When actors Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor’s kissing scenes in Befikre (2016) made it to the big screen without cuts, it raised many eyebrows. Movie goers wondered, how the censor board, that was drawing flak for chopping off bra scenes and trimming kissing scenes, let this pass.
Now, going a step further, the board has retained all kissing scenes in OK Jaanu, starring Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur. Actor Vidya Balan’s Begum Jaan, in which she plays a brothel madame, has got no cuts despite many intimate scenes.
So, is the censor board, often accused of being sanskaari, finally loosening up? “As a filmmaker, I know what can be cut without hampering the flow of the narrative. In Befikre there is no way we could cut the kisses without interrupting the flow of the story,” CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani had said in an interview. “I feel that CBFC is more forthcoming now and we must appreciate it. The content of films has been kept intact. It is a welcome move for everybody that CBFC has become so liberal,” says filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar.
Earlier, kissing scenes in films such as Tamasha (2015), Bombay Velvet (2015), Spectre (2016) and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016), have come under attack. Industry experts feel that there is nothing to rejoice about even now. “For every Befikre or Ok Jaanu, there seem to be two or three films where they suddenly become strict. There is no consistency and it’s a very subjective thing,” says trade analyst Komal Nahta. “When a big film is involved, the hypocritical side of CBFC comes out. If it’s a small film, they create a scene. They always go easy on big films,” says trade analyst Amul Mohan.