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Crossing the borderline in 'Shaque'

By Viral Bhayani, IANS

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Is Bollywood getting bolder by the day? An increasing number of dare and bare scenes are now seen in almost every other Bollywood release, but none had crossed the threshold like "Shaque" has done.

Produced by Vinod Chhabra, "Shaque" has newcomers Janki Shah and Dhananjay Chauhan. There is one scene in the movie which has irked the controversy. Janki Shah does a topless scene where she opens her top and her bra too in front of people.

"The movie is a murder mystery and there is nothing really erotic about this film except for this topless scene which forms part of the script. It is basically a challenge sequence between boys and girls of college in a stadium. To prove her point that girls can do it, she removes her top in front of us," says actor Dhananjay Chauhan.

Producer Chhabra says that he had difficulty in getting the right girl for the heroine's role. He had auditioned more than 200 girls for this movie.

"Many of them were ready to do the smooching scene and the bikini scene, but when it came to the topless scene, they developed cold feet," says Chhabra in an interview to IANS.

The posters of this film show the heroine in a sexy pose. She has posed in an itsy bitsy blue colour bikini. Chhabra says this was only a promos gimmick for the film. "This was actually done as a photo shoot just the way 'Murder' was promoted with Mallika Sherawat picturing in a sexy pose."

When Janki Shah approached the producer with a sexy portfolio picture of her, the producer requested her to think about the scene and get back to him.

"She was ready for the smooching and the bikini scene but took a week to decide if she was okay with the topless scene. She agreed to do it and we decided to shoot that scene after she was made familiar with the team of the film. On the day of the controversial shoot, I asked the guests and other crew members to leave the set," avers Chhabra.

"Things were fine and even Janki did not have any issues doing the topless scene. She even did a retake for that scene and a special bra was also made so that she could easily tear it apart. But it was only at a trial show that Janki decided that she did not want the scene to be part of the film when it released."

Chhabra said the problems started later with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) receiving a complaint letter from actress Janki Shah.

Chhabra later approached the Appellate Tribunal to clear his film, after the censor board objected to certain scenes. But this only added to his woes as the board members were in different states and getting their approval and signature further delayed his movie.

Chhabra distributed a legal letter signed by Janki on March 16, 2004, to the media on Wednesday at a press briefing to TV channels. "I hereby withdraw all claims and all the objections raised by me with the Central Board of Film Certification and Appellate Tribunal Delhi of Films Certifications. This certificate states that there is no dispute between myself and the producer of the picture," reads the stamp paper letter signed by actress Janki Shah herself.

Chhabra says he is relieved that his movie is cleared and that it was being finally released. The movie will be released next month.


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