Director Vikramaditya Motwane is still basking in the success of the first Indian Netflix original Sacred Games. The eight-episode series, that was co-created by Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, received great reviews and has become a part of pop culture, thanks to all the memes that fans have been creating for it. Vikramaditya Motwane, who is also producing the Netflix mini-series Ghoul, questioned the need for censorship in a chat with indianexpress.com.
Motwane said that even though Sacred Games had nudity and bad language, it did not create any law and order problems. Apart from the tiny controversy where “the overzealous Congress members who basically got shut down by their boss eventually,” Sacred Games hasn’t been in any trouble. This led Motwane to question the CBFC. He said, “It’s not like it’s a niche show. Sacred Games has been watched by as many people who have gone and watched Sanju. And really they have been okay with the nudity and the language. So it holds the censor board in a huge amount of hypocrisy right now, asking what really is the problem? You don’t want to watch it, you turn it off. You have the same choice in the movies so it really makes me ask the question to the censor board, why censorship then? Because clearly, there is no issue. So what really is the issue?”
Motwane further spoke about the responsible story-telling that steps in when there is no interference from the censor board. He said, “In none of these shows (Sacred Games and Ghoul) have we gone out and taken our liberty for granted. We have been very responsible with our storytelling. It’s not like ‘Oh great, no censorship, chalo lots of nudity’. No, it’s not the case in either of these shows.”
Vikramaditya Motwane also spoke about the liberty that an artist feels when they don’t have to self-censor. He said, “It’s great for us because you can express yourselves in a way that you don’t have to self-censor your head at the writing stage, at the directing stage or even in the acting stage.”
Since Motwane is involved with feature films and web content both, we asked him about the way success is measured for a platform like Netflix. For the films, success is popularly measured by the amount of money it makes, but what happens when it comes to web series?
To this Vikramaditya said, “The good thing is that it’s qualitative and not quantitative. You don’t know the real numbers but you can gauge from social media, personal reactions. In the case of Sacred Games, it’s the sheer amount of memes. The fact that you have pop culture acceptance at this point in time means that you are successful.” He further said, “I think success is measured by what you do next and how much money you get paid next, which is how it should be in a way.”