Erotic thriller Julie 2, co-produced and distributed by former Central Board of Film Certification chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani, was passed without cuts and an ‘A’ certificate by the newly constituted certification board.
After more than two years of being a protector of Indian culture (literally tagging himself as “sanskari”) by banning films after films as he didn’t deem them ‘suitable’ for viewing by the Indian audience, Nihalani was sacked last month from his position as the chairperson of Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
During his tenure, the conservative, orthodox man had problems with the word ‘intercourse’, kissing scenes, cuss words, relevant problems of a state (case in point, Udta Punjab) and everything that even hinted at being too “bold” for his comfort.
But, going back to his roots, Nihalani has become a Bollywood distributor, on a film, which is “bold” but perhaps within his comfort zone. He is presenting Julie 2, the sequel to Neha Dhupia-starrer “Julie”(2004).
The trailer of Julie 2 indicates that it contains several of the kind of scenes that Nihalani would have once found objectionable. However, the former CBFC chief has reportedly asked the media not to judge the film based on its trailer.
“If I was still the CBFC chairperson, I’d have given Julie 2 an ‘Adults’ certificate with no cuts,” Nihalani told The Quint. “It is a clean Adults film for adult members of a family. Though it’s a film on an adult subject – the exploitation of strugglers and newcomers in Bollywood – the film has no nudity, no skin show, no double-meaning dialogues.”
Nihalani, at a recent press conference, didn’t wait for anyone to ask him the obvious question, and himself launched into a defence of his decision to back the film. “You might all be wondering why I started off distribution with Julie 2 of all the films,” said Nihalani, “People might think how I can be back with such a film even after being a sanskari. You all are looking at the film from the point of view of an erotic film. But every film has its own framework and its own ideas. When I listened to the story of Julie 2 in its initial stages, I found it to be very interesting as it is an inside-the-industry story.”
When asked about peddling soft porn to audiences, Nihalani shot back: “Soft porn or soft corn, or harsh reality. Let the film release. The world will know.”
Julie 2 is set to hit the screens on October 6 this year.