Bhatts demand 'A' certificate for Raaz...but on their terms

By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network

If Censors had their way, Raaz - The Mystery Continues would have seen number of cuts in it's narrative. There were three issues that were raised in this Mohit Suri directed film:

a) The graphic nature of scenes with never-seen-before horror elements
b) Kangna's much-in-news nude scene
c) Expletives mouthed by Kangna

Though there were speculations earlier that the film had been granted an 'A' certificate already, it was far from true. While talks centered on removal of these scenes, there was no meat in the story as Censors were yet to give a certificate.

"It was someone's piece of imagination when news started floating around the 'A' certificate of the film. The fact is that Censors had merely seen the film and were yet to take a decision. However, they had a re-look at the film and wanted to prune the scenes. In addition, they were said to be still juggling between giving an 'A' or a 'U/A' certificate. Of course, Bhatts would have none of it and kept their foot down", says a source attached to the film who has been closely monitoring the film's progress with the Censors.

Bhatts were OK with the 'A' certificate but only on their own terms. They were not willing to touch the content at all and wanted it to be shown to the audience in the way it was shot.

"If someone is in a bath tub, she has to be nude. You don't bathe with your clothes on, right? Moreover, when you would see the film, you would realise that Kangna's nude scene has also a lot to do with audience's imagination. As for the 'level next' that we have explored in the horror genre, then well, we are pushing the envelope. Instead of complimenting us for our effort, we are being penalised. Come on, let's grow up. We see far more horror in real life", says the source amusingly.

What alerted Censors most was the liberal use of expletives (belonging to the BC/MC variety) mouthed by Kangna in the film. Bhatts have an argument here as well. "She is shown to be possessed in the film. It's not her but the person who has got into her body who is saying all this. The brutal nature with which her soul has been taken over by someone is well represented through these scenes. Now if abuses form a part of it, it is with a purpose."

Bhatts are of course elated that they were able to convince the Censors to retain the scenes.

"It is a moral victory for us. We have managed to retain everything that we had shot for in the film. If we have got the 'A' certificate, then so be it. At least we got it in our terms", says Mahesh Bhatt.

A renowned director who has himself faced the ire of Censor just a few weeks back comments while wishing to be unnamed, "Bollywood has been facing the 'dadagiri' of Censors for quite some time now. It seems as if we are always brought into a court as an accused and have to answer for each and every action of ours. Sometimes they object to smoking and at times for songs. Bhatts winning their battle with Censors is a victory for everyone."

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