Phew. It appears we Indians have a reason to rejoice. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has spared this year’s Oscar releases. Consequently, elements of films like The Danish Girl, The Revenant and Spotlight, have been retained. The reason these films survived the scissors and emerged in one piece, is because the statutory body – that has been criticized for its eternal lust for consuming everything “offensive” – wants to consciously change its image. We movie buffs admire, appreciate and welcome this change with open arms. Finally!
CBFC faced flak recently, when it senselessly edited films like Spectre and Deadpool. It beeped every swear word and censored the kissing scenes. Perhaps our post-movie-lobotomized-faces and incessant ranting did make a difference.
The Oscar-nominated film, The Danish Girl, released with an ‘A’ certificate, and without any major cuts. According to a Times of India report, CBFC head Pahlaj Nihalani reportedly said it was the board’s attempt “to change its image”. The Revenant, a momentous film in actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s career that also helped him win his first ever Oscar award, was also cleared with an ‘A’ certificate. There were no major cuts, despite the fact that the film is gravid with violence and cuss words.
Spotlight, another remarkable film that is also based on a true story of investigative journalists, was given the clearance too, along with the ‘A’ certificate.
The CBFC is certainly headed in the right direction. The films that release with ‘A’ certificates are meant for the viewing of a definite audience – the ones that comprise the 18+ lot. They are watching the films of their own accord, well aware of the fact that it is merely a script. Besides, films like Spotlight that shake the very foundation of a belief, must be viewed and put out for a discussion for the fundamental health of a society.
We only hope the CBFC exercises similar clemency while clearing other big-budget Hollywood and Bollywood films, and not just the ones that make it to the Oscars. Hoping the board will start anew and satiate the movie buffs in the subsequent years.