Sudden scissorhands slap for Neera

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 29.06.04
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When the body speaks the language of the heart (“shorir jokhon moner katha boley”), the moral police says a loud “shhhhhhhh”.

The teaser campaign of a lust tale with a love twist has given way to lifesize pictures of Bikram Ghosh and Jaya Seal, and a kingsize controversy.

Film-maker Subrata Sen’s Hothat Neerar Jonyo, based on a short story Sunil Gangopadhyay had penned some 30 years ago, has run into scissorhands trouble. The film focuses on how Bikram, a musician, pursues ex-flame Jaya, now a mother of one, body and soul.

Labelling it “detrimental to Bengali culture”, the examining committee of the regional censor board on Monday decided to refer the film, slated for a July 9 release, to censor board chairman Anupam Kher.

The five-member committee had called the film’s producer Kanchan Datta and director Sen for a meeting on Monday at the censor board’s Esplanade East office.

Declining comment, regional officer of censor board, Calcutta, Abhay Srivastav, said: “The matter is sub-judice. All I can say is that no certification has been refused.”

But the director of Poison Ivy-inspired Ek Je Achhe Konya and Nil Nirjane with a lesbian hint was livid: “We were told that the content of Hothat Neerar Jonyo was detrimental to Bengali culture. I am stunned to hear that we are hurting Bengali sensibility by making a film on a story that Sunilda had written in the early Seventies.”

The film-maker stressed that he has retained “about 90 to 95 per cent of the dialogues” from the original short story, Rani O Abinash. “The committee has not explained its stand, neither has it objected to any specific scene or piece of dialogue,” said Sen.

The veteran author was “shocked” at the censure. “Do I have to hear now that I have harmed Bengali culture?” demanded Gangopadhyay. “The board usually objects to some scenes or dialogues of a film, but I have never heard of such a thing… I have been a member of the censor board myself,” he added.

The voices against the rap rose loud and shrill on Monday. “Our society is still retarded,” grumbled Bikram.

“Let the audience decide what is detrimental,” argued Arijit Dutta, president of Eastern India Motion Picture Association and owner of Priya, poised to host Hothat Neerar Jonyo.