'Udta Punjab' releases in Pakistan against wish of producers

'Udta Punjab' has opened in Pakistani theatres but the fans have turned to the pirated version of the Bollywood film as they are disappointed with the 100 cuts imposed by the country's censors.

Udta Punjab

Earlier this week, the Pakistani censor board passed the movie, based on the issue of drug abuse in Punjab, with 100 cuts and 'A' certificate.

But director Abhishek Chaubey says the makers had decided against the film's release in Pakistan as they were unhappy with the cuts.

"As per my last conversation we had decided to not release the film in Pak because we found the cuts unacceptable but please confirm it with the producers," Chaubey told PTI.

Strangely enough, the movie hit Pakistani screens on June 24, reported Dawn.

The cinegoers were left disappointed with the cuts and many muted dialogues and have now turned to the movie's pirated copies.

At least in three major localities of Karachi including Clifton, Defence and Civil Lines the video shop owners are doing good business selling pirated copies of "Udta Punjab".

The owner of a leading video shop in the posh Clifton area said his customers were demanding uncut pirated copies of the film.

"Some of them went to watch the film in cinema halls and came back disappointed as they say it has been censored badly," he said.

At another shop, a worker said "Udta Punjab" DVD copies were in demand although it was illegal to keep pirated copies of latest Bollywood films.

"If the purpose of making the film was to convey a point about drug abuse and menace it is now lost after the many cuts in Udta Punjab," said well known film critic, Omair Alavi.

He noted that the filmmakers of "Udta Punjab" went to court and fought hard in India to get it passed from Censors without any cuts but noted they can't do the same in Pakistan.

Mobashir Hasan, chairperson of the Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC), admitted that they were around a 100 cuts in the film.

He said that since the film contained foul language, swearing, derogatory words it has been given an adult rating after the cuts.

"We have muted the swearing at and derogatory words and with certain excisions of scenes," he said.

Hasan said references to Pakistan had also been excised.

"Udta Punjab", starring Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt and Diljit Dosanjh, earlier fought a tough censorship battle in India for its release.

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