Batter half

Censor Board says Videsh is too violent; asks director Deepa Mehta to tone down the battering of Preity Zinta in several scenes

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Filmmaker Deepa Mehta whose forthcoming film is the Preity Zinta starrer Videsh (earlier titled Heaven on Earth), has run into a spot of trouble with the Censor Board.

During a screening session last evening, the Censor Board felt that the film shows too much violence being inflicted on Preity and consequently insisted on some cuts, which would make the film look less gory. The film is based on domestic violence.

Now, Deepa Mehta has to once again show the edited version to the Censor Board before she gets the green signal to release the film.

Deepa Mehta’s representative who was present at the screening wanted a U/A certificate, but the Censors refused to relent unless several violent scenes where Preity is battered by her husband (played by Vansh Bhardwaj) are toned down.

Vinayak Azad, Regional Officer, Censor Board, confirmed and said, “We have asked them to tone down the domestic violence scenes by 50 per cent. And we had one more objection. The film has used expletives too, which will have to be either beeped or deleted.”

“We will review the film once again after they make the cuts which we have asked for,” Azad added.

Incidentally, Preity received the Silver Hugo Award for best actress in the Feature Film Competition section at the 44th Chicago International Film Festival, for Videsh.

Preity was quite disturbed after she shot for the scenes in which she was beaten up and humiliated by Vansh. Talking about the experience of working in Videsh, Preity had said in an interview, “I remember asking a woman, who was a victim of domestic violence and had left her husband, what the turning point in her relationship was and she said, ‘I told my husband if you want to beat me, beat me in the bedroom, don’t beat me in front of the family.’

I could never understand that. It’s terrible. I really didn’t know what it was to be in a situation like this till I actually did the film.”

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