Finally, Pak 'allows' Mughal-e-Azam
The classic will be screened 45 years after it became a blockbuster in India.india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 12:24 IST
Forty-five years after it became one of the biggest blockbusters of Indian cinema, the classic Mughal-e-Azam is set to dazzle audiences in Pakistan with censors clearing the film for screening.
The coloured version of Mughal-e-Azam that introduced the movie to a whole new generation of moviegoers in 2004 is the one that will be screened in Pakistan sometime in April-May.
With the Central Board of Film Censors clearing the movie on Saturday, Mughal-e-Azam will be only the fourth Indian movie to be screened in Pakistan. The members of the board viewed the movie twice and decided to pass it without any cuts.
But officials have made it clear that the clearance of the epic was only a one-time waiver and the banon Indian films would remain.
|Forty-five years after it became one of the biggest blockbusters of Indian cinema, the classic Mughal-e-Azam is set to dazzle audiences in Pakistan with censors clearing the film for screening.|
Director K Asif's magnum opus
, which deals with the forbidden love between Mughal Emperor Akbar's son Prince Salim and the courtesan Anarkali, had a long and turbulent production history.
Asif began work on the film in 1944 but its lead actor died two years later and its financier Shiraz Ali then shifted to Pakistan after the Indian subcontinent was partitioned in 1947.
The director resumed work in 1951 with the new cast featuring Dilip Kumar and Madhubala, and then decided in 1959 to re-shoot it in colour. But film distributors lost patience and Asif went on to release it with only a few colour sequences.
In 2004, the full film was digitally coloured and given a Dolby surround soundtrack.
In Pakistan, the film will be distributed by Mandviwalla Entertainment Pvt Ltd of Karachi, a leading distribution firm.
Indian films have been banned in Pakistan since the 1965 war between them. Since then, the only Indian films cleared by the Pakistani censors were Noor Jehan (in 1981), Kashish (in 1982) and Sohni Mahiwal (in 2006).
Akbar Asif, the son of director Asif, had also presented a copy of Mughal-e-Azam to President Pervez Musharraf in December 2004 as a gift.
Recent reports have also suggested that the Indian film Taj Mahal, which stars Pakistani actress Sonia Jehan, the granddaughter of singer Noor Jehan, might also be cleared for screening in the country.
First Published: Feb 15, 2006 12:24 IST