From ‘Kaali’ to ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, 5 movie posters that created controversy

Updated on Jul 06, 2022 01:33 PM IST

‘Kaali’ director Leena Manimekalai has found herself in legal trouble over the poster of her film with multiple FIRs filed against her in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Here’s a look at some of the other film posters that received backlash

The poster of Leena Manimekalai’s documentary film, ‘Kaali’, showed the Goddess smoking a cigarette and holding a rainbow flag, also known as a pride flag.
The poster of Leena Manimekalai’s documentary film, ‘Kaali’, showed the Goddess smoking a cigarette and holding a rainbow flag, also known as a pride flag.

A political row has stormed the country over Canada-based filmmaker Leena Manimekalai’s new documentary film, ‘Kaali’. The poster of the film shows Goddess Durga’s avatar as Kaali smoking a cigarette and holding a rainbow flag, also known as a pride flag, which is a globally recognised symbol of the LGBTQ+ community. The Madurai-born director of the film is now finding herself in legal trouble over the film poster with multiple first information reports (FIRs) registered against her in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. India’s High Commission in Ottawa, Canada also issued a statement urging Canadian authorities to “withdraw all such provocative material”.

Let’s take a look at some of the other film posters that received backlash:

Vishnu Vishal
Vishnu Vishal

After the release of the Tamil film ‘F.I.R’, directed by Manu Anand and featuring Vishnu Vishal, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Msulimeen (AIMIM) demanded the Telangana government to remove “objectionable” content from the film. The film poster that carried the ‘Shahada’ in Arabic, hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims, claimed party chief Asaduddin Owaisi.

Mallika Sherawat
Mallika Sherawat

In 2014, actor Mallika Sherawat found herself in a legal row when a local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader filed a petition in Indore’s district court against her movie poster ‘Dirty Politics’ for insulting the national flag. In the poster, Sherawat could be seen sitting on top of a car with a tricolored cloth wrapped around her. Also, the movie, based on the gang rape and murder of nurse Bhanwari Devi in Rajasthan, received united backlash from the BJP and the Congress in the Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha.

Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone
Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone

Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone’s film ‘Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela’ was criticised for both its name and sensual movie poster. Several Hindu groups were offended by the initial title of the film ‘Ramleela’ and ‘Ram-Leela’ as it was associated with Hindu Lord Ram. The film poster also received backlash as it showed the two actors sensually hugging each other. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali later clarified that the film is based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Salman Khan
Salman Khan

When the poster of Salman Khan’s movie ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ was released in 2015, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal demanded that the title of the film be changed, and they also filed a petition in the Madhya Pradesh high court. However, the high court dismissed the petition and the movie went on to become one of the hits of the year.

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