OMG 2 director recounts his traumatic time with CBFC as Akshay-led film was granted ‘A’ certificate and 27 cuts; appeals to Censor Board chief to overturn decision
The hullabaloo of the past month wasn’t easy on OMG 2 writer-director Amit Rai. But through the noise, he was determined to stay true to the movie’s core—a father-son story that stemmed from his own life. “My son opened my social media account without any help from me and showed it to me. That made me think, how does one control their kid? It led to multiple thoughts about why more fathers should talk to their sons,” Rai recounts. This led to the genesis of the Akshay Kumar, Pankaj Tripathi and Yami Gautam-starrer that sees a father sue the school after his son is expelled from it.
The social comedy’s journey to the theatres has been tumultuous, beginning with studios that didn’t have faith in his story. “The film was turned down by nine production houses, including Ashutosh Gowariker’s studio, Dharma Productions and Sony Pictures. People called my story crass. Akshay and the producers told me to run with it. They gave me everything they could—from budget, to permission to shoot inside the Mahakaleshwar temple [in Ujjain].”
After the shoot, a bigger battle lay ahead for the movie that highlights the need for sex education. On one hand, the Central Board of Certification (CBFC) suggested umpteen modifications and issued it an ‘A’ certificate. On the other hand, fringe groups objected to its release, claiming that it hurt religious sentiments. “People were saying the film won’t release at all. Social media hate was insurmountable.
People were judging the film without even watching it. Akshay sir never left our side despite the uproar.” OMG 2 was finally cleared with 27 cuts. The director adds, “There were originally 34 cuts. It was a pitiable sight inside after the CBFC screening. We fought to retain the film’s essence and they did forgo seven cuts. Our producers were almost begging them to change the film’s certification. I folded my hands in front of them, but they didn’t relent. They said PhD kids can watch the film, but it’s [made] for teenagers!” Even as OMG 2 runs in theatres, the makers have appealed to overturn the ‘A’ certification. “I have been texting Prasoon Joshi [CBFC chief] to help us out. But he hasn’t responded yet.”