After years of warring it out with the censor board over various issues, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap finally made peace with them last week.
Yes, thanks to the timely intervention of Pahlaj Nihalani, the chairperson of the Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC), one of the harshest critics of the censoring process Anurag Kashyap has made peace with the censor board.
According to reliable sources within the CBFC, the chairperson not only agreed to set up a Revising Committee out of queue for Kashyap's Bombay Velvet to ensure the film's release is not released, he also made suggestions as to how the film could be cut so that it could be accessible to audiences of all ages.
Says a source from the CBFC, "Anurag Kashyap was very keen that his Bombay Velvet gets a 'UA' certificate. But given the volatile content, including violent shoot-outs, abusive language and smooching scenes the 'UA' certification seemed untenable. Pahlajji made suggestions for the cuts .These were incorporated. The Revision Committee passed the film with a 'UA' certificate within no time."
When contacted Pahlaj Nihalani says, "The way a film is certified is an internal matter. I am shocked at how details of individual's films' certification along with cuts are leaked out in the public domain before a film is properly certified. Yes, Anurag was at the censor board certificate. The film was viewed by the Revision Committee and cleared within minutes."
The censor chief is surprised by reports that there was much drama over the Revision Committee's decision. "Sorry to disappoint the thrill-seekers, but it was all smooth-sailing and stress-free. In fact Anurag got his certificate within minutes. I also read in a section of the media that some censor board members were 'annoyed' by my intervention. Who are these sensitive souls suffering because I am doing my duty?"
Mr Nihalani stresses there was no stress. "We are here to certify films according to individual needs. Bombay Velvet contains violent content. But it can't be helped. It's a film about crime. We have allowed the violence. We advised a few cuts that made no difference to the narrative. Anurag seemed happy. If that makes some of my CBFC members unhappy then I suggest they look for drama in the films that they see and not in real life."
Anurag Kashyap who earlier had numerous fierce skirmishes over censor cuts in his films, admitted his tryst with the CBFC on this occasion was peaceful.
Says Kashyap, "The Revising Committee headed by Mr Pahlaj Nihalani gave us time and space to go back on the editing table and re-cut the material that was objectionable to a 'UA' certification. By doing so, we ensured that the film doesn't look brutalized by the censors and the narrative is not altered. I am thankful to the censor board for that."