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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Censor board puts brakes on jingoistic films after box office failures

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In Short:

The censor board is delaying certification for movies with political themes to avoid controversy during the national elections. Movies like The Sabarmati Report, Jahangir National University, and Hum Do Hamare Baarah are affected. Films like Article 370 have found success, while others like The Kerala Story faced backlash for spreading communal misinformation. Filmmakers are now waiting for a balanced view to avoid rejection by the audience.

Delays by Censor Board Disappoint Makers of Nationalist Films

Excitement was brewing for the release of The Sabarmati Report, Jahangir National University, and Hum Do Hamare Baarah as the country gears up for the elections. However, their hopes were dashed due to unexpected delays by the censor board.

Reason for Delays

The hold-up is not due to the content of these films, but rather the censor board’s desire to steer clear of any controversies, especially those of a political nature, during the election period in the world’s largest democracy.

Film producer and expert Girish Johar explained, “The censor board believes it’s best to wait until after the elections, considering the operating model code of conduct. They have informed the filmmakers that they will not be issuing certifications at this time.”

Notably, in the previous national election year of 2019, a film titled PM Narendra Modi based on the Prime Minister faced a similar situation where the Election Commission intervened to halt its release during the polls.

Box Office Struggles

Several movies with political, religious, or nationalist themes have hit cinemas lately, attempting to capitalize on the election fervor. However, films like Bastar-The Naxal Story and The Vaccine War failed to resonate with audiences, except for the political drama Article 370, which grossed over ₹80 crore domestically.

Seeking a Balanced View

Although movies like The Kerala Story and The Kashmir Files have earned substantial profits, filmmakers now face uncertainty with the delays at the censor board and the need to present a more balanced perspective to cater to the discerning audience.

Yusuf Shaikh from Percept Pictures highlighted, “Filmmakers may need to reconsider their approach and avoid one-sided narratives that could be perceived as manipulative or exaggerated by viewers.”

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