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The word ‘hypocrite’ would not even begin to describe the long and short of what Pahlaj Nihalani is. The former chief of Central Board of Film Certification, whose duty was ideally to certify a film to be deemed watchable for an audience of a suitable age group, has again taken it upon himself to make India sanskaari again. Or maybe not.
So, here’s the thing right - Mr. I-can’t-say-the-word-intercourse is now presenting to you the much-awaited movie sequel Julie 2. An abomination of a film whose trailer made me cringe right from the word go. Because guess what, like the protagonist of the film, I am also 25 and if someone told me, “Yahaan pe sirf body chalta hai, garma garam body”, I would whack him so hard across his face that he wouldn’t be able to see straight for two days. Contrary to popular perception, I am not some ‘tandoori-murgi’ you can gobble up with your cheap whiskey, so just back off.
Of course, the unimaginative trailer is well-suited to pander to misogynist sentiments that are so prevalent in our society. Helpless girl with no agency will go to any extent to make it big in Bollywood, she’ll flick her hair, wear that tantalizing bikini and get threatened with an acid attack because her ambitions suddenly know no bounds, and who better than good ’ol Pahlaj to vouch for that. Am I right?
Earlier, under his eminent guidance, a film like Udta Punjab, which took a hard-hitting look at the lives of drug users in the state was suggested a whopping 89 cuts. After the matter went to the court, just one of those cuts were implemented. Mr. Pahlaj Scissorhands demanded that James Bond forgoes kissing in Sceptre. And Lipstick Under My Burkha, which abashedly looked at sex and desire from a female gaze was too ‘lady-oriented’ for his taste and in his opinion didn’t serve the cause of ‘woman empowerment’ enough.
Before handing the baton to lyricist Prasoon Joshi, Nihalani did manage to go out with a bang by deleting a kiss from the film A Gentleman. Cut to a few weeks later, he is distributing Julie 2, which he apparently “loved”. In an interview to the Times of India he clarified, “This is not an erotic thriller. It is a bold film with necessary adult content. If I was still the chair, this film would have passed the censors. I expect an 'A' certification.”
Well, I guess we should have seen this turnaround coming. A man who is so deplorably inequipped to realize that women can have sex at their own discretion and it doesn’t have to involve coming out of the bathtub and landing in the lap of a man who is double their age, couldn’t have done much better. I hope as audience we can use our common sense and avoid this movie altogether.