xXx: CBFC’s leaked list of cuts reveals they censored Vin Diesel drinking soda | hollywood | Hindustan Times
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xXx: CBFC’s leaked list of cuts reveals they censored Vin Diesel drinking soda

A leaked list of cuts made to Vin Diesel-Deepika Padukone starrer xXx: Return of Xander Cage reveals how the CBFC censored a scene in which Xander drinks cranberry juice and club soda.

hollywood Updated: Jan 21, 2017 14:32 IST
HT Correspondent
xXx: Return of Xander Cage released in India on January 14.
xXx: Return of Xander Cage released in India on January 14.

The bizarre state of Indian film censorship has been discussed endlessly already, but a terrific new interview with Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani published by Birth.Movies.Death, has sent the debate down even stranger roads.

Siddhant Adlakha sat down with Nihalani to discuss censorship in India, and he came armed with a leaked certificate for the recent Vin Diesel-Deepika Padukone action movie xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

While the interview itself sheds great insight into the inner working of the CBFC, it’s almost unbelievable as to how the body shackles producers into agreeing with their rulings often based on a complete misreading of the film they are watching. In Adlakha’s own words, it was ‘by far the weirdest interview I’ve conducted’.

Before we begin, here is page 2 of the xXx: Return of Xander Cage censor certificate.

What we usually see in theatres before the movie begins is page 1, which carries the final rating and the film’s duration, etc. But page 2 is where the cuts ‘recommended’ by the CBFC are specified. Nihalani says that this is available to view to the public, but only a year after the film’s release, effectively removing all possibility of any public protest.

If you look closely, you can see that the CBFC has cleared the film with a UA rating, but with 4 specific changes.

The smoking disclaimer is routine, but the 3 other cuts are where the problem lies. The words ‘a$$#**e, son of a b***h, b@!!s, and even baller (which is not even a swear word) have been asked to be removed.

Then there is the matter of ‘the visuals of girls lying on the bed’ which, if you’ve seen the film, you’d remember from the scene after the one in which it is implied that Vin Diesel’s Xander Cage goes to bed with at least half-a-dozen ladies. The scene in question did not involve any nudity, and yet it was forced out.

But what takes the cake is the final cut, which, according to the certificate, was ‘visuals of girl pouring liquor’. Now, there aren’t too many scenes in which characters drink alcohol in this movie, and this is made all the more bizarre for the fact that Xander Cage doesn’t drink, and the film gets this point across hard.

What the movie also makes clear, specifically in the scene in question, is that the ‘girl’ isn’t pouring ‘liquor’ but cranberry juice and club soda instead. When Adlakha points this out, Nihalani loses his temper and says ‘I have not seen the film, so I can’t discuss it.’

He keeps repeating that ‘when it has been cut, the producer has agreed. So he knows the thing, otherwise he would’ve gone (to appeal)’, thereby putting the filmmakers in a situation that leaves them no option but to comply, or else, take their chances with the courts.

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