Pyaar Ka Punchnama has been passed by Censors with a U/A certificate and a couple of minor cuts. While this may seem like a reasonable outcome for a film which is made of quite a few naughty jokes and is a little carefree when it comes to flowery language, the makers are not shying away from recounting the trouble they had to go through before the film was eventually passed by the Censors.
“It was as if some of the members out there in the Censor Board committee had made up their minds that they won’t allow my film to release”, says Luv in an anguished tone who had to travel between Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi in a span of 24 hours before he could get the certificate from the Censors.
As per the first time writer-director, it was not an isolated instance of his film being singled out when he approached the Censor board. The trouble had started a couple of months ago itself when a committee looked at the risque promos of the film.
“The first committee passed it with suggestion of a couple of cuts. When I did that and showed it to the revising committee, there were some members out there who started raising objections on some other dialogues from the film. When I objected stating that earlier committee had passed it, they didn’t have any answer. All they said was that there is a difference in opinion and I had to respect what was being suggested. I was like ‘Hello, don’t you guys have some shame in admitting that your own team is not on the same page”, fires away Luv.
No wonder, in his first ever encounter with the certification authority he ended up forming a perception about the Censor board and in the process also some lifelong enemies.
“Ab dushman ban gaye hain toh ban gaye hain, I never troubled anyone out there. I just questioned them on their decision and that too in my own constitutional rights. Ab yeh haq toh mujhse koyi nahi cheen sakta naa? If there are cuts being suggested, I have to be at least told reasons? But nahi, there were some out there who started accusing me of threatening them. Arrey yaar main kyon threat karoonga? I am an outsider”, he says animatedly.
His frustration comes from the fact that when the entire film was being presented for certification during last few weeks, he could clearly see malice against him and his film.
“They just said that the film will get ‘A’ certificate. Can you believe the reasons that they give? They said that things like live-in relationship couldn’t be shown in the film. I was flabbergasted. Come on, it is not illegal in our country and we have not explored anything that leads to skin show. Then they objected to a kissing scene which by the way is a simple peck where a couple happily cuddling with each other. It is such a cute scene but they asked me to reduce it by half. I guess there are a bunch of no-gooders sitting out there. How can a film become U/A from ‘A’ if a kissing scene goes down from say 60 seconds to 30 seconds”, he questions.
Resultantly, he had to take the film to Chennai and show the film to Censor Board Chief Leela Samson who was happy with what she saw and willingly gave a go-ahead for a U/A certificate while suggesting a couple of minor cuts. Though the makers still felt that there was room for argument, they were happy with the fact that the Chief was patient enough with them and also a reasonable person to talk to. With just a couple of days remaining for the film’s release, they agreed to what was being offered and gladly put together the final print in place.
While Luv is happy that he can now concentrate on the last leg of the film’s promotion, he isn’t willing to wave goodbye before making his final statement.
“Ye sab isliye hua because we were not as big as a Yash Chopra or Aamir Khan. Wahan Censors never create such a fuss. A film like Luv Ka The End gets a U/A certificate easily despite dialogues like ‘I am going to have his balls’ or situations where having sex with a virgin fetches you 1000 points”.
He continues to fire away, “A Delhi Belly can have a song like ‘Bhaag DK Bose‘ and that’s cool with them as well. Here in my film I am just having some harmless humour and that too by having the kind of language that all us Indians can so easily relate to. But nahi, hum hi kuch galat kar rahe hain. Kya double standards hain, seriously! Woh kare toh theek, main karoon toh saala character dheela hai!”