A day after producer Sandip Kapur revealed the cuts suggested by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), the board’s chief Pahlaj Nihalani has slammed his film, Anaarkali of Aarah. A few scenes from the film, that stars Swara Bhaskar in the lead role, were leaked a few days ago.
While the film’s director Avinash Das had said one of the scenes was “censored” by the board, Pahlaj Nihalani has claimed that the leaked scenes could not have been censored. Pahlaj Nihalani told DNA, “The film has not been censored or certified as yet. We haven’t made any cuts in any film of this name. So where is the question of ‘censored’ scenes being leaked? I call this cost-effective publicity. You make a small-budget film, which needs to get noticed. You concoct censor problems for the film, where there is none. You get loads of media coverage as soon as you speak of your film being banned by the censor board.”
Reacting to the development, the director told Hindustan Times, “They haven’t issued a certificate but they have suggested the cuts. We have even submitted the edited version to the board.”
Further claiming that filmmakers use CBFC for publicity, Nihalani told DNA, “We are tired of our name being dragged down for publicity. You please make your film about Anarkali from Arrah, Chapra, Rohtak or Rai Bareilly. The CBFC has no interest in playing the party-pooper. If a filmmaker wants to use the CBFC’s name for publicity he will have to substantiate his allegations. Aise hi Facebook ya Twitter pe gaali dena nahin chalega (just abusing on social networks won’t do).”
Speaking about the cuts suggested by the CBFC, producer Sandip Kapur said, “There are 11 cuts mentioned by the censor board, including one bold scene. They have told us to remove the names of Amitabh Bachchan and Amrish Puri (in a dialogue) fearing it might hurt sentiments.”
A scene in the trailer shows Sanjay Tripathi telling Swara, “Amitabhe Bacchan ban ke entry li hain aur chah rahi hain hum Amrish Puri banein!”
“They have also asked to remove the word ‘Arjun’, which comes in a shayari (poetry). They think it will hurt religious sentiments. With these cuts it will be difficult for audience to understand the context in which the dialogues are said,” he added.
Anaarkali of Aarah revolves around a singer (Swara Bhaskar) from Arrah in Bihar. Sandiip said Swara is the right choice for the role of Anaarkali. “She has played the role wonderfully. It doesn’t look sleazy. She went to a lot of places for the workshop, to see the performances. A lot of actors may not do a film like this but she fell in love with the subject of the film.”
The film is set to release on March 24.
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