Mumbai: Director-producer Aanand L Rai on Thursday defended the decision to cut three smoking-related scenes from the film ‘Manmarziyaan’, saying their non-inclusion does not ‘compromise’ with its genre.
His response came after director Anurag Kashyap took to Twitter and expressed a strong displeasure over the move, indicating that he was not consulted about the decision.
Earlier, Eros implied that the decision to cut the scenes was taken by the creative producer of the film, Colour Yellow Productions which is run by Rai.
In a statement, Rai said, “These cuts were made on a call taken by Colour Yellow Team. I feel we need to understand that this controversy happened after the film has released which leaves the producers and studio extremely vulnerable.”
The scenes in question had upset a certain section of the Sikh community and Kashyap, who is out of the country, had on Wednesday issued a ‘genuine’ apology to those who were hurt genuinely.
Rai said if the concept of the film was ‘smoking, we would've taken a stand like we did for 'Udta Punjab'‘.
“'Manmarziyaan' is a love story and we believe that these cuts do not compromise with the genre it is. With the limited theatrical shelf life of films these days, we didn't want the audience waiting to watch this film to suffer and be deprived of a film.
“My heart goes out to Anurag, but in the current situation, we have to be practical,” he said.
The makers had apparently approached the censor board to chop off the alleged objectionable scenes from the film, starring Taapsee Pannu, Abhishek Bachchan and Vicky Kaushal.
Kashyap vented out his anger against the move on Twitter, calling out Eros International, who are the presenters of the film.
“Before my tweet is taken down - Congratulations. Here by all problems of Punjab are solved and Sikh youth have been saved . Happy to be back in LaLa land again. Next time you are threatened by a film please call Kishore Lulla directly... Eros knows how to solve matters in minutes,” he tweeted.
In a statement, Eros, without addressing Kashyap's grievances, said Colour Yellow Productions was the creative producer.
“Colour Yellow is the creative producer on 'Manmarziyaan'. We have the deepest respect for all communities and it is our intention to maintain neutrality and never intentionally hurt or disrespect any religion or community.
“We have the greatest respect for the law of the land and follow and implement all guidance of the censor board which is the supreme authority for film content in the country,” Eros said in its statement.
The producers approached the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) regarding the deletion of the scenes. According to a censor copy, the three deleted scenes are a 29-second smoking sequence of Abhishek, a minute-long scene featuring Taapsee Pannu and Abhishek entering a gurudwara and an 11-second scene where Taapsee is shown smoking.
Taapsee also took to Twitter and lashed out at the move.
"I am sure this edit will assure that no Sikh will ever Smoke and no woman will ever think about ANYONE else while getting married in a Gurudwara. THIS surely will make Waheguru proud and assures that MY religion is the purest,most righteous and peaceful ! #Proud" Taapsee tweeted.