Having bid his role as the CBFC chairperson goodbye, Pahlaj Nihalani is ready to shock the audiences as a producer. His first step back into production post-CBFC is Julie 2, a follow-up to director Deepak Shivdasani’s 2004 film Julie which starred Neha Dhupia as a hooker.
Julie 2 promises to shock purist and probably give the CBFC sleepless nights. Apparently the film deals with the casting couch in Bollywood. Says Nihalani, who is the presenter and all-India distributor of the film, “Julie 2 will shock the nation. It is a true of mirror of what young people have to go through in the film industry and a warning to all youngsters who leave their homes and come to Mumbai from small towns to try their luck in Bollywood. I personally know so many young strugglers who are used and abused.”
Nihalani says young aspirants who are not children of the film industry are sexually exploited in Bollywood. “Children from the film industry are spared for obvious reasons. But young people from outside are not spared. Not only by producers. And it’s not just girls who are exploited. It’s also boys who are sexually exploited not only by producers but casting directors, casting agents and middlemen. Many of these middlemen are actually pimps. They promise roles to boys and girls in exchange of sexual favours on behalf of actors, producers, casting directors.”
Nihalani says sexual exploitation of strugglers is rampant in the entertainment industry. “There is so much sex being thrown around. Julie 2 is about one such exploited struggler played by newcomer Raai Laxmi.”
Now that he is on the other end of the firing line how does Nihalani think his film will be treated by the CBFC? “Well…it IS a film for adults. So I expect an ‘A’ certificate. I would have given it an ‘A’ certificate if it came during tenure as chairperson. As far as sex and nudity goes, it is a film about sexual exploitation and the incidents are true. In fact I know of so many youngsters who are sexually abused in exchange of promised roles. Hasn’t the censor board decided to be liberal? This is their chance to prove it.”