Moviegoers who recently watched Deadpool in Indian theatres may have come away disappointed by the number of cuts in the expletive-laden superhero flick (it even prompted some people to start an online campaign to help reform the Central Board Of Film Certification's guidelines).
However, those looking forward to Alejandro G Iñárritu's Oscar-nominated The Revenant, releasing this Friday, can breathe easy. According to a report on SpotboyE, the historical action-adventure film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, has been passed with very few cuts.
While instances of the words 'b***h' and 't**s' have been muted, the rest of the film — which involves more profanity, non-sexual nudity, graphic violence (including the infamous scene in which DiCaprio's character gets mauled by a bear), and a rape sequence — has been left untouched.
A spokesperson from Fox Star Studios, which is releasing the film in India, told SpotboyE:
"CBFC was particularly impressed with The Revenant as it has won quite a few prestigious awards and is a frontrunner at the Oscars. The Board members said they wanted audiences to experience the film as it is, without any cuts. The Board members also specifically mentioned that if it was any regular film, they wouldn’t have been so easy, as words like b**tard and f**k have been passed without any mutes."
The same courtesy also seems to have been extended to Tom Hooper's The Danish Girl, also nominated for several Oscars. The drama, starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, has several scenes depicting partial or full-frontal nudity. However, it was passed by Pahlaj Nihalani's CBFC without any cuts, reported The Telegraph. Ditto for Tom McCarthy's Spotlight, which reportedly impressed Nihalani so much that he told DNA that the board actually contemplated certifying it for all ages before settling on an 'A' certificate and no cuts.
In sharp contrast, the sex comedy Dirty Grandpa, starring Robert De Niro and Zac Efron, has been rejected outright by the Censor Board, said another SpotboyE report. It may also not help that the film has received generally poor reviews.
That The Danish Girl, Spotlight, and now The Revenant have managed to escape the Censors' wrath is certainly heartening news and we hope that there are more such instances. However, the larger question to ask is this: if the CBFC can be uncharacteristically open-minded with a film simply because it has Oscar buzz, does that mean that other films don't deserve to be viewed in their entirety?
What gives Nihalani and Co the right to play film critics and censor a film solely on the basis of how good they think it is?
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