Aamir Khan Productions, which flagged off with Lagaan (2001), has completed a decade. And its last three films — Peepli Live (2010), Dhobi Ghat (2011) and now Delhi Belly — have come with an ‘A’ certificate, sparking off speculation that actor-producer Aamir, known for his ‘clean family entertainers’, has switched tracks.
He denies it, arguing that a creative person should have the freedom to make the kind of films he believes in. “And I’m a responsible producer. If a film is meant for adults, it should be censored accordingly. Dhobi Ghat was passed with a ‘U/A’ certificate despite a few expletives, but I didn’t want parents to come with their eight year olds for it. So I got it re-censored with an ‘A’ certificate knowing that I was reducing my audience by half, perhaps a first in Hindi cinema,” Aamir informs.On Delhi Belly, both the censors and he amicably agreed on an ‘A’ certificate, with both parties not comfortable with kids under 18 viewing it. "My son Junaid can see it but my daughter Ira will have to wait till she’s 18," he says, pointing out that while other producers tuck away the ‘A’ in a corner, the Delhi Belly print ads have ‘Adults Only’ written prominently across.
The film has ‘potty’ humour, explicit sex scenes, cuss words and a controversial chartbuster, ‘Bhaag DK Bose…’, supposedly inspired by Dolly Bindra’s gaalis on Bigg Boss. “Yeah it does,” agrees Aamir, “but there’s not that much of ‘potty’, no skin show, some expletives and definitely no Dolly. I’m told she was on some show but I don’t watch much TV.”
Imran, one of the lead actors, endorses that and says that within minutes of hearing the song, he knew it would be a “huge hit” and spark off a “huge controversy” too. He reasons, “Anything associated with youth culture that is cool and new-wave has ignited protests, whether it was Elvis and his pelvic thrusts or rock music and its free-love mantra. I wasn’t surprised by the attacks on Aamir and the film, but our youthful target audience has connected with the song and the film.”