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Filmmakers reveal Censor Board's most random decisions

With the teaser of Girish Kumar's next being issued an A certificate because of the word 'bed' being used, filmmakers talk about what they think were CBFC's most unusual decisions

The Censor Board for Film Certification (CBFC) has time and again grabbed eyeballs for asking filmmakers to snip/mute words they believed were 'inappropriate' for the Indian audience. The latest film to come under the CBFC scanner is the Girish Kumar and Navneet Dhillon starrer 'Loveshhuda' directed by Vaibhav Misra. The Censor Board has issued an 'A' certificate to the film's teaser because it had the word "bed" in it.

From left: Girish Kumar and Navneet Dhillon in the teaser from Loveshudda
From left: Girish Kumar and Navneet Dhillon in the teaser from Loveshudda

"The teaser features lead actors Girish and Navneet and a line in it states 'A love story that starts in bed'. The use of the word 'bed' irked the Censor Board and it issued an A certificate to the teaser. The film's team is surprised by this decision," says an insider adding, "The 1.20-minute teaser portrays a fresh, quirky pairing that would connect with the youth and their ideologies of love and relationship. It's an intriguing, fun teaser and has no adult content like kissing."

As a result of the Board's decision, the film's teaser release has been delayed. "Initially, the film's teaser was to be unveiled alongside the Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika Padukone starrer, 'Tamasha'. However, since this teaser got an A certificate, it couldn't ('Tamasha' has a U/A certificate). The teaser will now release with 'Hate Story 3' in theatres and has released online today," says the source.

Confirming the news, the film's producer Vijay Galani says, "We were to come out with the teaser alongside 'Tamasha', but due to the A certificate, it is now being attached with 'Hate Story 3'."

A still from Hate Story 3
A still from 'Hate Story 3'

Mind your words
'Loveshhuda' is not the first film to have faced issues with the Censor Board. A host of flicks in the recent past have faced similar rejections. For instance, the makers of 'Hate Story 3' were asked to remove words like "sambhog" (Sanskrit word for sex) and the makers of 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' had to remove the word "rakhail" (mistress) from the film (Read more). Needless to say, several filmmakers are surprised at CBFC's decisions.

Sonam Kapoor and Salman Khan in Prem Ratan Dhan Payo
Sonam Kapoor and Salman Khan in 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo'

The makers of 'Angry Indian Goddesses', which has been well received at several international film festivals, were shocked when the Censor Board in India asked for a few words to be beeped out (Read more). "The terms "lunch" and "Indian figure" have both said by two different female leads of our film. More than shocking, it's funny that a woman isn't allowed to express and talk on screen like they would in their day-to-day lives. How can words like these cause negative beliefs to transpire in any audience member inside a movie theatre?" argues producer of the film, Gaurav Dhingra.

Angry Indian Goddesses
The cast of 'Angry Indian Goddesses'

Bhushan Kumar, who has produced the soon-to-be-released 'Hate Story 3', says that the removal of one word wasn't making a difference to the adult content of the film; hence, he agreed to make the change. "They (CBFC) argued that the manner/situation in which the word 'sambhog' was being used was against their norms. We weren't fussy because that dialogue was not changing my adult content into a U/A one. My film is an adult film and I applied for an A certificate," he says (Read More).

In the past, Neeraj Ghyawan too had expressed discontentment over CBFC's decision regarding his film, 'Masaan'. "'Masaan' had got an adult rating, despite that we were asked to mute words 'saala' and 'saali'. There's nothing more to say about this," he said.

Also read: Are Censors hampering the market for Hollywood films in India?

Ketan Mehta, who is aware of the increasing number of such instances, opines that it's time the Censor Board grows up. "I think Indian audiences are wise enough to decide for themselves and such demands are not acceptable in a democracy. The most that the Censor Board should be allowed to do is to take the film to the audiences. Nothing more. I am aware of a few instances and want the Censor Board to grow up," says the filmmaker.

Also read: As Censor cuts down 'Spectre', tweeple laugh at 'Sanskari James Bond'

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta too had faced a similar rejection even before the much-criticised Pahlaj Nihalani became the CBFC chairman. In fact, he explains that filmmakers have the option of going to court if they aren't happy with changes demanded. "I was asked to remove the reference to Shivaji Maharaj's from Shahid. It was the examining committee's decision so I went to the revising committee. Filmmakers should go to the revising committee if they do not want to accept the examining committee's decision. In fact, they also have the option to go right up to the court. Also, filmmakers should go to the Censor Board well in advance so that they have the time to argue their decisions," he says.

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