“Raajneeti” has finally got a UA certificate but not without some vital scenes, including Arjun Rampal and Katrina Kaif’s “aesthetically shot love making scene” that director Prakash Jha says was “absolutely essential”, being edited out.
“It was a very aesthetically shot love making scene. Arjun and Katrina are two very beautiful people. And they made love to the camera. The Tribunal (Film Certification Appellate Tribunal) felt it was a bit too explicit for a ‘UA’ audience. I didn’t argue,” Jha said.
Jha’s weeklong battle with the censor board ended Wednesday with the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal in New Delhi viewing “Raajneeti” and granting it a ‘UA’ certificate.
The director had challenged the censor board’s decision earlier last week to grant “Raajneeti” an ‘A’ certificate with cuts.
Jha sees the reduction of the Katrina-Ranbir love making scene as a blow.
“The love scene was absolutely essential. Unlike other directors I had not shot extra footage so that the censors could take away whatever portion they liked. I had shot the love making scene exactly the way it was meant to be. I’ve had to reduce it by half.
“It’s a disappointment to all of us. I’ve also had to beep out the F… word uttered by Ranbir Kapoor and Arjun Rampal in two different places in the plot. Ex-justice Usha Mehra, who headed the Tribunal, requested me to do away with the F… word. But it didn’t make a difference,” he said.
Ajay Devgn, Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar and Manoj Bajpai too will be seen “Raajneeti”. Releasing June 4, the political thriller will be the behind-the-scenes look at politics, strategies behind election campaigns, scandals and much more.
Apparently, the censor board had earlier objected to two sequences – one showing the rigging of elections by fitting ballot boxes with specially designed gadgets and the other showing a female politician offering sex in exchange for an election ticket.
“An ‘A’ certificate brings on a specific mindset on the audience. They think the film has sleazy content. So I preferred to let the film be referred to the Tribunal,” said Jha.
Also Arjun’s volatile character in “Raajneeti” shouts lurid and graphic expletives Hindi at a police officer. These remain intact while the ‘f’ word is gone.
Several recent Hindi films like “Omkara” and “Ishqiya” were plastered with expletives but got away at the censors with an A certificate.