Pre-censorship is a reality today: Mahesh Bhatt

Mahesh Bhatt is now ready with his home production "Raaz Reboot", starring Emraan Hashmi and Kriti Kharbanda.

By: PTI | Mumbai | Published:September 4, 2016 5:15 pm
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With several Bollywood films running into problems with the censor board, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt says the makers have reached a stage where they are pre-censoring content to avoid any trouble.

Earlier this year, the Shahid Kapoor-Alia Bhatt starrer “Udta Punjab” locked horns with the CBFC – a matter which was eventually resolved by the High Court asking the board to certify and not censor.

Recently, even the Katrina Kaif-starrer Baar Baar Dekho was suggested cuts by the board. The “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” director says there are times when a director rules out the possibility of putting his story on screen, fearing the higher authorities will not allow him to do so with freedom.

“There is a danger of regressive governments and nations. We go through so many instances where today pre-censorship has become a reality,” Bhatt told PTI. “There are occasions when you stamp out possibility of filming a particular story, or a scene because you fear that
the powers that rule you, won’t allow you,” he opined.

The 67-year-old filmmaker is now ready with his home production “Raaz Reboot”, starring Emraan Hashmi and Kriti Kharbanda. Though the horror film has been given an ‘A’ certificate by the censor board, Bhatt had to struggle when it came to a particular scene involving profanities.

“We did have a problem with the censor. There is a scene where the girl (Kriti) is possessed so she keeps on repeating the ‘F’ word. She spouts it with utmost intensity. It is a brilliant, chilling sequence,” he revealed.

“That was part of the story, a completely decent housewife gets possessed by the dark forces and becomes a demon. But we were asked to cut down the profanities considerably. Though it is still there, the words were muted at places and replaced by something else,” he further said.

“Raaz Reboot” is the fourth instalment in the horror franchise, the first part of which released in 2002 starring Bipasha Basu in the lead. The subsequent parts starred Kangana Ranaut and Bipasha, with Emraan as the hero.

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Bhatt feels the “Azhar” actor is more mature today than when he started his career more than a decade ago. “I think we have a new Emraan now. He is far more mature, subtle, but at the same time far more effective as an actor. He has had enough experience in life and now he is more assured about how he projects himself, unlike what he was in his formative years.”

“Raaz Reboot” is helmed by Vikram Bhatt, who, except for the second instalment, has directed rest of the parts of the horror franchise. Bhatt says the the film is an attempt to give the viewers the taste of today’s horror movies.

“If the franchise hadn’t given us so much in the last 14 years, we wouldn’t be green lighting it and making it today.” Raaz Reboot is an attempt to realign the franchise with changing taste of audience in the digital age. We have shot it in a new fashion, we have tried to set the bar high,” he added.

Also starring Gaurav Arora, Raaz Reboot is scheduled to release on September 16.