Ketan Mehta is known to make bold films and his latest film RANG RASIYA is no different. The film that has been delayed for over five years now, is finally up for a release this week.
Ask him how he feels now that the film is finally releasing and he says, 'I am overjoyed in finally presenting RANG RASIYA. There are two basic reasons for the film's delay. The primary one was that it was an expensive film on a very big scale. The film's cost of production was massive. Secondly, it was a controversial film in terms of it dealing with a controversial subject. Initially, it was dealing with the Censor Board and we had a problem being issued the Censor Certificate at first.”
He adds further, “They refused to gives us a certificate and we had to take it to the revising committee and fortunately for us, Sharmila Tagore was the chairperson there. The revising committee, after the screening got up and complimented me on the kind of film it is. On a vulnerable subject, this was a sensitive film. The Censor issue was solved without any cuts but without the controversial nature of the subject, distributors were wary about the perceived risk of handling this film. RANG RASIYA was censored four years ago and it was passed without a cut.'
Interestingly, recently there have been many instances where in the Censor Board hasn't broadened its perspective and restricted a film's release by not passing the film appropriately. Ask Ketan what he has to say about that and he opines, 'Censorship itself is an idea whose expiry date is long over. We have won political freedom, we have liberated our economy, but it's high time we liberate our minds. This film is about liberating our minds. Freedom of expression is absolutely necessary for any democracy to survive.'
CHECK OUT: RANG RASIYA delay disappointed me for long
While Randeep had admitted in his interview that it hurt him that a good film like RANG RASIYA couldn't release, ask Ketan what was his state of mind in that period and he admits, “It was a frustrating battle. My RANG RASIYA pregnancy lasted five years. That was a long time. I think an artist can't be a coward or be bogged down by what other people will say. For me filmmaking is a crime of passion. It's a crime because my passion knows no rules and boundaries. It actually is believing in freedom. That's the biggest joy of being a filmmaker. Each film must be a journey of discovery where I am covering different aspect of my life, where I am extending myself.'
While Ketan usually makes use of satire, RANG RASIYA is different and is high on sexuality. Ask him what inspired him to do that and he concludes, 'Sensuality and passion are the tools I have used in this film. Sensuality is the spice of life and makes us human. We Indians are the most sensuous people. From the spicy food we eat to our colorful costumes to the way we celebrate our festivals to our population explosion, it all is testimony of us. It's a part of our culture to boldly celebrate sexuality. It's in the past few 100 years, post-Colonial and Victorian mindset which compares sensuality to sin that the entire perspective towards life has changed. Society now looks at sexuality with shock and suspicion. In this film, the questions we pose are very basic. There is no shame attached to human body but it is the perspective that makes it dirty and vulgar. If these questions aren't debated, we are regressing.'
RANG RASIYA starring Randeep Hooda and Nandana Sen is slated to release on November 7, 2014.
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