Monday, November 29, 1999

Censors OK nude scene in Aruna film

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Director Pravesh Bharadwaj is all praises for the Censor Board after his film 'Mr Singh Mrs Mehta', which grabbed headlines because of a nude scene featuring actress Aruna Shields, was passed without cuts.The film which revolves around the theme of infidelity, has three lovemaking scenes which too have bee given the green signal by the Board."The film was referred to the revising committee and they understood that the film does not intend to titillate with it's content but looks at infidelity in a honest way. The film has got an A certificate but the integrity of the film has not been compromised," said director Pravesh Bharadwaj.Shields, a British actress of Indian origin took up the role of Neera Singh, which had been rejected by 60 other actresses in a row because the script contained a scene where the character poses nude for a portrait.The film also boasts a record 34 kisses but the debutante director says that they were all central to the plot and not added for shock value.The Board has often been criticised by filmmakers for it's high handed attitude and archaic values, but Bharadwaj says that he has no such complaints. "I was really apprehensive but with this decision the Censor has proved that it is a progressive body ready to change with the times," said the filmmaker.Bharadwaj is of the opinion that big budget films often have trouble with the board because they want a U certificate to maximise their audience and profit. "The trouble starts when a film with risque content wants to get a U certificate and then the Board asks them to make the cuts. The Censor Board is not the only one to blame in such incidents," he added.The film revolves around Neera Singh, a middle class Indian girl married to a NRI in London, who discovers that her husband is cheating on her. Her search for the lover of her husband leads her to the artiste Ashwin Mehta and the two soon begin a passionate affair.This is not the first time that the board has passed a controversial movie without cuts. Bengali filmmaker Sudipto Chattopadhyay's gay kiss in Pankh featuring Maradona Rebello and Amit Purohit was passed by the censors, untouched.Earlier, the Board has passed a full frontal nude scene from the Ketan Mehta film 'Rang Rasiya' starring Randeep Hooda and Nandana Sen.The film starring Shields opposite Prashant Narayanan will release on June 25.

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