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Days before release date, CBFC still to certify Raveena Tandon’s Maatr

Reportedly, the censor board members walked out of the film’s screening due to its violent and graphic content. Its CEO Anurag Shrivastava denies rumours of a ban and says Maatr is still under review.

Sonal Pandya

Maatr — The Mother, directed by Ashtar Sayed, is slated to release this Friday, 21 April. However, the film is yet to receive certification from the Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC). A news report by the online daily Quint stated that the CBFC members walked out of its certification screening last week. They found the final product to be vastly different from the script initially submitted to the board.

On Saturday, the board members reportedly saw the film and denied it certification since it violated certain guidelines set by the committee. An anonymous source told the daily that the film is filled with expletives that would be difficult to remove.

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Additionally, the source said, “Rape sequences are always tricky. We never know when they stop becoming shocking and get into the voyeuristic/titillating zone. In Maatr, the women’s violation is subject to allegations of excessive elaboration. Though the film is well-intended and hardhitting, we cannot take the risk of incurring the wrath of organisations devoted to prevention of violation against women.”

Maatr, starring Raveena Tandon, is based on the real-life 2012 Nirbhaya case that prompted calls to improve the standards of women’s safety across the nation. The film’s outspoken star spoke to the newspaper Mid-day. She said, “The Censor Board is bound by archaic laws which need to change according to the current times. Maatr is a story that needs to be told. [We've had] enough of sugarcoating [of] harsh realities. [If this continues] we will remain indifferent to brutality, and rape will remain a taboo.”

Commenting on talk about a ban on Maatr, CBFC CEO Anurag Shrivastava said, "The screening of the movie Maatr for CBFC was done on Saturday evening and at the moment there is no screening of Maatr again. Ban on the movie is false, as the examination committee is still in process and the result will be conveyed in a day or two.”

However, there only a few days left between now and Friday. If the CBFC doesn’t grant the film certification, the makers can approach the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) for relief.

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