The makers of Anaarkali of Aarah on Tuesday submitted a fresh copy of the film to the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC). The film’s director, Avinash Das, said that the copy includes all “unreasonable changes” that the CBFC had demanded ahead of its release on March 24.
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“Since the protagonist is a performer who sings and dances to double-meaning songs, we had asked for an adult certification. But the CBFC has asked us to make many more cuts, which seem bizarre,” said Das. “There is a dialogue, where a character says, ‘tum bahut Amitabh Bachchan hogaye ho toh humne socha hum bhi Amrish Puri bann jaayein’. The members of CBFC asked us to either delete the names of the two actors or get NOCs from them.’’
The film is about a small-town Bihar nautch girl in which Swara Bhaskar plays the lead role and takes on her molesters. The makers had submitted the film for certification on February 20 and it was reviewed last week.
An intimate, flirtatious exchange between actor Pankaj Tripathi and Bhaskar, which was the film’s original opening sequence, has been removed along with that depicting her molestation. The makers have had to delete the word ‘Arjun’ from a couplet and the phrase ‘sundar kand’ from a dialogue.
The CBFC has been facing criticism for having turned into a moral police since Pahlaj Nihalani was appointed its CBFC chairperson. A number of filmmakers have accused the CBFC of seeking unnecessary cuts, especially for films applying for certification in the adult category. Udta Punjab makers had legally taken on the CBFC last year.
Recently, Lipstick Under My Burkha was refused certification for being “lady oriented”. Malayalam film Ka Bodyscapes, too, has been banned for “promoting homosexuality”.