THE IDIOCRACY OF THE CENSOR BOARD!
The Indian ﬁlm industry is hardly blessed with a great censor board. We have seen time and time again on how irrationally and something straight up absurdly our beloved censor board functions. In one instance they are acting like moral police, by trying to enforce their old and irrelevant thought process while clearing up movies. And sometimes they just feel it’s their ‘moral duty’ to act as the jury and the judge on every small issue.
Take the point of clearing last week’s big release BEFIKRE. The movie is directed by one of the most celebrated ﬁlmmakers in the country i.e. Aditya Chopra and stars one of the biggest young star in the industry i.e. Ranveer Singh. The movie was passed with no cuts and a U/A certiﬁcate. That’s absolutely ﬁne. There are many kisses in the movie; many of the things the lead pair do in the story are also risky. But that’s ﬁne, I mean if we are making a romantic comedy we will need to show or suggest sex as it is a byproduct or the lead up to the whole romance generally.
But something is not ﬁne. I will tell you how. If our censor board was rational I wouldn’t be writing this column in the ﬁrst place. The issue is that just in this year alone we have had so many instances when the Censor board has wanted to feel sanskari about everything. Last year a kiss from the James Bond movie was cut short because, the censor felt it was too suggestive. They kill the movie watching experience for me personally. A few years there was this movie GONE GIRL, the Indian censor let their scissor lose on that one. Kisses were chopped off ; even the sequence when one of the characters commits a gory murder, the censor cut that bit. Now you will feel why I am giving examples of Hollywood movies. Because our censor board chief said recently, that because BEFIKRE is set in Paris, and the people greet each other by kissing so it’s ﬁne. Wow, such great insight I must say, But then such to take your point further, when couples in English movies kiss why do you cut that out?
Why do you feel it’s important for you to say that change the title of UDTA PUNJAB because the state of Punjab will feel bad? Do people in Paris don’t have feelings? Closer to home earlier this year the censor board asked director Deepak Tijori to shorten the length of a kissing scene by half in the movie DO LAFZON KI KAHANI. The original scene was meant to be for some 18 seconds and the censor got it trimmed down to 9 seconds.
Why tell ﬁlmmakers how to cut their movie is beyond me. A newer and less messy way needs to be drawn up for the industry. Because that’s the need of the hour not headline grabbing statements pre and post the release of the movie by the censor chief!