Saif Ali Khan: Our nation is schizophrenic, cultured on single level and medieval on another

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Saif Ali Khan: Our nation is schizophrenic, cultured on single level and medieval on another

At the age of 47, Saif Ali Khan is not that old – these days infrequently better recognized as Taimur’s father – is still game to test and to gain knowledge from 25-year-old co-stars. Rigidity ages you, not years, he explains as he talks about maturing, censor or security review, and how it’s hard to structure regulations for a society, which is cultured and gothic simultaneously.

Amongst a lot of other vital things, ‘Kaalakaandi’ has also been discussed for, what, 73 cuts in the overall story?

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That’s what you began with, okay! So, 73 cuts. And after that, it reached FCAT and appeared with a single cut. One cut! It bagged a U/A ranking. It acquired U/A on the promo. It is some terrible s*** in there.

In the time that you have been in the films, have you witnessed censorship turning tougher or simple?

Well, he thinks it’s quite straightforward at the present, but it’s connected to something else that he finds appealing. It’s the management of the film.

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He said, “When we are actually open to what we feel the audience would like, you know, like Spike Lee remade that Korean old-boy movie about a guy who eventually sleeps with his daughter. People don’t wanna see that. So it was a huge flop, nobody touched that again. Not because you’re not allowed to make it, but because it’s not a good idea. So sometimes, even though you’re allowed nudity, it would be interesting to reach a situation where we’re allowed to do anything, but people have realised it’s not good practice to alienate families, it’s not a good practice to have bad language in the film if you want a Friday audience. I remember till very recently – I’m probably too old for it now – I would cringe a bit if somebody used bad language in a film and I was watching it with my mother, or if there was a particularly raunchy scene. I’d say, okay, I should be on my own, or she shouldn’t be here. I think a lot of the country is like that. So box office prospects will be damaged, and that is the relationship we should be attuned to.”

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“Double-meaning dances and dialogues came in big time in the ’90s, and there was this situation where Tarun dance master – bless him, wherever he is – said to me one day that this is the song, the heroine comes in and leans in front of you and you do five pelvic thrusts into her face. So I said, ‘Ohh… isn’t that a bit… vulgar?’ And he was like, ‘No. You’re doing backward pelvic thrusts. If it was going forward, it would be disgusting.’ Why did that happen? It’s because you couldn’t show a lovemaking scene, couldn’t show a relationship, couldn’t show a kiss. So you start developing cheap thrills.”

The nineties sort of specialized in that, some would say – when you enlighten this, Govinda’s top numbers hit the mind at once.

Published by Mamatha on 05 Jan 2018

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