Listen to Pahlaj Nihalani defend Julie 2, his ‘adult family film’ with no burkha in it
Controversial ex-chief of the CBFC, Pahlaj Nihalani, defended his decision to ‘present’ the upcoming erotic film, Julie 2, starring Raai Laxmi. He called it an ‘adult family film’.Updated: Sep 05, 2017 12:12 IST
The most attention grabbing thing about the full page advertisements of Julie 2, which were run in leading national dailies on Monday, wasn’t the sight of bikini-clad Raai Laxmi was lounging on a beach, but the words in the top left corner - “Presented by Pahlaj Nihalani”.
The controversial ex-chief of the Central Board of Film Certification - whose tenure’s overpowering takeaway was his love for ‘sanskaar’ - had decided that he was the man for the job when it came to bringing the “bold, beautiful and blessed” erotic film to the world.
He defended this decision in a press conference (via Scroll) held on Monday. Also in attendance were star Raai Laxmi, who until recently was known as Laxmi Rai, and director Deepak Shivdasani.
“You might all be wondering why I started off distribution with Julie 2 of all the films,” said Nihalani, the man who refused to grant a certificate to Lipstick Under My Burkha for being too ‘lady oriented’. “People might think how I can be back with such a film even after being a sanskari. You all are looking at the film from the point of view of an erotic film. But every film has its own framework and its own ideas. When I listened to the story of Julie 2 in its initial stages, I found it to be very interesting as it is an inside-the-industry story.”
Always on the defensive, Nihalani, referring to Julie 2 being described as a “woman’s fantasy” said, “I know what you are referring to and all I would like to say is that there is no ‘burkha’ here.”
“It does not have scenes of obscenity or vulgarity and is a completely adult family film,” Nihalani, who refused to allow the word ‘intercourse’ in the recent Shah Rukh Khan movie Jab Harry Met Sejal, said.
“I am grateful that I am associated with this film,” he said about a movie which is a sequel to a 2004 film in which Neha Dhupia’s character - also called Julie - deals with a breakup by becoming a professional call girl.
Calling himself a “soldier” Nihalani said he will stand by the CBFC’s decision when it comes to his own films. “Whatever decision the CBFC gives on Julie 2, I will accept it.”
Nihalani, who made a grotesque short film in support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, managed to steer a conversation about an erotic movie to the PM Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. “Every human being cleans his own house and not his entire country or neighborhood,” Nihalani said “But now that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has started, it dawns on people’s minds that they should keep the entire country clean. Likewise I have always thought that one’s mind should always be clean, no matter what. And films are nothing but mirrors of the society. This is why we should show audience-appropriate content.”
Julie 2, it should be noted, isn’t Nihalani’s first brush with suggestive material. He had a hand in several ‘90s films which featured double entendres in the lyrics of their songs. The most infamous of which is Anil Kapoor singing ‘khada hai’ in the film, Andaz.
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