The hide and seek with censors!
Renigutna   Renigunta, a to-be released movie, is denied certification by the censor officials citing the movie’s excessive violent scenes. It wasn’t even a recommendation for cuts; on the other hand, it was plain refusal by the officials to even consider the movie for certification. Not surprising considering what the movie’s promos and teaser trailer suggest.

The movie is about the lives of a group of youngsters who are inmates of a juvenile prison. That the movie probably has a message is beside the point; the way it tries to put it across is all that matters. However hard you try to play it down, violence and brutality, can, in no ways be subtle. And when you see gun slinging teenagers strut around in a movie slashing humans, you tend to put the cause in the back burner and start thinking about the necessity of such portrayals.

One of the biggest disadvantages of freedom is that it is a tight rope walk. You will have no clue when you take the liberty to exceed it in the name of creative freedom. It gets all the more tricky, especially when you are in a mass medium and that your product could have a bearing on the society. But the

yellow line of freedom is very often crossed since the line itself can be very blurred and have varying limitations with individuals.

Despite having our share of apprehensions about security issues in the very volatile society we live in, our movies have shown little sensibilities in portraying violence wisely. ‘Enakku bayatha kamichtangada, avangla podanumda,’ whimpers Azaghar (Jai) in Subramaniapuram prompting his friend Paraman (Sasikumar) to pick up the weapon to return the favor for frightening Azhaghar. Raw display of emotion, but the scene made many squirm and clutch their seats in trepidation. Despite its commercial success, there is no denying that Subramaniapuram has had its fair dose of blood and gore.

There are two types of violence in movies. Violence for the sake of cause and violence for the sake of mass. Subramaniapuram falls in the former category and if you had watched Padikkathavan, you wouldn’t think more than a moment to identify that it falls in the latter. Guns, swords, burning props, vehicles, helicopters – the movie has had every thing that you would loathe to see but still it pulled it off. Padikkathavan is duly and respectfully followed by Aintham Padai, Malai Malai, Kanthaswamy and Madurai Sambhavam. But then we aren’t complaining for we are a hero-worshipping nation of 2 billion people.

The fact that we do not have an efficient rating system in place for the country, as a whole, defies every logic just like our films. What is considered to be not-worth certification in Chennai gets an easy entry in the hands of officials in Mumbai. Are the objections of the officials in Chennai being considered while clearing such disputable cases? Worth pondering!

Consider the case of Kaadhal Kadhai: Velu Prabhakaran’s tussle with the censor board for years together failed to yield results. He camped in Mumbai and ensured that his product is ready to be released with minimum cuts than fixed by the board in Chennai. He had the last laugh indeed. But what happened to the movie is not worth debating. After all, skin never sold so much in Tamil Nadu.

Cultural differences in the vast Indian subcontinent enable a director / producer to have such privileges as Velu had. We still consider intimate scenes between the film’s leads a taboo. The fact that our lead men are very shy family men does not help either.

While we can do very little to change the so-called cultural differences, an efficient rating system could bring in discipline. Or at least classifying the movies the best possible way rather than the very vague certifications that fall under ‘A’ and ‘U’.

Alternatively, the bureaucratic censor board can alter its rules rather than plainly declining to certify a movie.

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