With Rangoon playing in theatres sans censor certificate and the anti-smoking statutory warning, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC aka the Censor Board) is considering pulling up the makers of the Vishal Bhardwaj film. This came to light after the CFBC received complaints about Rangoon flouting rules. The Board is expected to take legal recourse.
CBFC’s chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani said, “It has been brought to our notice that Rangoon has been playing in theatres across the country and outside India without the censor certificate and without the anti-smoking short films, which are compulsory for all films that show actors smoking and/or drinking. Rangoon had many scenes showing the main leads indulging in serious substance abuse. We asked the makers to put a disclaimer ahead of the opening credits. That disclaimer has gone missing. Now, we have been informed that the anti-smoking films do not play at the beginning and after the intermission. And also that the censor certificate is not flashed at the start, as per law. These are serious offences.”
Adds Pahlaj, “We are taking legal action against the digital operators, to begin with. We would not like to point fingers at anyone else for the lapse at this time. It is the digital operators’ responsibility to play exactly the length that is shown to us and certified by the CBFC. Not a second more or less of footage must be shown in theatres than what we have certified. The exact length of the film that is shown to us and certified by us is mentioned in the censor certificate. If the anti-smoking films have been removed from the beginning and after intermission and if the censor certificate is not being shown in Rangoon, then, the digital operators are screening less footage than what has been approved by the CBFC. It is a serious offence. We are investigating to see how deep the offence goes.”
He further adds, “Maybe some self-appointed intellectuals of our film industry feel it is okay to break the law as long as they can ridicule the jurisdiction of the CBFC.”
Rangoon director Vishal Bhardwaj had spoken up vehemently against the anti-smoking disclaimers. In 2012, while releasing his film Matroo Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola he had removed the usual mandatory anti-smoking films that are shown twice with all feature films and had replaced it with a humorous song composed especially for the film.
Censor Board Controversies
This move caught the attention of actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhar, who took to his social networking handle to post a picture of the letter and lash out at the board for their actions. He shared the picture saying, “Below is the reason CBFC listed for denying #LipstickUnderMyBurkha a release. Keep your barf bag ready…”
Jha, who is presently in London, is understandably enraged by the latest move of CBFC. The filmmaker told Mumbai Mirror, “As a country, we must encourage freedom of expression but the CBFC refusing to certify films that tell uncomfortable stories discourages filmmakers from pushing the envelope. Films should challenge the status quo which is what ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ perhaps does and I believe our audience deserve to watch it.”
Set in small town India, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ chronicles the secret lives of four women in search of a little freedom.
The film’s leading man John Abraham opened up about the same and said that unlike the first installment ‘Force’, the sequel has a strong political message on the cross-border issue. He also said that the film was shot long before the Uri attacks and the cease-fire violations took place. John went on to say that a few events described in the film may appear to “pre-empt to the cross-border activities” that have been going on over the past few months.
‘Force 2’, starring John Abraham, Sonakshi Sinha and Tahir Raj Bhasin, hits theatres worldwide on November 18, 2016.
But it seems to be a different story about the film…
According to a daily, a source close to the film expressed concerns over what signals the CBFC was sending out over its ‘selective disapproval’ of innerwear scenes. The source questioned if the board was trying to say that they were okay with showing men’s innerwear, but not women’s lingerie on the big screen. The said source also pointed out that a bra scene was shown in Jackie Chan’s ‘Skiptrace’, and went on to question if the ‘BBD’ scene was cut just because it was an Indian film.
‘Baar Baar Dekho’ and ‘Freaky Ali’ hit theatres this Friday, September 9.
Move on to the next slide to read about other movies that ran into trouble with the Censor Board…
This is not the first time that the Censor Board is embroiled in a controversy. Click the following slide to know why filmmaker Prakash Jha accused the Censor chief of lying…
Recently, Ashoke Pandit, himself a Censor Board member, had heavily condemned Nihalani for ordering cuts in Jai Gangaajal. Click the next slide to read his angry reaction…