Every screening of director Aadish Keluskar’s Jaaon Kahan Bata Ae Dil, a realistic, thought-provoking telling of a man-woman relationship, has opened to packed houses and rousing applause at the 20th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. But the film’s producer, Vinay Mishra, is prepared for a battle with the censor board, as the film unabashedly comments on the country’s socio-political structure and is repleted with what people would call profanity.
“It’s going to be tough. Of course, we want a lot of people to watch it. We are not prepared for cuts. What will you cut and where? I don’t think we have really thought about censor,” Mishra said after the film’s last screening at the festival.
The two-hour-long film takes a dig at the big names from Indian politics and Bollywood nonchalantly, which could potentially create problems when the film is nearing its theatrical release.
Self-censorship, however, was never on Keluskar’s mind as he views this concept from a different lens. “To me, self-censorship is to censor something, which is dishonest. Whatever I felt in the second draft was dishonest I cut it out. Whatever I didn’t, it’s all there,” the director said.
While a theatrical release would be an ideal option, Mishra is open to getting it out on OTT platforms too. “I am convinced we will find some mechanism to get it out, whether I have to self-release it on the internet or get Netflix. This film is very massy but I don’t know if masses can consume it because it assaults you. If that be the case, it needs to go out in all parts of the country, which is very difficult,” he said.
The film has been nominated for the award for Oxfam best film on gender equality at MAMI. It is also competing in the India Gold section at the festival.
Jaaon Kahan Bata Ae Dil stars Khushboo Upadhyay and Rohit Kokate in the lead roles. Keluskar previously directed the much-acclaimed Kaul – A Calling. Mishra is one the producers on Jaaon Kahan Bata Ae Dil, besides Preety Ali and Pallavi Rohatgi. The trio produces under Humara Films.