The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has asked the makers of Swara Bhaskar-starrer Anaarkali of Aarah for 11 cuts, including the removal of a dialogue which mentions names of megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Amrish Puri. “There are 11 cuts mentioned by the censor board, including one bold scene. They have told us to remove the names of Amitabh Bachchan and Amrish Puri (in a dialogue) fearing it might hurt sentiments,” producer Sandiip Kapur said. A scene in the trailer shows Sanjay Tripathi saying to Swara, “Amitabh Bachchan ke entry li hain aur chah rahi hain hum Amrish Puri banein!”
“They have also asked to remove the word ‘Arjun’, which comes in a shayari (poetry). They think it will hurt religious sentiments. With these cuts it will be difficult for the audience to understand the context in which the dialogues are said,” Sandip said.
However, the makers do not intend to fight the cuts suggested by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). “For an independent producer like me it is difficult to fight with CBFC and release the film. The director and actors are against accepting the cuts. It is a bold and powerful film (but) the language is not abusive,” Sandiip has said.
“I have seen big filmmakers facing trouble in releasing their films. (See) what happened with Udta Punjab?. It is unfortunate and sad as it is killing the creativity,” he added.
After the cuts, the film is expected to get an ‘A’ certificate.
Sandiip filed a complaint at a police station in Delhi after certain scenes, which the CBFC wanted to be removed from the film, were leaked online. “The matter is with the police now, they are investigating it properly. To prevent further damage, we have filed a petition in Madras High Court to block sites that offer pirated version of films. There are some 1,800 sites that need to be blocked and we have asked for it so it doesn’t affect our film,” Sandiip said.
Anaarkali of Aarah revolves around a singer (Swara Bhaskar) from Arrah in Bihar. Sandip said Swara is the right choice for the role of Anaarkali. “She has played the role wonderfully. It doesn’t look sleazy. She went to a lot of places for the workshop, to see the performances. A lot of actors may not do a film like this but she fell in love with the subject of the film,” he adds.
The movie is directed by debutant Avinash Das, a journalist-turned-filmmaker.
Also starring Pankaj Tripathi and Sanjay Mishra in pivotal roles, the film is set to release on March 24.