Sanjay Leela Bhansali's directorial ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’, starring actress Alia Bhatt, ran into legal trouble after a Congress MLA filed a petition to change the film's name. The Supreme Court recommended that the film's title be changed on Wednesday (February 23).
According to a report released by NDTV, the court made the suggestion in light of several court cases seeking to prevent its release. Siddhartha Dave, Bhansali Productions' lawyer, told the Supreme Court that he will seek instructions from his client on the suggestion. The Supreme Court will take up the case again on Thursday (February 24).
Several lawsuits have been filed to prevent the release of ‘Gangubai Kathaiwadi’, which is based on a real-life sex worker who rose to political prominence in Mumbai's Kamathipura neighbourhood. The lawsuits include one case filed by the real Gangubai's adopted son, Babu Ravji Shah.
The film, according to Shah, is defamatory to his mother. He has challenged a Bombay High Court order that refused to stay the release of the film. Bhansali's film has been the subject of a slew of complaints, including one filed by Maharashtra MLA Amin Patel and Kamathipura resident Shraddha Surve.
This is the third time a Bhansali film is being subjected to name change. Two previous films of Bhansali, ‘Padmavat’ (2018) and ‘Goliyon Ka Raasleela Ram-Leela’ (2013) were renamed amid controversy around the films’ title.
Commenting on the controversies surrounding the film and how it affects her, Bhatt said while speaking to ANI, “Neither any controversy nor any comment bothers me. I don't think anything bothers me beyond a point. Of course, I feel like there's a certain novelty that just a part of a film holds...whether the film is a good film or a bad film ..that doesn't matter. The audience makes their final decision only after watching the film.. nothing that happens before or after can really change the fate.”
Bhatt plays the titular character in the film, which is based on writer Hussain Zaidi's book ‘Mafia Queens of Mumbai’. The plot follows a maiden who is sold into prostitution by a suitor and how she rises to prominence in the underworld and the Kamathipua red-light district. ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ is scheduled for a theatrical release on February 25.
Actors Ajay Devgn, Vijay Raaz, Seema Pahwa, and Shantanu Maheshwari are among the cast members.