After being hit by one controversy after another, filmmaker Karan Johar’s upcoming film, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, has been cleared with a U/A certificate, but not without cuts by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). Its censor certificate, which reveals all the cuts made in the film, is available online for everyone to see, and fans are sulking about the reduced kissing scenes.
CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani, however, feels he owes no explanation for the curtailed passion. “We are following guidelines. Aamir Khan, James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Ranbir Kapoor are intense actors. They also kiss intensely. We can’t have kids watching elaborate kissing scenes unless we want to educate them on the art of deep kissing. When producers want a U/A certificate for their film, the intensity of intimacy has to be toned down for younger viewers. (But) If you have an A certificate, you are entitled to kiss to your heart’s content,” says Nihalani, who also rubbishes reports that the certificate was leaked.
“What is there to be leaked? It’s information in and on the public domain. Go to the CBFC website and you can see cuts for every film,” says Nihalani, adding that this translates to exhibitors becoming aggressive with a film’s producers. “Now, exhibitors are agitated because (actor) Anushka Sharma’s kisses have been reduced in length. They feel it’s taking away from public interest. I had placed a two-week time-embargo on the censored cuts being placed on the website. But now the embargo is lifted,” he says.
After Nihalani took over as the chairperson of the CBFC in January 2015, he put an embargo on the display of the cuts for each film on the CBFC’s website.
As for the censor certificate,a photocopy of the same is provided to every exhibitor. “It is a rule. Every exhibitor is provided with a photocopy of the censor certificate so that he knows the exact playing-time of each film. There is nothing confidential to be leaked out about a censor certificate once it is issued,” says Nihalani.