Madhur Bhandarkar finds himself at the receiving end of the Central Board of Film Certification’s scissors as it has asked the filmmaker for 12 cuts despite granting an ‘A’ certificate to his film ‘India Lockdown’ which he shot during the pandemic.
The movie makes use of four central characters and how their paths cross. It tells the story of people in India during the first lockdown after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020. CBFC has concerns about actress Shweta Basu Prasad’s track in the film.
Shweta’s story is about the plight of sex workers and speaks about their struggles during the period. The CBFC has asked for 12 cuts of which two are visuals and the rest 10 are audio cuts from the particular track. The visual cuts in questions are in two scenes, one which shows phone sex and another one showing physical relations between a sex worker and her client. The audio cuts were majorly about the language used in the film.
The filmmaker, who is a recipient of Padma Shri and a National Film Award has decided to approach the revising committee for redressal. Commenting on the same, he said, “Yes, we are going to the revising committee. We are okay to take an ‘A’ certificate but the cuts are not acceptable as it will dilute the essence of the story.”
The filmmaker is known for putting his heart and soul in his films, and ‘India Lockdown’ is no different. He had visited the red-light area in Mumbai with Shweta as part of his research and preparations to lend authenticity to the film.
Presented by Jayantilal Gada (Pen Studios), produced by Bhandarkar Entertainment, Pranav Jain, Dhaval Jayantilal Gada and Aksshay Jayantilal Gada, ‘India Lockdown’ stars Prateik Babbar, Shweta Basu Prasad, Sai Tamhankar, Aahana Kumra, Zarin Shihab, Ayeesha Aiman, Sativik Bhatia and Saanand Verma.