Bollywood’s drug-themed movie “Udta Punjab”, which braved a tough battle for release in India, will now see the light of the day in Pakistan, albeit with cuts — and mutes on expletives and references to the country.
“All the foul language, including swearing at and derogatory words, remarks have been muted along with certain excisions of scenes. The movie has been granted ‘A’ rating by the Full Board of CBFC (Central Board of Film Censors),” Mobashir Hasan, chairperson, CBFC, told IANS from Islamabad in response to queries through social media.
He also said that references to Pakistan “have been excised”.
Hasan added: “Scenes which even subtly refer to Pakistan, word ‘786’, words ‘Maryam kee seerat’ and all the foul language and such words have been excised, muted and beeped.”
A well-placed source in the neighbouring country’s film distribution market told IANS that about eight minutes of “basically abusive language” have been cut. However, a release date is yet to be fixed.
Meanwhile, the Sindh Board of Film Certification, which works independent of the CBFC, is yet to grant a release certificate to the movie.
“We have asked a local distributor and importer to mute all abusive language as that is a direct violation of the existing censor code, and a few cuts. The film will be certified soon and hopefully released soon,” Fakhr-e-Alam, chairperson of the Sindh censor board, told IANS from Karachi.
They are now waiting for the film’s Pakistan distributor to do the needful. “Only after that, the certificate will be issued,” Alam said.
“It’s powerful cinema,” Alam said, adding: “Alia Bhatt has just set the bar too high for all the leading ladies.”