By Subhash K Jha
Indian censor board diktats are getting more and more unpredictable by the week. Last week Rishi Kapoor was baffled and stupefied when the same Hindi expletive ‘bahenc..d’ which he used liberally in Nikhil Advani’s D Day was wiped out of Shudh Desi Romance.
This week our honourable censor board does even better in its impressive track record of unpredictability. While it allows the extremely brutal violence in John Day including gruesome scenes of Randeep Hooda biting off his adversary’s tongue, it has for the first time necessitated the statutory warning against smoking all through the film.
That’s right. We see the familiar small-print no-smoking warning on the right hand bottom of the screen, throughout the playing-time of John Day in every frame.
This warning usually comes when a character is seen smoking on screen. Not so in John Day. Here we are warned about the pitfalls of smoking even when no one is smoking. That’s called playing it safe.
A bit silly and baffling. But when contacted John Day director Ahishor Solomon claims the decision to carry a no-smoking warning all through the film’s playing-time was his.
Explains the first-time director, “The characters of my film specially Randeep Hooda are smoking constantly. If we kept inserting and removing the no-smoking warning again and again it would be a big distraction for viewers. But by leaving the warning on screen uninterrupted audiences’ eyes get used to it.”