In the times when the scanner of Central Board of Film Certification or CBFC keeps hogging every film prior to its release, and news keeps popping up about movies facing the wrath of social groups for ‘hurting the sentiments’, Anupam Kher’s upcoming film on the life of Manmohan Singh, titled The Accidental Prime Minister was announced. Its makers released a teaser poster leaving many shocked to see the startling resemblance Anupam Kher had in the first picture with the former PM. But even before the film goes on floors, it has been caught under the CBFC eye.
Ever since The Accidental Prime Minister was announced, many were of the view that the project would surely invite some political controversy. While many wondered who would play the role of Sonia Gandhi in the biopic, others thought will Congress even allow the film to be made. Now, CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani also has something to say. Though he is happy that Anupam Kher is stepping into the shoes of Manmohan Singh but says the movie’s makers will need to obtain no-objection certificates (NOC) from the former Prime Minister himself as well as Congress President Sonia Gandhi for film certification.
Warning the makers, Nihalani said it would have to abide by the guideline regarding all films based on real-life characters. “The makers of ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’, producer Sunil Bohra, would have to get an NOC from Manmohan Singhji, Sonia Gandhiji and all the other real-life politicians who are part of the narrative. This rule applies without fail. There are no exceptions,” Nihalani said.
“And although my current tenure as the CBFC chairperson ends in January 2018 and this film will come up for censorship after that, I am sure the guidelines regarding biopics would remain unchanged.” He hopes the film’s team is aware of this.
“Anupam Kher was himself the CBFC chairperson not too long so. Ashoke Pandit who considers himself a part of the CBFC, is also a part of the film on Manmohan Singhji. And Hansal Mehta who is writing the film, claims to be a victim of the censorship guidelines every time his film is on release. I can’t imagine how these people cannot be awar of the NOC required for censor clearance of films based on real-life figures,” Nihalani added. When IANS contacted producer Sunil Bohra, he said he was travelling. Nevertheless, Nihalani is confident Anupam Kher will give the role his best shot.
“He’s such a versatile actor. At the age of 28, he had played an old man so brilliantly in ‘Saaransh’. I am sure he will do full justice to Manmohan Singhji’s character, though it would have to be more expressions than words. As we all know, Manmohan Singhji hardly speaks. I am sure the dialogue writer would not have much to contribute to the character,” he added. The project is an adaptation of Sanjay Baru’s controversial book “The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh”.