Filmmakers are no longer dodging the ‘A’ tag. They prefer retaining the adult content rather than reach out to a wider audience
Not too long ago, producers would dread getting an ‘A’ rating for their movies. They would often fight or agree to some cuts for a ‘U/A’ certification. They obviously didn’t want to lose out on the section of the audience that wouldn’t visit theatres without kids in tow.
But with “For adults only” movies like Peepli [Live], Delhi Belly and Ragini MMS raking in the moolah, filmmakers are increasingly agreeing to the ‘A’ certificate. This season, in fact, will see the release of two ‘adult’ films, The Dirty Picture and Desi Boyz.
Earlier, buzz was that the Vidya Balan starrer The Dirty Picture wouldn’t be cleared without cuts from the Censor Board. The film, however, was later given the ‘A’ rating with two minor alterations.
An insider at producer Ekta Kapoor’s company says, “The board wanted us to blur the image of a liquor brand.
That’s essentially because of the government ruling on not clearing commercials of alcohol and tobacco brands, even in surrogate advertising.”
Avoiding the cuts
It is learnt that the board officials were rather impressed with the film and even felt it conveyed a strong message.
“The producers anticipated an ‘A’ rating and gladly accepted it because asking for a ‘U/A’ would require making several cuts, ” says our source, adding, “That would dilute the impact of the movie. We’re keen the audience watch the film in its unadulterated form.”
Tanuj Garg, CEO Of Ekta’s production house attributes this change in filmmakers’ attitude towards ‘A’ ratings to the change in times.
“The audience is becoming more receptive to different kinds of cinema, ” he explains. He goes on to add, “Certain kinds of films, like Raagini MMS or The Dirty Picture aren’t dependent on ratings. They’re more content based. Making too many changes for a ‘U/A’ rating could harm the film’s creativity, ” he points out.
John Abraham and Deepika Padukone in Desi Boyz
Rohit Dhawan, director of Desi Boyz, says that the writer and the director get an idea of the rating during the scripting and shooting of the film itself. “When you realise from Day One that your content is meant for a mature audience, then you go with the flow.”
Content rules over ratings
Rohit believes that if the content works, then the rating doesn’t matter. He adds, “If the story is well told, and it connects with its audience, then it doesn’t matter even if it is certified ‘A’.”
However, Rohit feels that the board is not consistent with its ratings. “Films with considerable nudity have got through with a ‘U/A’ rating, but my comedy Desi Boyz has been certified ‘A’, ” he shrugs.
While agreeing that a ‘U’ rating increases the audience, Prakhar Joshi, programming head of a multiplex chain, maintains that ‘A’ rated films target at the adult audience.
“Filmmakers would rather accept an ‘A’ certificate instead of adhering to cuts and toning down the impact of their movies. In most cases, like Peepli [Live], Delhi Belly and No One Killed Jessica, the content has been of utmost importance, ” he says.