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Last Updated 20.10.2020 | 2:54 PM IST
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Do the censors underestimate audience’s intelligence?

Bollywood News


The process of making and releasing films is quite fascinating! While movie goers across the country only care about how entertaining and engaging the release of the week is, it is quite interesting to hop across to the other side and understand the process that goes behind making a film and putting it out at the cinemas for millions of people to make a choice around! A cog in the wheel that works in the process is getting the film cleared by the censor board and at times, from a few more entities that are as relevant as the CBFC, irrespective of their official standing! Here's a look at how things work -


1) Things get rolling when a script writer / film maker comes up with an interesting story.

2) The story is pitched to a producer or studio that comes on board to pump in the money that is required to make the film. The director and the producer / studio then approach actors & technicians such as cinematographers, editors, choreographers, and musicians etc to work on the film.

3) Once they are all in place, the shoot of the film commences and is completed in a few months. Aspects such as post production work, marketing and distribution kick in then.

4) Somewhere in the midst of all this, the film is certified by a government authorised body that is supposed to decide who can watch the film and who cannot and in some scenarios, suggest (and ensure) cuts and 'beeping' of some dialogues!

5) With that done, the film is rolled out for the audience, which can choose to salute it or slam it at the box office!

While that is how things work the world over, the process has a few extra aspects in India!


1) Things get rolling when a script writer / film maker comes up with an interesting story.

2) The story is pitched to a producer or studio that comes on board to pump in the money that is required to make the film. The director and the producer / studio then approach actors & technicians such as cinematographers, editors, choreographers, and musicians etc to work on the film.

3) Once they are all in place, the shoot of the film commences and is completed in a few months. Aspects such as post production work, marketing and distribution kick in then.

4) Somewhere in the midst of all this, the film is censored / certified by a government authorised body that is supposed to decide who can watch the film and who cannot and in some scenarios, suggest (and ensure) cuts and 'beeping' some dialogues!

5) The film, based on its theme, storyline, title, background of the characters in the story, history of the film maker or actors associated with the film etc comes under scrutiny by objecting (read threatening) political, religious, social organizations and is 're-censored' or completely disallowed from being screened!

6) A set of trial shows are arranged for eminent film critics & the latest one to join the pack - Mr. Arvind Kejriwal (the most popular of them among film makers of late for his 'MUST WATCH' remarks on every second film, even though he can help the fraternity a lot more by rolling back the hike in entertainment tax in the capital), so that they can tweet and post their opinions on the film, which would hopefully influence the audience into watching the film at the cinema halls.

7) With that done (hopefully), the film is rolled out for the audience, which can choose to salute it or slam it at the box office!

8) If the film is screened at cinemas despite the objection of the entities mentioned in point 5, police protection is sought at cinema halls across the country to attempt saving the


properties (which have NOTHING to do with the content of the film) from being ransacked, vandalised and damaged!


While all of us in the Indian film fraternity are used to the additional aspects in the process by now, one thing that I fail to understand is the seriousness with which the Censor Board of Film Certification is run! Or rather, the purpose of the censor board in the first place.


The Censor Board Of Film 'CERTIFICATION' is meant to decide which film is appropriate for viewing by what sort of an audience and not try to push its name into the opening credits of every Anurag Kashyap movie as the 'additional / associate editor'! It would be interesting to conduct a survey to find out how many smokers have given up smoking after watching how Mukesh (we all know him now, don't we?) died due to cancer! Or rather, how many people have started or stopped using abusive language, having sex etc. courtesy the influence of the films that are only meant to entertain? If Lage Raho Munnabhai has not been able to turn India into a nation full of people who will find a peaceful solution to things, Gangs Of Wasseypur will certainly not get all of us to address each other as B&#?(#0d… M@!)@%#&/d… B#@$!)!%e...! At best, people will copy 'bhai ki hair ishtyle' from Tere Naam or put on the 'COOL' locket that SRK sports in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai!


Let's give our audiences credit for having the intelligence and discretion to decide what they want to watch rather than turning what film makers create into what a body of CBFC members think is appropriate for people! If the film is outrageously offending and can cause unrest and problems, let the courts take a decision on whether they ought to be released and if so, in what manner! The more important issue that the censor board needs to address is that of its validity & authority in the context of its word being upheld in these times! If a film has been certified and passed by the CBFC (which is a Government backed and authorized body) the only entity that ought to have the authority to stop it from playing at cinemas across the country is the court! Not taking serious action against any person or organization that violently or otherwise attempts to disrupt the screening of a film after its certification is a way of conveying to them that the CBFC's word (thus implying - the Government's stand) does not have to be taken seriously and can be over ruled by issuing threats or using violence!


I truly hope that the Censor board sets its priorities right to reinstate its position as an important and authoritative body that does what is required of it in a country like India rather than forcing guidelines upon film makers & tampering with their work of creativity to keep itself relevant!


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