With the censor board clamping down on four different sequences of violence, drinking and cocaine-sniffing, director-actor Faruk Kabir's Allah Ke Banday won't make it to the theatres before 26 November.
Harried and anxious, Faruk says, "We thought we'd incorporate the changes in a few days and send our overseas prints in time for Bakri Eid release on November 18, Thursday. But now, it seems we won't be able to release before November 26. Fortunately, I've a very supporting producer and Naseer saab is also with me."
The thought of releasing with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Guzaarish on November 19 gave Faruk the heebie-jeebies. "I am too much in awe of Mr. Bhansali to release with him. I remember when I had just returned from film school in New York, I had approached Mr. Bhansali for a job as an assistant. He didn't entertain my request. Destiny, I guess."
Faruk assisted Saeed Mirza and is now keen to show Allah Ke Banday to the veteran filmmaker.
The censors are at the moment the culprits behind the delay in Faruk's film. Says the director, "They asked for four cuts. One of them is a gory prison fight involving kids. We were asked to reduce about 30 seconds of the two-minute violence. The censor board said they had to be extra-sensitive in issues involving children. I completely agree with that."
What however made less sense is the order for deletion of scenes showing a guy sniffing cocaine and shots of some men consuming alcohol.
Says Faruk, "We were asked to completely do away with scenes showing a guy sniffing cocaine. And the censor board had a problem with shots of people consuming alcohol because the brand name of an alcohol showed up on screen. I wasn't even aware it was showing."
The problem is, Faruk has no substitute stock to supplement these deletions. "We shot very cut-to-cut. There's no extra footage. So how do I fill the deleted footage? Me and my editor are going crazy figuring it out."