"My film should be in the Guinness Book Of Records for the number of TV promos that were cut and rejected by the censors,” admits producer Prakash Jha, whose
is lining up for a January 14 release. “It was crazy! A 90-second promo would be passed but its 30- second version would get the thumbs down for a line that had not offended anyone earlier.”
is the story of Naina, an energetic, ambitious advertising professional, who on a landmark birthday suddenly finds her life is falling apart as she loses her job and her relationship goes for a toss. Debutant director Alankrita Srivastav’s film raises concerns about the biological clock ticking away but at the same time makes shock statements like, “Just because I slept with him doesn’t mean I have to marry him,” as its protagonist tries to find her feet in a world gone topsy-turvy without letting physical, social or psychological pressures get to her.
Jha who describes it as “India’s first genuine chick film”, agrees that given the revolutionary content, he had been expecting trouble from our moral guardians. “They had never seen a film like this before, a film about the growing up Indian woman” he reasons.
“We had a tough time getting the promos passed but surprisingly, the film itself got away without a single cut. And that makes me believe that our censors are growing up.”
Concerns at 30
And what about the conservative male majority out there beyond the metros and multiplexes? Have they grown up enough to accept a film that talks about sex from a woman’s perspective? “Aren’t they talking about sex all the time amongst themselves?” Jha retorts. “It’s time they came out in the open about it. This is not a coming-of-age film for women alone but men as well.” Did he face similar crisis and concerns when he turned 30? “Have I turned 30 yet?,” he chuckles. “No, I haven’t, I still have a lot of growing up to do.”
There was an issue over the title too with the AMPTPP (Association of Motion Pictures and TV Programme Producers) refusing to give Prakash Jha Productions a No Objection Certificate on the grounds that
was already registered with Pritish Nandy Communications. The news took Jha by surprise since back in 2008 he had registered two titles,
Great date to arrive
for me and gave
to another production house. Fortunately, Pritishji (Pritish Nandy) understood our dilemma since we couldn’t go with any other title and relinquished his claim,” says a relieved Jha.
The film releases at a time when parts of the country, particularly up North, are in the grips of a cold wave that is keeping many from venturing out of the warmth of their homes. Hasn’t he gone wrong on the release date in his bid to beat back the competition of bigger films and the cricket World Cup? He smiles, “Janaury 14 is Makar Sankranti and signals the end of winter chill. The Gods are with us.”