Indian film Laal Singh Chaddha, starring Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan, has been the center of a massive controversy ever since it was released earlier this month. The latest controversy, however, could see it pulled off the screens.
The film, an official remake of the 1994 Hollywood film Forrest Gump which had starred Oscar winner Tom Hanks, has been playing in Indian cinemas since early August. But even before it was released, many people had been calling for its boycott for various reasons.
Despite the opposition, the film managed to rake in around INR Rs1 billion at the box office.
But now the film could be completely banned in the state of West Bengal.
A Bengal-based politician allied with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Nazia Illahi Khan has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Kolkata High Court, the Indian Express reported.
In her petition, Nazia requested the court to completely ban the film in West Bengal, contending that it would “disrupt the peace”.
The petitioner alleged that in the past week, there had been several debates on the controversies surrounding the film.
A social media campaign calling for the boycott of ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ has also been going on.
Given the religious tensions in West Bengal, the screening of the film poses a serious threat to public order.
Moreover, the petitioner contended that the Indian Army was not properly represented in the film.
A division bench, consisting Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj is set to hear the matter.
The film Raksha Bandhan, starring Akshay Kumar, was released , the same day as Laal Singh Chaddha.
But it was the Aamir Khan starrer which was considered to be the most significant release of the year. However, neither film performed as predicted, at least domestically.
According to a number of sources, the distributors of Laal Singh Chaddha have endured significant financial losses in the midst of the continuing controversies and protests against the film.
However, internationally, the film has reportedly done well. According to Bollywood Hungama, Laal Singh Chaddha has managed to rake in a higher collection than some other recent Indian releases.
Laal Singh Chaddha brought in $7.5 million (INR Rs598.9 million) through the box office in cinemas around the globe at the close of the second weekend. It made it the highest grosser internationally for Indian films.
It thus surpassed the ticket sales of Gangubai Kathiawadi, which did business of around $7.47 million.
The year’s other major release, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 got only $5.88 million while The Kashmir Files got $5.7 million.