Bharat runtime: Makers strip Salman Khan starrer down from 3 hours; here's why
Concerned that Bharat is too long at three-hour runtime, Sallu-Ali make 24 cuts after Censor Board gives clean chit
As the clock keeps ticking on Bharat's release, Salman Khan and director Ali Abbas Zafar are giving finishing touches to their passion project. The Katrina Kaif-starrer procured a UA certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) last week. While the CBFC did not recommend deletion of scenes, mid-day has it that Zafar made 24 voluntary cuts in the drama after submitting the original version to the Censor Board. Reason — the team apparently felt that at a runtime of three hours, the ambitious drama was too long for its own good.
Says a trade source, "The original duration of Bharat was three hours and the makers felt that the story needed to be tighter. To get a second opinion, they arranged a special screening for friends and family members, including Salim Khan, three weeks ago. While they appreciated the movie, Salim ji pointed out that the duration should ideally be brought down to under 165 minutes."
It was then that Zafar, under the supervision of his leading man, apparently went back to the editing table. At the receiving end of the razor-sharp scissors were shots from the songs, Aethey Aa, Chashni and Turpeya, as well as a scene featuring Khan and his on-screen friend Sunil Grover. Several snips later, Bharat now stands truncated at 155 minutes.
When mid-day reached out to Zafar, he acknowledged that the film had undergone a fresh round of editing. However, denying that the film was tad long, the director resorted to the good old excuse of CBFC's guidelines to justify the cuts. "Since one needs to submit their films well in advance to meet the Censor Board's deadlines, it's better to provide the longer cut first. So, we submitted the work-in-progress version to them. Once they cleared it, we made the final edit, and then informed them of the cuts we have made," he said.
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