrating the victory of good over evil.”
Later, when the poster for Adipurush was unveiled, the adaptation of the saga again found itself in trouble as it was accused of plagiarism by an Animation studio, Vaanar Sena Studios.
Between all that, back in 2022, the teaser for the ₹500 crore budgeted film was released, which again landed it in trouble as it received an immense backlash over poor animation and bad VFX, following which, in order to rework on the VFX, the release was postponed from January to June.
Besides getting trolled for VFX after the teaser release, the Home Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Narottam Mishra, called out Adipurush for inaccuracy. He said that the film is a ‘wrong’ depiction of Hindus as “the dresses and look of Hindu deities as seen in the trailer were not acceptable. Hanuman ji is shown wearing leather, whereas the description in the scriptures of the deity’s costume is different, and that is unacceptable”, he said.
Rowing all the controversies and troubles of the past, the team was all geared up for its big release, but again they found themselves in trouble just before the release. On April 5, a complaint was filed against the makers based on a recently released poster that pointed out that “the lead characters are not wearing Janeu, which is contrary to what is in the holy book of Ramacharitamanas”.
The Sarva Brahmin Mahasabha took a leap forward and said that the film is an Islamization of the Ramayana and issued a warning to the makers, asking them to remove controversial scenes.
The film released on June 16 despite all the troubles and controversies, but even after its release, the film is still in murky waters as the controversy keeps surrounding the big-budget film.
After its release on Friday, people couldn’t stop themselves from slamming lyricist cum poet Manoj Muntashir over the dialogues in the film, such as “Kapda Tere Baap Ka, Aag Tere Baap Ki, Tel Tere Baap Ka, Jalegi Bhi Teri Baap Ki”, which was uttered by Lord Hanuman in the movie, calling the dialogues tapori, cheap, and sadak chap.
The video effects in the movie, which were trolled earlier during its teaser release, due to which the makers had to postpone the release of the film for almost six months, are again being criticised immensely and have become fodder for memes on the internet.
The Saints from Ayodhya have called for a ban on the film; protests were held in Chhattisgarh for a national ban on the film; several complaints have been filed; and a writ Petition by the Hindu Sena has been filed against Adipurush, saying it has offended Hindu feelings by tampering with the facts of the Ramayana.
There are numerous protests and calls for a ban from across the nation and thousands and thousands of bad reviews in regards to the film, but the movie found itself in trouble internationally when the Mayor of Kathmandu, Balen Shah, imposed a blanket ban on all Hindi films in Kathmandu City over a dialogue in a movie.
Mayor Balen Shah of Kathmandu, via his social media, warned the makers of Adipurush to correct the dialogue mentioning Sita as ‘India’s Daughter’ within three days.
He stated, “Until and unless the dialogue in the South Indian Film, Adipurush, ‘Janki is a daughter of India, is corrected not only in Nepal but also in India, no Hindi film will be allowed to run in the Kathmandu Metropolitan City. Three days have been given to correct this. Hail to Mother Sita!”
Inaction from the makers of the film within the given period of time led the Mayor Shah to ban the screening of any Hindi film in Kathmandu since June 19.
The Mayor took to social media to announce the blanket ban on the Hindi film in the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, stating, “We had given three days time to remove the controversial message, “Janki is the daughter of India,” included in the Indian film Adipurush,” from the original part of the film.
“Preserving the independence, sovereignty, and self-esteem of Nepal and protecting national interests are the unquestionable responsibilities of every government, governmental organisation, non-governmental sector, and Nepali citizen. There is no doubt about this.
“Article 5 and Clause 56(6) of the Constitution of Nepal assign the responsibility of protecting national interests to the federal, provincial, and local governments. If the aforementioned film is showcased, it will undoubtedly cause irreparable damage to Nepal’s nationality, cultural unity, and national identity. The cultural invasion against Nepal through this film has drawn serious attention to this municipality.
“The Kathmandu Metropolitan City has prohibited the exhibition of the film that goes against national interests within its jurisdiction, but if it is to be shown in other regions and abroad, it establishes misleading facts. Therefore, until any controversial aspects are removed from the film, the exhibition of any Indian film in Kathmandu Metropolitan City has been banned.”
Following this, another tourist destination city in Nepal, Pokhara, followed the ban on the exhibition of Hindi Films in the Pokhara Municipal Area.
T-Series, the producer of the film, issued an apology letter to the Mayor of Kathmandu for unintentionally hurting people’s sentiments.
As it stands, there haven’t been any developments in regards to the ban on the exhibition of Hindi films in the cities of Nepal, but due to the backlash over dialogues in the films, the makers have decided to change the dialogues used in the film, which is again set to be rereleased after a change in a dialogue, though whether the dialogue mentioning Sita as India’s Daughter will be changed or not isn’t clear yet.
Although the film has been in murky waters since its inception, surprisingly, looking back at all its troubles, the film has collected over ₹240 crore at the box office in just five days of q.