Tag: CBFC

Effective Strategies to Watch Padmaavat Without Getting Killed

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama Padmaavat is finally cleared by the CBFC and the Supreme Court, and is now slated to release on 25 January 2018. But, there are still some zealots out there who may prevent you from watching it.

So here are a few strategies to adopt so that you can enjoy the film and at the same time be prepared should a sword catch you off guard. There’s a high chance that your viewing will be interrupted by machete-wielding attackers, so if you care for your life, read and adopt these strategies.

I have never been so apprehensive about going for a movie before, and if it’s not an indication to the rising extremism in the country, then I do not know what it is.

Anyways, without further ado, here you go:

  • Book the movie ticket at the box office. This way you can gauge the situation and see if there are any religious extremists keeping a close eye on the patrons. If there are, don’t think twice. Go to the next theater in the next state
    • Don’t pre-book on BookMyShow as you can never know if they’ll cancel the show at the last minute, or if they are tracking who all are booking the tickets so that they can finish you before you leave your house
  • Book a movie ticket for PadMan and then, when you don’t see any danger, enter the screen that is showing Padmaavat. Unfortunately, your money will not reach the Bhansali crew
    • Or book a ticket for films like Nirdosh or Vodka Diaries that are definitely going to bomb at the box office. At least the artists of these films will get paid
  • When booking the ticket, don’t focus on comfort, and instead reserve a seat that is closer to the EXIT door. This way if they come to get you, you can run for the door quickly.
    • The one problem with this is that some cinema halls have ENTRY and EXIT doors adjacent to each other. If this is the case, you are screwed
  • Carry the holy book of those people
  • When entering theater, avoid the water flask and carry a pepper spray or a mace
  • Ask one of your religious friends to accompany you so that when push comes to shove, your friend can at least talk to them in their language using religious annotations. This will not work if the sword reaches your throat first
  • Apply for a job as an usher at your nearby theater right now and enjoy Padmavaat not as a patron but as an employee. Danger still exists here, but you at least know where to hide when they come
  • Observe them as they have appeared in the news in the past few weeks and mimic their dressing style when going to the theater. When terror breaks in, take their side, but don’t kill anybody
  • Choose a movie theater that is isolated. Chances of them going there to kill movie-watchers is low as compared to them going to popular locations. If not anything, these folks care much for publicity
  • Wait for a day or two and then head to The Pirate Bay.

 

There you have it. The best possible strategies to watch Padmavaat on or around 25 January. I usually don’t say this, but if you are really planning to go, it won’t hurt to be a little alert at all times. For all you know, the sword may be sitting waiting for blood in the bag of the person you came in with.

And if you don’t already do it, don’t go in until after they have played the anthem.

At The Movies With My Future Son

The year is 2025.

My wife has ditched me and instead gone to a girls-only party. A fanatic movie enthusiast that I am, I took my ten-year old son to the movies. Since 2015, I have never heard an offensive/objectionable word in a film, nor have I witnessed any glorification of bloodshed (a feature I instead witness daily at my home during the frequent, high-intensity fights with my wife) in them. For nudity, I often turn to my wife and she to me. Let me not talk about our extra marital affairs. Porn in the internet has lost its glory. The Indian government has banned my favorite websites, and the few ones that have the capability to run a proxy server demand my credit card details. To be precise, going to the movies is like going to an exhibition which displays everything polished, with fiction. Realism is nowhere to be found.

The film was a 90-minute crime drama titled “In The Glory.” I didn’t mind taking my pre-teen son for a crime drama movie, thanks to the responsible CBFC. I had grown much fond of the censor board for thoroughly regulating the films that these imbecile producers throw at us, and in fact, had even led me to follow their scrupulous way of handling things in the complex modern world. Once I even pulled off a Pahlaj Nihalani on my work group: what I did was slashed the salaries of all my juniors and then blamed it on my seniors, of which there were none. I told them, with the tongue firmly on my cheek, “This was not my decision. I have merely slashed your fat salaries on the command of our company Board which I also happen to be the Chairperson of. You will have to manage with this because, all this time you all have easily gotten away with a lot of objectionable behaviour by bending the guidelines. I cannot allow this anymore.”

The following is part of a duologue that occurred just seconds after we left the theater hall.

Tejas: So, what do you think? How was it?
Tejas Jr.: The hero’s intentions were not clear. What was he trying to say?
Tejas: I think he wanted to avenge the death of his virgin girlfriend. So he traces her murderer.
Tejas Jr.: Eh? Wait, what? What does a virgin mean? Besides, they never told us she was murdered.
Tejas: Virgin means a person who has never had an intercourse. I learned that when I was a child like you. I had gone to watch a romantic movie with my girlfriend. When this word was mentioned in the film with a proper but vulgar definition, I asked my girlfriend whether she was one? I never saw her again.
Tejas Jr.: You had a girlfriend?
I dismissed it to be a rhetoric question.
Tejas: The montage where they pixelated the body of his girlfriend clearly told us that she was murdered.
Tejas Jr.: Wrong! That montage was a fantasy-led dream the boy had after a date with her. Also, there was no blood.
Tejas: Oh please! We are not supposed to see blood or nudity. It is against our culture. I believe you did not get the message the movie wanted to convey.
Tejas Jr.: Oh yeah? You think you understood the movie?
Tejas: I understood it very well. I had seen it back in 2015 when it was known as Badlapur. This is estimately the 6300th film on the topic of revenge.
Tejas Jr.: Nonsense! Your puny mind has been exposed to too much violence, cuss words, and bloodshed through films. I cannot help it, and it will be few more years until you totally acclimatize yourself with the safe movies of our generation.
Tejas: Okay, okay. There is no need to shout. Just tell me, what do you think was the movie about?
Tejas Jr.: The movie was a safe drama about crime. Although, I still cannot figure out why it got an A certificate.
Tejas: Back in my time, this movie would have been banned.
Tejas Jr.: Why?
Tejas: Because, few minutes after the beginning credits, for a split-second, when the heroine adjusted her tee-shirt, I could see a part of her neck’s skin. Remember the time I shut your eyes with my palm? Beta, it is not safe for us to watch even a tad bit of nudity in films. It is against our culture, the great Indian culture.

As a film enthusiast, I am strongly against the latest guidelines that the CBFC has laid out, limiting the art of cinema as a craft. It does not make any sense in regulating a film’s language given that it is the most essential part of a motion picture. A film, with its story and themes, cannot stand as an art by itself if some of its integral parts are pruned off. Many National award winning films in the past have had to use strong language to convey a particular theme to its audience, and now, if the censor board members are going to behave like overprotective parents, then clearly there is no hope for growth in Indian cinema. Internationally, Indian celluloid will hold no respect. India is currently regarded a developed nation, and it should start following other free-world countries. USA, Australia, and even the UK have a peer-based review system when it comes to arts. And they rarely regulate a film based on sex and nudity. If they did, Lars von Trier would better shift to catering. So, why can’t India, where more than five hundred movies release in a year, have one? Yes, India’s folklore is a lot different from other countries, but limiting a film’s essential factors will only mean that the film will be less authentic. It directly threatens creativity.

This latest attempt of purging objectionable content from films is as nonsensical and immature as it sounds. Even though the idea that “if you don’t like it, don’t watch it” does not hold much strength, regulating language, nudity, sex, bloodshed, and other offensive materials will only mock the art of cinema. Indian cinema, which has braved so many things in the past, should not submit to the guidelines of a board which has lately been showing traits of fascism.

WATCH a countdown of the 15 Best Hindi Movies of 2015!

CBFC should be dissolved, and then will I even think of watching Fifty Shades of Grey in an Indian theater. That is, if I am even slightly impressed by the book, why, which I wonder, was not banned in the first place.

Ban On PK Will Be Murder Of Creativity

Just before the beginning of this millennium, Deepa Mehta struggled with the release of her first instalment in the Elements trilogy, Fire (1996) as some Hindutva bullies said its homosexual themes and adultery are against Indian culture and tradition. In the previous decade, at least one film per year had been deemed unfit by India’s callow Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC). While the board consists of a bunch of worst film critics in the world, the damage is borne by the filmmakers alone. But when a film which has been widely released and then deemed unfit by self-appointed censors, it marks a point in history which we can lavishly term as the “murder of creativity.” Only difference: here the damage is shared by the audience.

Rajkumar Hirani’s Aamir Khan-starrer PK is now being considered an anti-religious element as it trashes the idea of God. So they say, the hindutva bullies have the whole plot of the film as a weapon for their cause. While the film has been successfully accepted by audience and critics alike, there is no doubt that it addresses a stark topic that we all seem to have put into saturation for ages now. I, for one, think the film was an average drama that briefly forces its audience to question the religious orientations and practises they follow. The people who are seeking a ban on the film should accept the fact that the film has been widely released and most of the people who watch movies for entertainment and other purposes have seen it. So, their argument is invalid.

While the CBFC has strangely stood in defense of the film, the bullies do not seem to  be retreating. The only thing that can be derived from this adamant behaviour of the bullies is that at a time when free speech is being hugely advocated around the world, a priggish squad can snip it using outdated ideologies. Historically, the power of a faction in general has always been questioned. But when free speech is involved, these factions always seem to defy history. Reason? The topic. When Anurag Kashyap refused to add anti-smoking warnings on his film Ugly (2013), he was threatened with halt of its release. Eventually, he had to give in. Cigarettes and smoking are big topics that are debated around the world, and our government earns a lot from its business. Similarly, PK is related to religion and deities, which is even bigger and an object of a highly lucrative business worldwide.

This means that when creativity slithers out of its box and touches topics like religion, its span is numbered. And if it somehow manages to stay, it is murdered, to both dissolve its influence and create and drop another example in the ocean. Creativity cannot grow if it doesn’t influence our surroundings and the way we lead our lives. But this incident will warn some experimenters and then we have to rely on our individual intuitions and imagination to come up with ideas that we unfortunately cannot share. There is no ready solution for this unwarranted censorship which will be cumulative in its process and a grave problem future generations will have to handle. My instincts say they will.