Bollywood has come a long way when it comes to the content it serves and also, the diversification it has brought in its content in the past few years. With the Bollywood filmmakers, the audience has also become more welcoming and receptive to new stories. But still, in 2018, we seldom get to hear about the infamous Censor Board (Which is actually not Censor Board but a Certification Board) scissor cut on scenes with a few cuss words, lovemaking scenes etc. and the strange part is that it is not limited to U/A certified movies where it is fair but also in A certified movies which is specifically made for adult audiences. Such scene cuts sure affect the movies’ impact and get the filmmakers angry. This is about a few cuts a movie has to face but there are times when the whole movie is banned from releasing because of its controversial subject or religion (Remember Padmaavat?) but that doesn’t mean we should not watch it. If a movie’s good, it should be watched. So, we have listed down 10 banned Bollywood movies you must watch.
1. Bandit Queen
Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen was so to say a very progressive film which was made way ahead of its time. The movie’s subject was a bandit’s life, not chosen but yet lived. Phoolan Devi lived a hard life and the movie was all about it. It had nudity, sexual references, explicit content and that is why the censor board decided to ban the movie for the audience. But that should not stop you from watching it; you must, for Seema Biswas’ honest portrayal of Phoolan Devi.
To begin with, this is an Anurag Kashyap film. Anurag Kashyap has never been a Censor Board favourite and that continues even to date. This was Anurag’s debut film, a crime-thriller which never released because of the gory violence, and usage of abusive language. Glad, he took to Netflix for Sacred Games, had it been made into a movie, we would have missed the sheer brilliance of it.
3. Black Friday
Another Anurag Kashyap’s film, Black Friday did not release in the country for the Censor Board thought it to be too dark (read too real) for the Indian audiences to grasp. The movie is based on Bombay Blasts and is based on a book by S. Hussain Zaidi, Black Friday – The True Story of Bombay Blasts.
Sins is about a priest falling in love with a woman. And that love is lustful, filled with sexual escapades of the two. That, of course, did not sit down well with Catholics in the country who believed that it was a poor portrayal of their religion and hence, should not be released.
This movie was made by Deepa Mehta when widows in our country were denied a lot of basic rights. Back in 2000, this movie was written by Anurag Kashyap, talking about the misogyny and the subtle banishment of widows was normal in the society. Well, showing mirror to the society always courts protests and this is what followed.
Unfreedom is probably the latest one to join the list, for this movie also talks about lesbian relationship. Now, that is something that, in our country, many people believe is a side-effect of wrong company because ignorance and denial are the keys to stay regressive in a progressing world, right? On top of that, there is nudity which made the Censor Board very, very uncomfortable. And so, they decided against releasing the film, except for some states.
7. Inshallah, Football
Inshallah, Football is a documentary of a Kashmiri boy who dreams to play football for a foreign country but is denied to travel abroad for his father was a former militant. Now, this movie touches on the sensitive issue that is Kashmir and militancy, hence was banned by the Censor Board.
8. Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love
India is known to be the land of Kama Sutra, where a movie named Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love could not release, in fact was banned. Of course, for Indians, it is immoral to even call out the word, let alone make a movie on it. Mira Nair’s controversial movie, set up in 16th century talking about 4 lovers was called off.
Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi starrer Fire was critically appreciated worldwide but in India, it was banned for its portrayal of two women falling in love, a lesbian relationship between sister-in-laws. Now, that is something right wing Hindu activists could not digest and made sure this film gets banned for the audience. It was so serious, that the director of the movie, Deepak Mehta got death threats as well.
2002 Gujarat riots is a dark chapter in the history of India and that is what this movie is talking about. A story of a boy who goes missing during these riots. The movie received a National Award but did not release in Gujarat, for obvious reasons. The movie’s plot and the direction were very much appreciated by the ones who got to see the movie.