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Bollywood beats the censors

 | July 16, 2012

Moviemakers have found a novel method to exhibit adult content without the Censor Board’s interference.


India is notorious for its wily ways of finding a loophole to beat every law. Now, Bollywood has taken this cue, and quite seriously.

With the Censor Board often playing spoilsport to a filmmaker’s artistic creation and aspiration, producers and directors have now begun to devise ways of going around the law.

In what is considered as Bollywood’s boldest phase in history, moviemakers have found a novel method to exhibit adult content without the Censor Board’s interference.

Unedited and uncensored versions of a film are being floated on line, and they usually include trailers and songs.

Recently, when well-known producer Ekta Kapoor’s forthcoming sex comedy, Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum, was given a screening certificate after several cuts, she retained the original, uncut edition of her movie and uploaded it on line. It just went viral and crazy.

Kapoor quipped: “We have a sanitised, boring promo in the theatre for the ones who will be seeing Bol Bachchan. But I want to show the real promo to everyone, so that’s going online! I will create as much buzz as I can for the film because I can’t fight the law, I can work around it.”

She wanted viewers to have the right to decide whether the edited/censored parts were vulgar or naughty or plain simple funny. The initial response to her online peek has been amazing. It garnered 522,500 hits on YouTube.

Somehow, I have always felt that the Indian Censor Board pre-judges audience response. It has never been able to come to terms with the fact that in this day and age – when just about everything, including pornography, is just a click away – Indians are mature enough to watch sex on the screen. Leave alone this, they are considered unsuitable to watch even a kiss!

While the Censor Board acts coy with sex, it is most liberal when it comes to violence. Often, the brutality and sadism which one can freely watch in a movie is repulsive.

Stylistic portrayal of blood gushing out of a body can churn anyone’s stomach. I have watched sequences where limbs flew, heads rolled on the ground and knives pierced the chest. The sensation can be sickening.

If violence is permitted, vulgarity too is. Some of the most distasteful scenes pertain to the so-called “item numbers”. Once, vamps did these. Now, top heroines do them. Scantily clad women dance to raunchy numbers thrusting their pelvis and heaving their breasts. All these go past the Censors.

What do not are clean fun, clean sex and clean passion. What also get scissored are naughty jokes which are really not vulgar, and harmless conversations of tease and taunt.

So, in short, violence and vulgarity are in. Sex is not. How hypocritical.

Gautaman Bhaskaran is a Chennai-India based author, columnist and film critic, and can be contacted at [email protected] He is an FMT columnist.


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