Certainly, story and drama create an innate connect within people towards something. Nothing can serve a better example than the unreleased movie ‘Udta Punjab’.
How enthusiastically our national media and social networking sites took to the controversy – A mere release of a movie! Restriction of portrayal of certain things in the movie began being equated to loss of freedom of speech and expression. Naive it is. Naive they are.
All they did was contribute to the film’s unpaid advertisement a.k.a publicity, thereby helping the filmmakers! There were so many other national affairs happening over this period like the revision of the repo rate, our PM’s address in the US Parliament and the like. People hardly paid any attention to these issues which hold importance in our daily lives. Was such extraordinary attention to the release of a movie solicited? Can Bollywood form such an essential part of people’s lives? Could public be so desperate to watch a 120 minutes or so long video?
Even the politicians, (Oh my mistake! ‘Even the politicians’ could be a wrong usage as they seldom miss such an opportunity of hurling ignoble potshots on each other) rather ‘The politicians’ also jauntily used this as a bait to heckle one another. How ridiculously Pahlaj Nihalani, Central Board of Film Certification’s Chairperson, accused the filmmaker, Anurag Kashyap, to be an Aam Aadmi Party agent who took money from the party to showcase Punjab in a bad light. And the immaturity of AAP to have shot back saying that the former is a BJP agent. Man! Indian politics and the gimmicks of its representatives. To remind you – All this for the mere release of a movie.
Then comes the Master of all that we see on the Silver screen in our country, CBFC (the purported Censor Board!) – How on earth could the release of a movie censuring drug abuse indirectly in a state augment the already aggravated situation? Has drama ever been able to create such a strong and lasting effect among people? Would expunging the name of the state and other expletives from the movie not make us identify the province being talked of? Don’t we already know that Punjab is a hotspot of drug trade and abuse? Or could the release of thecensored version create a difference, if any? How would ’89 cuts’ make a movie still remain a movie or depict what it originally attempted to convey (giggle! I beg your pardon, couldn’t help this.)?
The CBFC made all attempts to prevent this film from bringing Punjab’s faulty image to the fore so as to help the beneficiaries of this illegal system and also the contenders of State Assembly Elections in Punjab which are to take place in less than a year. The ones caught red-handed in the drug trade are insisting for its release in full spirit, like Punjab’s Revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia (evidently! What could have served as a better means to un-tarnish their dark images). Punjab Government’s stake in this drug mechanism demands interest – The manner in which it took the avatar of its mute maestro Manmohan Singh (or as lovingly said, Maun-Mohan Singh!). The entire country had been talking about a movie made on this state and it enunciated as little as possible on it. Laudable.
But the Bombay High Court’s verdict of cutting only 1 scene (in which the actor Shahid Kapoor, cast as a Rockstar, was urinating – Like Aamir Khan starring PK did not have such a scene!) and approving the unleashing of the movie with an ‘A’ rate (gentry below 18 years of age will learn about delinquencies, you know!) is commendable. We do hope that as announced by the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley, changes are brought to the Film Certification process and films are certified and not censored (and not banned too baselessly!). We expect that from the near future onwards, we get to watch movies as made primarily with the original ingredients in an unadulterated form.
At the end of the day, we are Indians and Masala is all we ultimately mushroom. Perhaps, non-avoidance of such trivia is inevitable (see, even I could not ignore it!)
P.S. – This movie is going to get a grand opening on the 17th. Thanks to us!