Pati Patni Aur Woh director on muting rape line: ‘In one film someone says balatkaar 36 times and everyone was laughing’
Filmmaker Mudassar Aziz isn’t pleased that he had to “mute” a controversial dialogue that apparently made light of marital rape from his upcoming movie Pati Patni Aur Woh and the director on Thursday said this is not a solution to such a serious issue. The trailer of the film drew flak on social media for the sequence where Kartik Aaryan, who plays the lead in the film, rants about feeling sex deprived to a friend (Aparshakti Khurana) and says, when a husband asks for sex, he becomes a beggar and if a husband tricks his wife into sex, he is a rapist (balatkaari).
Many called out the actor and the director for poking fun at marital rape. In the wake of the outrage, the makers decided mute the word “balatkaari”, something Aziz said is “unfortunate”. He said while the word has been removed from the film, the intention of using it was never to make fun of marital rape.
“It was very unfortunate that the word ‘balatkaar’ has had to be replaced. It is unfortunate because I maintain my stand that a 12 year old needs to know what rape is.
“The act is wrong, but if you are not going to talk about it, if they aren’t going to know what the term stands for, you’re going to be a generation that’s unaware. Don’t stop the word, stop the act,” the director said in a group interview.
Aziz also questioned the duality in people’s opinion as he recalled people laughing aloud over a similar dialogue in Aamir Khan’s 2009 film, 3 Idiots. “By muting that word, you’re not getting anything. What sort of double standard is it that in one film (3 Idiots) a person reads ‘balatkaar’ 36 times from a letter and everyone was laughing,” the director argued.
The filmmaker said, in the age of social media, people have become “finger happy” as they don’t try to understand the context of something before commenting on it.
“Centuries ago, people who had easy access to guns and went about firing it were called ‘trigger happy’. Now, we are in a ‘finger happy’ generation which doesn’t waste a single second in putting out an opinion on something that one hasn’t entirely seen or don’t know the full context. I make films for people and I want them to react after watching it.” The director said he has made a “progressive” film, something he believes the audiences will also understand when they watch it.
“Everyone who thought this was adult humour or thought I was sympathising or empathising with the idea of marital rape is going to be rudely shocked. The woman in this film takes the man apart. It’s a progressive film.” Aziz said though it is fair for one to feel outraged and express opinions over a piece of art, it should not necessarily compel the artiste to make changes to it.
“It’s a free country. It can’t be that I ask you to let me use the word ‘balatkaar’ but at the same time put forth a condition that no one should react on it. I’m saying let both the ways be open - neither remove my dialogue nor I’m shutting down your reaction.
“You react, let me use the dialogue and with that a necessary speech will be created... Nobody is making light of this situation, but if you’re not going to talk about it, you’re never going to come out from the woods,” he added.
Pati Patni Aur Woh, which also features Bhumi Pednekar and Ananya Panday, is scheduled to be released on December 6.
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