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Sex scene gets Brett Lee's UnIndian into trouble with CBFC 

The former Australian pacer's Hindi debut, UnIndian, has been held up by the CBFC for a one minute and eight seconds long love-making scene.

Shriram Iyengar

He might not have much in common with Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, but Brett Lee now joins the long list of actors whose films have been held up by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). The former Australian pace bowler is set to make his debut alongside Tannishtha Chatterjee in UnIndian. The only hitch in the plan is that the film has been held up by the Examining Comittee (EC) of the board for a love scene. 

The EC has asked the makers of the film to tone down the scene, which is one minute and eight seconds long. The suggestions by the committee include reducing the scene to a 26 second one in order to acquire a U/A certificate. Another key issue that was taken up by the committee is the narration of spiritual chants that run in the background of the love scene. Sources say the committee suggested, "Remove the sideways visual and end climatic shot. The sex scene not to be synchronised with the mantra chanting." 

Speaking on the issue, the director Anupam Chopra said, "The love scene runs simultaneously with a sermon scene where followers chant 'Om Shreem Hreem' which are spiritual chants and not religious. I'm a practising Hindu myself so there is no way I would offend anyone's sentiments." The director also added, "My film is not as politically powerful as 'Udta Punjab' so I don't have to make a statement. I cannot lose out on my audience at the cost of retaining my interest as a filmmaker." 

The film stars Brett Lee as a teacher helping Indian immigrants understand the culture of Australia, while Tannishtha Chatterjee plays a divorced career woman, who falls in love with him. The film also has Pallavi Sharda, Gulshan Grover, and Supriya Pathak in supporting roles. The film was scheduled to release on 19 August, but this recent development might change things. Anupam Sharma added, "We have about three weeks left for release (August 19), so I will oppose the cut from my end. At the same time, I cannot hold my distributors and producer at ransom. I wonder how no lesson has been learnt, even after the Bombay High Court making it clear that the CBFC does not have the power to 'censor' films. Of all films, this one is the last film that needs to run into controversy." 

This might be a close one for Brett Lee and his team.