After 41 cuts, Haider receives a U/A certificate from Censor Board
Haider is the last film to have been cleared by suspended CBFC chief Rakesh Kumar and while some of the cuts seem justified, there are others that seem less logical.
A truck load of corpses, wire being inserted inside a naked man, a shot of a bloody dead body - these may sound like details from a video that ISIS militants would have made but are among the scenes cut from Vishal Bharadwaj's upcoming film, Haider.
After 41 cuts, the CBFC (Censor Board of Film Certification) has given Haider a U/A (Unrestricted Public Exhibition-But With Parental Guidance) certificate. Haider is the last film to have been cleared by suspended CBFC chief Rakesh Kumar and while some of the cuts seem justified, there are others that seem less logical.
To begin with, the word "F **ked" had to be muted. For some reason, the shot of a bare back during a song sequence was also considered offensive. CBFC also demanded a scene where Haider (played by Shahid Kapoor) cries on seeing flames to be deleted.
Reportedly, Kumar along with an examining committee saw the film and prescribed the cuts. After the film was re-edited, instead of sending it to the revising committee for reviewing, Kumar himself watched the film again and gave it a U/A certificate.
Nandini Sardesai, a member of the revising committee told TOI, "Kumar saw Haider twice and passed it with a UA certificate."
She added, "Vishal has apparently agreed to the cuts. But, I don't understand why the revising committee was not approached. That man (Kumar) was flouting rules."
However, Bharadwaj has a completely different story to tell. The filmmaker said that the Censor Board only demanded seven cuts but he himself, in order to tighten the script, gave the film 35 extra cuts.
Set in Kashmir and looking at the issue of the northern state's troubled politics, Haider was always going to skirt controversy.
The publicity for the film has been carefully highlighting the songs, perhaps in an effort to take the attention away from the politics in the story.
If Bharadwaj has indeed made as many as 35 cuts without any prodding from the CBFC, then we can only hope that the director really felt that the film was served better with this edit. On the other hand, going through the list, we can't help wondering why this many deletions were required and whether the reduced violence will actually help the storytelling. For the time being though, the good news is that Haider is all set to release in theatres on 2 October.
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