Bollywood stars like Aamir Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui might have expressed their displeasure with CBFC’s draconian and regressive style of functioning, but Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn’s experience tells him that there is actually “no problem” with the board that needs to be addressed.
From banning a film for being “lady-oriented”, asking the removal of the word “intercourse” from a movie’s trailer to demanding 48 cuts in a film after giving it an adult certificate, the Pahlaj Nihalani-led censor board has been unreasonable and hence has had many run-ins with Bollywood filmmakers and actors.
But this does not resonate with actor-filmmaker Ajay Devgn, who believes that if filmmakers have logical conversations with the censor board, there will never be a problem. When asked about CBFC’s bizarre ways, Ajay, whose Baadshaho is up for release next month, told reporters, “I really don’t know… The films that I produced and submitted to the censor board, I didn’t face any issue. I don’t think what’s the problem. I actually don’t think there’s any problem. I feel if you rationalise with them (CBFC) everything can be understood. At least that’s my experience.”
In contrast to his statement, Aamir, at a recent event, acknowledged the problem with the censor board and said that censorship holds little importance today and hence it should give way to certification. The actor, who has Secret Superstar releasing this October, even said that the recommendations made by the Shyam Benegal committee should be implemented soon.
See| Star cast of Baadshaho at the trailer launch of their movie
In the aftermath of numerous eyebrow-raising cuts demanded by CBFC, a committee headed by National Award-winning filmmaker Shyam Benegal was set up on January 1, 2016, to lay down rules and regulations for film certification taking note of best practices in various parts of the world and giving sufficient and adequate space for artistic and creative expression. The committee suggested that the CBFC should do away with censorship and implement a grade system. Nothing concrete has been done in that respect though.
Meanwhile, at the trailer launch of Baadshaho, Ajay and director Milan Luthria were asked about the rumours that they chopped off some intimate scenes between the actor and Ileana D’Cruz even before submitting the film to the CBFC in order to avoid any problem with the board.
Refuting the rumours, Milan said, “That’s not true at all. I said previously in an interview that only the core team is privy to what we decide to edit. It is purely a speculation. It is a straight-forward film. I don’t think it will get into any trouble.”
Baadshaho is a heist-drama set during the period of Emergency in India. It also stars Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta and Vidyut Jamwal. When asked how much of the film’s story will bear influences from the 1975 Emergency, Milan said that Baadshaho is a larger-than-life work of fiction and it uses the period only to create drama but there are no political bearings of that time on the movie.
“We have chosen a dramatic moment from India’s history which has a lot of elements like there were restrictions, an atmosphere, which help create drama (in the film). But as evident from the trailer, our film is larger than life, it is a heist drama, an action-drama. So, we are not very close to the political ramifications of that era but it is just in the backdrop and we had fun with our story,” Milan said.
The film will release on September 1.