The Eighteenth: Censored, Chopped and Cut

My eight year old brother just came from school and told me that he’d been shown the other half of Krrish 3 today. Apparently, the school had shown the kids the first half on Children’s Day. He came up to me and excitedly narrated the movie and kept harping on the part where a kid asked the villain Kaal, “Kyon, phat gayi?”

I remembered reading about the very same line in the newspapers a couple days before the movie hit the screens. The Censor Board had raised a huge hue and cry about that line and then let it go. This in turn, reminded me of a conversation I heard, well, overheard today on the trains.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ram-Leela finally hit theatres on Friday, after twelve scene cuts, the sensual kissing scene chopped to its bare minimum, dialogue changes and a shit load of censoring and it got a U/A certificate. That meant kids accompanied by their parents could watch the film. Kinda like PG-13.

I remembered being furious at the Censor Board of India. I was feeling very indignant on behalf of SLB. His films are made very aesthetically, even if they’re devoid of a proper plot, (Saawariya – focused heavily on towel dropping; Devdas-the main story got over pretty quickly).

I think the Censor Board should stop treating us like we haven’t been exposed to anything, we’ve seen stuff. We had become bored of the seven long years of saas-bahu drama and switched over to Western TV series. Teenagers everywhere watch shows like Two and A Half Men, Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother, F.R.I.E.N.D.S and plenty more. We’re used to it all – kissing, sex, bad words, you name it we’ve seen it. And, sadly, it’s not necessarily on television. Anyone who’s frequented Bandra or Marine Drive will have seen extensive PDA. And curse words are already a part of our vocabulary, it’s just that we don’t use them a lot and in front of adults.

I understand if you censor the movie for areas that haven’t seen a lot of development or are backward in growth. But, censoring stuff in a city like Mumbai? That’s just plain stupid. How do you expect us to learn unless we know? What, are we supposed to think babies just pop out of the sky or something? We’re supposed to think we shouldn’t talk to guys if we’re girls until we’re married? Seriously, that’s just a confused mentality you have. You want us to develop, but you aren’t letting us either.

While I was having this discussion with my friends on Saturday, one of them remarked, “They should not censor stuff that’s apparently offensive. If you can’t digest it, then sit at home. No one is forcing you watch the stupid film.”

I agree, where is the freedom then? Are we not a Republic country promoting rights of speech, thought and expression? Aren’t movies expressing something? Can’t we just appreciate the movie and the maker’s efforts and decide if it’s good or bad by the plot and other things rather than chopping off kissing scenes and changing dialogues? We call ourselves secular, yet we can’t digest good humor.

The adults need to realize that we aren’t as immaculate as they think we are. The ladies on my train kept saying, “So many bad words, so much violence, they shouldn’t have given it a U/A.” I agree violence is bad for kids, but I don’t see anyone raising their opinion when a father hits his son as punishment? I don’t hear anything when kids watch violent cartoons like Ben 10 or Roll. No 21? What sort of stupid bias is this? Every little curse word from ‘ass’ to the more strong ones are censored on TV with little stars and some parts are just chopped off altogether!

Seriously, we call ourselves developing, but we won’t really be in the societal race unless we give up these age old notions. We know stuff, get over it.

Until next time,

Nia.

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censored
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cannot believe they didn’t release Pitch Perfect in India

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exactly, read this again.
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