Off late, the various period films have often faced problems of extreme proportions. Two years ago, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat was marred with controversies and protests and it failed to get a release in as many as four states. Then last month, Ashutosh Gowariker’s Panipat too got into a controversy over the depiction of a character in the film. It led to tensions in Rajasthan and many theatres stopped screening over the film, fearing violence and vandalism. Finally, the makers had to remove the controversial references from the film and only then did the protests stop.
This week will see the release of another historical, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior. Starring Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan, it tells the story of a brave Maratha warrior battling a Rajput in the army of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. When the film was given to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), they realized that a few dialogues and visuals can cause problems. A source reveals, “The CBFC has made multiple edits. In a scene, Udaybhan, the character played by Saif Ali Khan, says ‘aur main sirf ek Rajput’. The word ‘Rajput’ was removed and replaced. They also removed the words ‘goli’, ‘naukrani’ and ‘neecha khoon tha tu’, considering the context in which these were said. Moreover, there’s a scene where Udaybhan is shown killing his own mother. It’s a brief sequence and CBFC got the visuals and dialogue of this said scene edited. Apart from that, a dialogue uttered by Udaybhan seemed like an innuendo. Saif Ali Khan redubbed for this scene so that it doesn’t sound double meaning.”
The CBFC then ensured that the disclaimers are in place. The source tells, “There are multiple disclaimers in the beginning of the film regarding animal cruelty and use of CG graphics in the film and also that the makers don’t support child marriage. To avoid problems, the CBFC also asked the makers for two more clarification disclaimers. One says that the word ‘Maratha’ used in the film doesn’t refer to the Maratha community but is used to refer to the soldiers in the army of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Lastly, the CBFC recommended that another slate be added the makes it clear that Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is a fictionalized representation inspired by the life of Tanhaji Malusare. This disclaimer will be displayed for 30 seconds and will also mention the historical consulted by the makers for research.”
The source signs off by saying, “Thankfully, these are minor deletions and don’t affect the flow of the film. Also, the action of the film has been spared. Though it’s a war drama and that too in 3D, the violence is not gory or disturbing. Hence, not a single visual cut was done by CBFC in the dramatic battle sequences.”
Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior was passed with a U/A certificate on January 3. The total length of the film is 2 hours 14 minutes. It releases on January 10.