'Udta Punjab' and Censor Board Battle Moves to Court
Will the film pay the price for this tussle between the censor chief and the film's producers?
With the suggested 89 cuts to the original film, Abhishek Chaubey's Udta Punjab starring Shahid Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh, Alia Bhatt and Kareena Kapoor may not remain recognisable to its makers. Thus, taking the Censor Board's suggestions into account the producers of the film Anurag Kashyap, Ekta Kapoor and company have reached out to the Bombay High Court against the Censor Board and the hearing is going to take place anytime soon.
In an article in The Times of India, producer Anurag Kashyap said, "I don't think that removing Punjab from Udta Punjab title is acceptable to any of us. They have asked us to remove the city names; they have asked us to remove MLA, MLC. All these things are told to us in person. He's not putting it on paper. The moment he puts those things on paper, we have the option to go on a trial."
The article also revealed that the CBFC - chaired by the BJP-appointed Pahlaj Nihalani - is said to have reportedly demanded an alteration of the narrative with as many as 89 cuts. The makers were apparently even asked to drop 'Punjab' from the title and suggested that the film be set in a fictitious setting instead of a particular state.
Will the creativity survive over censorship? We don't know yet, but we can surely tell that this film is different and quite intense, dealing with the subject of substance abuse.