Exclusive OMG 2 part three: Amit Rai on his experience with CBFC members, about the uncut OTT version and Dear Jassi triumph at TIFF
As promised yesterday in our OMG 2 exclusive final concluding part of interview with Amit Rai, the writer director shares his experience with CBFC, the uncut version on OTT and the recent triumph of Dear Jassi at Toronto Film Festival.
News of certain schools including sex education in their syllabus is making rounds, how it feels
It’s a big victory for us. In our opinion even if one percent of the audience start thinking in the direction, we aimed in OMG 2 then we have taken the right path. The inhibition within us to openly talk about sex and education should end.
The initiative has been taken by these schools and am more than happy. What else I can say.
Schools want to introduce sex education in their syllabus and our CBFC has granted an ‘A’ adult only certificate. What you have to say, is the Censor Board unaware and not in touch with the sentiments of the people of the country
I cannot make any personal comment on anyone. The CBFC might be under pressure, some previous mistakes may have made them vulnerable, they might have decided to avoid any backlash and controversy regarding any film that has the presence and or name of God. People are going to question us, we will be held responsible all such thoughts might have occupied the CBFC.
Was the blunder in Adipurush responsible for such a cautious behaviour by CBFC
Still, I will not take names but certain recent incidents when the CBFC scissors have gone lenient on objectionable issues and in some cases have used their powers when not needed and the backlash that followed may have made them extra cautious.
How did you react to the proposed cuts/alterations to OMG 2?
My reaction was more obviously as the writer director, for me OMG 2 is my child and for any mother any cut on her child’s body is not acceptable. They were asking for many cuts and alterations which is now no longer a news. For a creator to make changes at the last moment is a hectic task. Just imagine a scenario when the bride is ready to take the pheras and right at that time, the priest demands alterations in bindi, mehendi etc.
The rules of CBFC are made by people and it’s not something that cannot be altered. If needed the rules can be changed for the benefit of the people. We tried to convey the importance of OMG 2 in our society but relationship progresses only when the communication is two way and in continuity. A one-way traffic leads to a deadlock. We had two options either to back off or find a middle way. The release was announced and lot of money and reputation was at stake so backing off was not an option. We found a middle path and the finally OMG 2 saw the light.
The option of OTT was always on and that also without censor ship hassles
Yes, OTT was an option. But there is a vast difference in the feeling of two hindered people from different caste, religion and creed watching a movie in a theatre and ten people watching a movie at home.
The noise, the voice which we are hearing in support of OMG 2 is unprecedented and this is possible only by releasing your film in theatres. I went to different theatres and people were reacting to scenes which we have never imagined. For example, I saw people cheering in the scene when Pankaj Tripathi brings the chart of human body – male and female in the court. Yeh naak, yeh kaan, aur yeh…
Gone are the days when people at home use to sit in the drawing room and watch Humlog, Nukkad etc on TV.
Son will watch in his mobile while eating, mother who is at home and/or at her workplace will watch something of her choice on her phone, or any other device and the same for the father.
The experience of a community viewing is far bigger and overwhelming than personal viewing on any device.
We wanted OMG 2 to release in theatres. OTT option is available and at a good price as well. OMG 2 has Akshay Kumar, Pankaj Tripathi, Yami Gautam, Pawan Malhotra and the scale is bigger. In pure commercial sense OTT was the safest but the voice and noise may have been restricted.
We knew we are coming with Gadar 2 and Animal. Animal got postponed but we always wanted to come in theatres first. OMG 2 is made for that cinematic experience in theatres.
So what price you are expecting from OMG 2 OTT rights
That’s the department of the producers/production houses.
There are certain areas in OMG 2 where I found the information is missing like the name of ancient books/literature from where the character of Pankaj Tripathi quotes and gives examples.
The names have been omitted as per Censor guidelines.
Will the OTT version of OMG 2 have the original non deleted movie?
On OTT you will see OMG 2 uncut version, the version we wanted the people to see.
So, coming back to CBFC what cuts they have asked and you did
In the OTT version you will see the difference. I am not trying to prove any point but in OMG 2 the name Bhagavad Gita is removed while in Gadar 2 a violent scene is passed and in the Hollywood film Oppenheimer the mention of Gita is there. So why the axe only on us. Maybe they don’t like my face, honestly am not that handsome (says jokingly).
Any scene which the CBFC wanted to cut but then they agreed to pass
The scene with the sex worker in court. CBFC wanted to cut the position wala scene but later agreed when explained them that it’s not about the act, it’s about how she learned the act. They then agreed saying that you argue too much.
What was the reaction of the CBFC members personally as an audience?
Without revealing any name, I found the CBFC members having concern over me. A couple of them said that the movie is good and raises relevant issues but due to their professional duties.
You seem to be on a roll, great news about Dear Jassi triumph at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) is running all over, your comments as writer of Dear Jassi?
The unanimous decision of the juries in the Toronto International Film festival to select Dear Jassi as the best film has strengthened my faith in the importance of script to deliver an Impeccable film. Congratulations and kudos to Tarsem Singh for it!