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Impact of new censor guidelines on film making business

August 18, 2010 04:57:13 PM IST
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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Dev Anand in his book 'Romancing With Life' had narrated the harrowing experience that he had while making his film CENSOR, and with the kinds of cuts suggested by the Censor Board the film lost its spirit and bombed at the box office. Indeed for the filmmakers, after completion of the film the process of getting a censor certificate is one of the most pregnant pauses that has to be endured as the outcome is uncertain.

The sanitized ambience that sensor boards try to advocate does not allow cinema to experiment as any new experiment is scoffed at if it is against the moral norms of the society, be it on-screen kissing or love making or gory violence, it is altogether a different matter that it has become an integral part of the fare being dished out through various television channels. Censor board does not like mavericks on the screen and is more concerned about reforming him through the end of the film, though it may not be the part of the script.

While films like DEV D, LOVE SEX AND DHOKA or MANORAMA SIX FEET UNDER have challenged the conventional thinking about film making normally the Indian film maker is not inclined to be audacious in his attempt to explore the journey from childhood to adulthood as it is done all over the world. Is it the pressure of the censors, or the fact that in India as the business of movie going is a family affair, if the film gets an adult audience its fate is doomed at the box office.
May be the time has arrived that the film maker gets out of this time warp, as Censor board is now trying to introduce two new categories of certification on being for those above 12 years, and other for those above 15 years. As it is, the same kind of censorship is not applicable when the DVDs, and VCDs of the movie are out and everybody sees it.

The belief of censors about the morality and the stand taken by the courts was apparent through BANDIT QUEEN, which is the only film that was cleared by Supreme Court as censors did not feel it worth screening.

Moral of the story is that the film makers should attempt more audacious and scandalizing subjects that could shake the authorities out of their moral positioning and facilitate emergence of Indian cinema as beacon of the changing society's norms. When the new directions are being issued, it also needs to be factored in that the so-called morality brigade or self-proclaimed censoring authorities are also reigned in, only then can cinema survive as the really creative medium.

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