CBFC turning into censoring body: Kamal Haasan

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Actor Kamal Haasan weighed in heavily on the attempt by Central Board of Film Certification to clamp down on use of expletives, accusing it of turning a ‘censoring’ body.

“It took us a long time to change the role of the board into a certification body. Today, there are efforts to again turn it into a censor board,” he said. He pointed out how Tamil writer Jayakanthan’s works cannot be appreciated fully without expletives. “This kind of censorship will stop Indian cinema from truly becoming international,” he said.

‘There is a bit of me in every film I do’

The actor’s much-awaited film Uttama Villain in which he plays the role of a ‘superstar’, is ready for release in the second week of April. He clarified that it was not a satire about the Tamil film industry.

“Many have asked me if this is a film about my life. There is a bit of me in every film I have done. It is the story of an actor,” he said.

Directed by actor Ramesh Arvind, Uttama Villain is said to be a film within a film; one, a social drama involving a film actor and the other, a musical set in another period. The common thread between these two stories, Kamal said, is K. Balachander.

“I have been asking him to act in my film for a long time. This time around, I managed to convince him. He plays the role of a director called Margadarisi,” the actor said.

Answering questions about the charges of plagiarism in Uttama Villain , the actor declared that he was not an ‘original man’. He said: “All my films take inspiration from films I have seen or even from those I have heard about,” he said.

Reacting to news reports about the similarities between posters of Uttama Villain featuring Kamal Haasan as a Theyyam artiste and pictures shot by a French photographer, the actor retorted by saying, “Theyyam has existed even before the French began speaking French.”

The actor was reluctant to divulge much, but insisted that it features some of the best talent. “It is not a full-length comedy. I can tell you what the film is not about: it doesn’t have the hero performing unreasonable and unrealistic stunts,” he said.

Speaking of the decreasing rate of success in the Tamil film industry, Kamal Haasan said that it could not only affect those dependent on the industry, but have a social impact as well. “The industry has been doing a big favour to society: it has helped in the survival of Tamil language.”

Asked about speculation that distributors (who scuttled the release of Vishwaroopam on direct-to-home platforms) against whom he filed a case with the Competition Commission of India, were trying to throw a spanner in Uttama Villain ’s launch, he said he hoped the film would have a smooth release.

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