Unlike ‘JHMS’, “Intercourse” Sails Past CBFC in ‘Dhananjoy’

An emergency viewing yielded the controversial Bengali film an ‘A’ certificate along with several cuts.

2 min read

So Anushka Sharma couldn’t finally say the “I” word to Shah Rukh Khan in Jab Harry Met Sejal. But the “I” word - we mean “intercourse” - has been allowed by the Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) in the new controversial Bengali film Dhananjoy.

The film revolves around the highly controversial hanging of rape-and-murder convict Dhananjoy Chatterjee in Kolkata. Dhananjoy claimed innocence for 14 years and was finally hanged on 15 August 2004, leaving behind many unanswered questions about his guilt.

The film directed by Arindam Sil was refused censor certification in Kolkata. With the release date just days away, the panicky producers and director approached Pahlaj Nihalani in Mumbai.

After an emergency-viewing of the film on Thursday morning, the makers walked away with an “A” certificate and substantial cuts including a brutal rape sequence, which has been ordered cut by 80 per cent, and a sequence showing Dhananjoy’s police torture that has been ordered cut by 50 percent.

The producers have also been asked to submit an NOC from the Animal Welfare Board Of India.

In addition several harsh expletives casting aspersions on mothers and sisters in Bengali and Hindi have been ordered out.

Most crucially, the film, which everyone knows chronicles a well-known real-life crime, has been asked to change its original pre-credits claim of being based on real facts, to a disclaimer saying it’s a work of fiction.

While the irony of scrupulously making a real-life film based on actual incidents and then having is turned into fiction to avoid friction is not lost, the makers of Dhananjoy have expressed relief and happiness on Twitter for getting passed the censor board, specially with all the references to the sex act including the lately-axed word “intercourse” intact.

There is a difference between the way “intercourse” was used in Imtiaz Ali’s film and in Dhananjoy. Here words like “sex” ,“intercourse” and “semen” are part of the legal jargon that is used in the court case. We can’t touch what the law has to say. We’ve allowed all the graphic sexual references in the court scenes.
A CBFC source

That’s quite a victory for a film in Bengali.

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