The audience turnout was low in the first half of the day but many theatres witnessed houseful shows after lunch. Despite tight security and a threat of protests, Puneites did not keep away.
Working professional Karan Kishore said, “It is a beautiful film. I did not pay much heed to the protests and decided to watch the film. I went to E-Sqaure which had tight security. The screening was smooth with a houseful show and the crowd cheering. At no point in the film did I see anything that would hurt sentiments. The film has glorified Rani Padmini. There is not a single frame where Rani Padmavati and Alauddin Khilji are on screen at the same time.”
Neerav Panchamia, vice-president (operations) at E-Square, said, “The response to “Padmaavat” is positive though it is still not 100% full as yet. People could be skeptical about stepping out in the first two days. But the film is getting excellent reviews from those who have seen it. We have not had any untoward incidents so far. The government will not spare rioters if they create a ruckus.”
President of Pune Exhibitors’ Association, Sadanand Mohol, said people may watch the film after assurances of safety. “Only a few shows are houseful as people are scared about the protesters. The audience turnout has not been as expected. There is adequate security. We have put up the posters and it is all good,” he said.
Many theatres displayed posters with the old name of the film with a black tape to block the ‘I’. “We received these posters long ago and have displayed those with the ‘I’ struck out. Movies release on Friday and new posters are then displayed, but Padmaavat released on Thursday. We are awaiting the new posters,” sources from Rahul theatre in Shivajinagar said.
Brothers Pradeep and Praful Waghela, who purchased tickets to watch the 4pm show at City Pride R-Deccan, said, ” We expect more people to watch the film. We understand that there may be issues related to the film but since the CBFC has cleared it, there is no reason not to watch it. A movie is not only about the story but also about acting, direction, cinematography and more. The movie will do well.”