The tension over the censoring of Raajneeti is over. But not without some vital scenes featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Arjun Rampal getting the chopper. Arjun Rampal's love-making scene with Katrina has been reduced drastically.
Says the director Prakash Jha regretfully, "It was a very aesthetically shot love making scene. Arjun and Katrina are two very beautiful people. And they made love to the camera. The Tribunal felt it was a bit too explicit for a 'UA' audience. I didn't argue."
However, Katrina who had dropped her normal inhibitions for the sake of her role and character is none too pleased with her labour of love-making going to waste.
But the director can breathe easy now. Prakash Jha's week- long battle with the censor board ended on Tuesday with the Tribunal viewing the film and granting it a 'UA' certificate. Jha had challenged the censor board's decision earlier last week to grant Raajneeti an 'A' certificate with cuts.
Apparently, the censor board had earlier objected to two sequences one showing the rigging of elections by fitting ballot boxes with specially designed gadgets and the other showing a female politician offering sex in exchange for an election ticket.
Jha wouldn't listen to any talk of cuts with the censor board. Says Jha, "An 'A' certificate brings on a specific mind-set on the audience. They think the film has sleazy content. So I preferred to let the film be referred to the Tribunal."
Jha sees the reduction of the Katrina-Arjun love-making scene as a blow. "The love scene was absolutely essential. Unlike other directors I had not shot extra footage so that the censors could take away whatever portion they liked. I had shot the love-making scene exactly the way it was meant to be. I've had to reduce it by half."
Says Jha, "It's a disappointment to all of us. I've also had to beep out the F... word uttered by Ranbir and Arjun Rampal in two different places in the plot. Ex-justice Usha Mehra who headed the Tribunal requested me to do away with the F... word. It didn't make a difference."
Incidentally several recent Hindi films were plastered with expletives in Hindi and English. Also Arjun's volatile character in Raajneeti shouts lurid and graphic expletives in Hindi at a police officer. These remain intact while the 'F' word is gone.