Frontal nudity by lead actor Neil Nitin Mukesh in his new film Jail made headlines, but filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar now says he has blurred the scenes so as to make it watchable for all age groups.
"The film will shake up a lot of people and give a perspective to the common man who has never gone inside a jail. That is also the reason I wanted a U/A certificate for the film, as I want all age groups to watch the film," Bhandarkar told IANS in an interview here.
"I have also moderated the swear words in it for the same reason and have blurred Neil's frontal nudity so that the film becomes commonly visible," he added.
Despite controversies surrounding the film courtesy Neil's complete peel-off for his character, Bhandarkar's Jail has got a universal adult certificate for the masses.
He also denies making reality-based films to win National Awards.
"Awards do give one a sense of encouragement and a feeling of achievement. But I don't make films to win a National Award. As far as Jail is concerned, it will depend on what the jury thinks. It is too premature to talk about it," said Bhandarkar.
"I am basically a very blessed person to have it all - critical acclaim, box office success as well as National Awards for my films. For me it's a great moment when my films are appreciated and I just want the same for this one too," added the director who won the honours for Chandni Bar, Page 3 and Traffic Signal.
Co-produced by Percept Picture Company and Bhandarkar Entertainment, Jail is releasing on Nov 6. Mugdha Godse plays the female lead in the film that also has Manoj Bajpai in a pivotal role.
"Jail is a subject I really felt I should explore because this is something no one has touched earlier in Bollywood. In Indian films, jails have always been shown larger than life. No one has thrown light on details like how it functions, etc," he said.
"The trigger for this film is middle-class man Parag Dixit - he lives with his mother, has a girlfriend, works in the corporate sector and has a good record, but how he gets stuck in the law. It can happen to anybody," said Bhandarkar whose last release Fashion was a gold spinner at the box office.
Bhandarkar insists he chose Jail as a subject to explore a new territory.
"I could have made a big movie after Fashion. But I felt I should work on a subject that is in contrast to what I have done earlier, keeping in mind that my script will always dominate the subject and budget of my film," he said.
Like his earlier ventures, Jail also led to strenuous research and observation.
"A huge amount of research went behind the film like around seven months of paper scanning, TV monitoring, meeting and interacting with people who have gone through the trauma of being in a jail.
"Every minute and basic detail as in how people stay in a jail, what happens to them, how a first time offender is frisked, their body language - everything was looked into for the film," he explained.
Bhandarkar also visited "three jails for the movie, namely Thane Jail in Mumbai, Yerawada Jail in Pune and Dehradun Jail" where he "observed the functioning of the whole system".
"I also took Neil with me to Thane jail. All the jail authorities cooperated with us considering the kind of information we got from them," said Bhandarkar.
But won't his cinematic revelation disturb the authorities and the inmates?
"Though Jail is 70 percent fact and 30 percent fiction, it is not judgmental. I am not giving any message with the film; neither am I saying that the authorities or the inmates are right or wrong. The film shows the point of view of a lot of people through Neil's character," he said.
(Robin Bansal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)