Last-minute ti­tle change up­sets mak­ers; CBFC says needed

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - City - - CHANDIGARH - Shreya Mukher­jee shreya.mukher­[email protected]

Ac­tor Em­raan Hashmi’s up­com­ing film is now called Why Cheat In­dia. The ‘why’ in the ti­tle was added after Cen­sor Board made the sug­ges­tion. And that why has led to a lot of whys — why should it be added last minute, why the need for it? Film­maker Shekhar Ka­pur’s tweet res­onates the gen­eral sen­ti­ment in the in­dus­try: “Why is ‘Cheat In­dia’ now called ‘Why Cheat In­dia’? Why does the cen­sor board want this change?”

We spoke to some mem­bers of the film fra­ter­nity to bring to you both the sides.

The film’s team feels the orig­i­nal ti­tle was a bet­ter fit for the film. Em­raan says the orig­i­nal ti­tle mir­rored “the de­funct ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem”. He says that in­stead of ask­ing for a ti­tle change, the film should be seen “in the con­text of how these cheat­ing mafia peo­ple” work.

This isn’t the first change the film­mak­ers had to make. They had to do away with the tagline ‘Nakal mein hi akal hai’ after the Cen­tral Board of Film Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (CBFC) felt would get in­ter­preted wrongly.

An­other rea­son for team’s un­hap­pi­ness is that the last-minute change will af­fect the pub­lic­ity bud­get as the pub­lic­ity ma­te­rial has al­ready started “go­ing out”. Co-pro­ducer of the film Tanuj Garg says, “It adds to our work at a time when we’re putting our ef­forts into reach­ing out to peo­ple with our film... In our dis­cus­sion with CBFC, we ex­plained that they had ear­lier ap­proved the trailer with the same ti­tle.”

Last year, too, ti­tles were changed just be­fore the films were slated for re­lease. For in­stance, Pad­ma­vati was changed to Pad­maa­vat, and Lover­a­tri be­came Lovey­a­tri. Di­rec­tor of Lovey­a­tri, Ab­hi­raj Mi­nawala says, “[When the ti­tle changes] ev­ery­thing gets af­fected. We had to call back ma­te­rial that had been shipped... So, from fo­cus­ing on fin­ish­ing the prod­uct, our at­ten­tion got di­verted.”

Film­maker Ashoke Pan­dit, also a mem­ber of In­dian Mo­tion Pic­tures Pro­ducer’s As­so­ci­a­tion, feels that the CBFC should trust the four pro­duc­ers bod­ies that ap­prove ti­tles, and the re­lease date should be kept in mind be­fore such sug­ges­tions are made .

How­ever , trade an­a­lyst and for­mer CBFC mem­ber Atul Mo­han says that the last-minute ti­tle change doesn’t af­fect au­di­ence-film con­nect. “If the story is good, the au­di­ence will any­way ap­pre­ci­ate it. CBFC has to keep in mind things like who all will watch the film, and the af­fect it will have,” he says, adding, “It does help in pub­lic­ity, too, given the kind of cov­er­age it gets in the me­dia.”

CBFC mem­ber Vani Tri­pathi Tikoo ex­plains, “A demo­cratic panel com­pris­ing peo­ple from all walks of life at­tends the screen­ing and after watch­ing the film it is ab­so­lutely within the pow­ers of the panel to sug­gest a change. The pro­duc­ers can de­cide if they want to do it.”

Left: Cheat In­dia is now Why Cheat In­dia; Last year the ti­tles of Lovey­a­tri (right) and Pad­maa­vat (below, right) were asked to be changed

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