Art & Entertainment

'OMG 2' Director Amit Rai: Akshay Kumar Was Courageous Enough To Bear The Loss And Ready To Show The Film To Audience

'OMG 2' director Amit Rai spoke at length about how an 'A' certificate defeated the sole purpose of the movie. However, he feels that due to Akshay Kumar, the film could reach a wider audience.

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Amit Rai, Akshay Kumar Photo: Instagram
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'OMG 2' starring Pankaj Tripathi, Akshay Kumar and Yami Gautam hit the theatres last year. The film was based on the sex education in India. The Hindi-language comedy-drama film, written and directed by Amit Rai, landed into controversy ahead of its release. The Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) gave the film an ‘A – Adults Only’ certificate with 27 cuts. 

'OMG 2' is the story of Kanti Sharan Mudgal (Pankaj Tripathi), who is an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. One day his son Vivek (Aarush Varma), gets embroiled in a controversy after his video of masturbating in the school toilet goes viral and he is expelled from school. Kanti realises that his son has been a victim of misinformation and misguidance. Kanti decides to fight for his son as he takes the case to court to fight the system. Throughout the movie, he is guided by Akshay Kumar, who is referred to as a messenger of Lord Shiva.

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I recently watched the movie on OTT and failed to fathom why the censor board passed the movie with an 'A' certificate as I didn't find any adult or offensive content in it. All thanks to astute filmmaker Amit Rai, who dared to write a film on such a taboo topic and skillfully handled it. 

I recently had the opportunity to interview Rai and my first question to him was what was his conversation with the censor board when they went for the certification. He said, ''When I went to them for censorship I asked them who they held responsible for the entire fiasco. They didn't even take a single iota and held the boy responsible for what he did. They felt it offensive because according to them the boy had done wrong and the school had done the right job by expelling him''.

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He added, ''We discussed with them that this film is meant to be shown to kids and why they were stopping us. We tried persuading them to not give an A certificate. Not only the A certificate, but there were also many cuts in it and when we asked them the reason, they had no answer''.

When asked if he had any apprehension before making a film on a taboo topic like sex education, the director shared, ''I don't know because while writing it I never thought of it. Otherwise, I wouldn't have written it. The problem is who is going to define taboo and who is going to define what's going to be said or not. Nobody wants to talk about it but everybody wants to know about it. Then they start gaining this knowledge from various universities''.

He continued, ''This could be my story or this could be anybody's story but nobody wants to talk about it and still, you want there should be any change. In India, the problem is that we always try to please everybody''.

Amit Rai also said that the whole purpose of the film was defeated because it was meant to be shown to the kids and the censor board didn't allow it and it was the first film made for kids that received an A certificate.

He has started calling 'OMG 2' a democratic film because everybody has started watching it. ''Audiences have started giving reactions and responses which was tremendous. I am thankful to them actually who said that they want to talk and discuss it openly,'' he added. 

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However, the filmmaker also fails to understand what were the apprehensions of the censor board that made them give the film an 'A' certificate because everyone watched it and there were neither controversies nor protests against the film.  

Rai also revealed that after getting an 'A' certificate, the business of 'OMG 2' was affected. He also revealed that exhibitors were saying the film incurred a loss of Rs 80-100 crores. 

''The collection would have been much better from a business point of view. But now as the audience has watched it, my purpose is achieved. But the business part which benefits the producers and gives them confidence that they should produce more such films, now I think that the dent it has caused, they will be a bit sceptical to back such movies,'' shared the 'Road to Sangam' director.

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Amit feels lucky that he got a producer like Akshay Kumar who was courageous enough to go ahead with the film despite facing loss (Viacom 18 Studios have co-produced the movie alongside Cape of Good Films and Wakaoo Films). He added, ''He (Akshay)was not bothered with the loss and no matter what it costs, he was eager to show the film. He was like 'I am ready to bear the loss and ready to show the film to the audience through OTT or theatrical''.

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