Vidya Balan’s Begum Jaan is set during the partition period of India and Pakistan. The movie, directed by Srijit Mukherjee, tells the story about a Madame of a brothel which is located at such a point that the border to divide India and Pakistan runs right through it. How she and other inhabitants of the brothel stand up against government and miscreants from tearing their ‘home’ down is the crux of the story. The movie is strong and powerful. Now, it is not the 70’s where the Madame of a brothel will talk in the purest language ever, as shown in old movies like Ram Teri Ganga Maili. Vidya’s strong character and stronger language is the USP of the movie. But we guess the makers almost forgot about CBFC. Because, guess what, there are about 12 cuts ordered by the board. Reportedly Vidya’s language has been toned down, and many many abuses have been ordered to be removed from the film.
And not just the abuses, a lovemaking scene in the Vidya Balan starrer has also faced the scissor. The scene has been cut to half, as per CBFC’s orders. A source was quoted by The Quint, “The CBFC found the pounding and thrusting which Srijit accentuated to show how sex is used to subjugate women, to be excessive even for an adult audience.”
One particular scene about communal violence was also chopped to half. We wonder if the impact of the scene remains the same after facing the edits. “In a sequence showing communal violence in a bus, the massacre has also been reduced by 50 per cent. Srijit argued that an adult viewership can decide for itself whether the sexual and political violence is excessive. However the CBFC made it very clear that the two key sequences have to be reduced, or the film won’t be certified,” added the source.
The Quint also quotes a source from CBFC saying, “To remain in character as a prostitute, the actor doesn’t have to keep using abusive language. Sharmila Tagore played a prostitute in Mausam. She used just one profanity in the film. And Shabana Azmi played the madame of a brothel in Shyam Benegal’s Mandi. How many times did she use the ‘ch*d’ word-variations to punctuate her coarseness?”
Well, the brightest idea would be to let makers helm film as they wish, then CBFC certifies the movie and then let the audience decide if they are comfortable with watching it or not!