Mahira Khan posts Verna disclaimer: This film is imaginary, for reality is too bitter to be shown

Mahira Khan’s ‘disclaimer’ for her controversy-hit film Verna is as true for India. Deepika Padukone’s Padmavati is a case in point.

bollywood Updated: Nov 24, 2017 15:39 IST
Mahira Khan,Verna,Deepika Padukone
Mahira Khan’s Verna was refused certification by Pakistan censor board initially. The film was cleared only a few hours before release.

Days after Mahira Khan-starrer Verna made its way to theatres after a long battle with Pakistan’s censor board, the actor shared a cryptic tweet on the subject. Sharing a ‘disclaimer’ before Verna, Mahira wrote, “Everything in this film is imaginary. Imaginary because the reality is too bitter to be told or shown. Events shown in this film are jokes compared to what has been happening in countries like ours.” She also wrote, “This is the disclaimer before #verna starts.”

Verna was first refused certification by the Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) because of its “mature themes” and “edgy content”. However, as it was pointed out in the outcry that ensued that the film was really denied certification as it showed the governor’s son as a rapist and how politicians at all levels are complicit in corruption and hushing up the case.

The refusal inspired a Twitter campaign under the hashtag #UnbanVerna, which emerged as Pakistan’s own #MeToo movement. Among those who backed the film was Deepika Padukone who is facing a far more intense backlash over Padmavati, based on a 16th-century poem about a mythical Indian queen. Padmavati has been deferred after massive protests and some Indian states have already banned it. Right wing groups have announced a bounty on the head of the actor and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and have vowed the film will not be allowed to release for allegedly “distorting history”. The makers have refuted these claims but to no avail.

Speaking at a press conference, Deepika said, “Sad that a small section of people do not understand the power of cinema and what it can do to the world.” Later, Mahira echoed the thoughts in a tweet, “Tonight I realize how powerful artists are, not those in power. We are. Why else do we get banned? Why else do our films pose a threat to them? In this game of power - we will always win.”

Verna was cleared for release a few hours before its release. The disclaimer, however, is as much a mirror to the society -- on both sides of the border -- as the film is.

First Published: Nov 24, 2017 13:43 IST