Movie trailers

‘It’s a completely adult family film’: Pahlaj Nihalani stands up for ‘Julie 2’

The former CBFC chief spoke about ‘sanskar’ and ‘lady-oriented’ films, while presenting ‘Julie 2’.

Less than a month after being sacked as chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification, Pahlaj Nihalani has yet again managed to raise eyebrows. The Hindi filmmaker and producer has returned to the industry as the distributor of Deepak Shivdasani’s upcoming film Julie 2. A full-page advertisement in the Mid-Day newspaper on Monday featured the lead actress, Raai Laxmi, lounging on the beach, clad in a bikini bottom, a vital section of her torso strategically protected by a magazine.

But despite the suggestiveness of the ad, there is less to it than met the eye, Nihalani claimed at the launch of the trailer in Mumbai on Monday. “It does not have scenes of obscenity or vulgarity and is a completely adult family film,” the filmmaker said.

Nihalani began posing for the cameras using the poster as a backdrop, before going on to address the elephant in the room. “You might all be wondering why I started off distribution with Julie 2 of all the films,” he said. “People might think how I can be back with such a film even after being a sanskari. You all are looking at the film from the point of view of an erotic film. But every film has its own framework and its own ideas. When I listened to the story of Julie 2 in its initial stages, I found it to be very interesting as it is an inside-the-industry story.”

Play
Julie 2.

Starring Telugu actor Raai Laxmi in the titular role, Julie 2 narrates the many struggles of a rookie trying to make it big in Bollywood. The film is a sequel to Shivdasani’s 2004 production Julie starring Neha Dhupia. It will be released on October 6. The filmmakers refused to concede that their production could be classified as erotica. “This film is an eye-opener,” Nihalani said. “The film is also about how a few people in the film industry demean the industry’s name. I am grateful that I am associated with this film.”

Shivdasani insisted that his intention was not to sell skin. “Do not judge a film by its cover,” he declared. Laxmi echoed the same thought. “Down South, there is a limit to glamour, but with Julie 2, I have gone all out because the script requires it,” she said.

Pahlaj Nihalani, Raai Laxmi, Vijay Nair and Deepak Shivdasani at the trailer launch of Julie 2.
Pahlaj Nihalani, Raai Laxmi, Vijay Nair and Deepak Shivdasani at the trailer launch of Julie 2.

During his tenure as the censor board chairman, Nihalani had made headlines for his claims that he would not tolerate obscenity and vulgarity. Films submitted to the board were often subjected to seemingly arbitrary cuts and nicks. Asked about the censor board’s highly publicised refusal to certify Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha (which Nihalani had claimed as “lady oriented”) even as Julie 2 also focussed on a “woman’s fantasy”, the filmmaker fumed, “I know what you are referring to and all I would like to say is that there is no burkha here.”

Though Nihalani’s previous productions such as David Dhawan’s Shola Aur Shabnam (1992), Aankhen (1993) and Andaz (1994) contained a great deal of sexually suggestive material, the filmmaker stressed said that his productions had never run into trouble with the censor board. “Every human being has to fulfill their role,” he said. “Whatever role the government had given me, I fulfilled them with sincerity and accuracy. Now that I am back to films, I will see to it that I will give my hundred percent to this as well.”

He added that filmmakers often use the controversy created by run-in with the censor board as a tool to market their low-budget productions. “Films that don’t get a lot of marketing, tend to use the CBFC as a platform,” he said. “This is my battle and I will fight it all alone. I am a soldier and will fight it. I do not want the support of the industry. Whatever decision the CBFC gives on Julie 2, I will accept it.”

In keeping with his obsessive support for the Modi government, Nihalani concluded by drawing parallels between the administration’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan sanitation programme and the need to cleanse the Hindi film industry. “Every human being cleans his own house and not his entire country or neighborhood,” Nihalani said “But now that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has started, it dawns on people’s minds that they should keep the entire country clean. Likewise I have always thought that one’s mind should always be clean, no matter what. And films are nothing but mirrors of the society. This is why we should show audience-appropriate content.”

Play
Khada Hai.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Now that you’ve reached the top, how often do you say, “Thank You”?

What kind of a leader are you?

How do you define success? The typical picture of success is a large bank balance, expensive material possessions and fame. But for some, success is happiness that comes from fulfilling a childhood dream or attaining a sense of purpose. For those, success is not about the volume of an applause or the weight of a gold medal, but about showing gratitude and sharing success with the people without whom the journey would be incomplete. Here are a few ways you can share your success with others:

Speech

While it sounds simple and formulaic, a genuine, emphatic and honest speech can make everyone feel like they are a part of a winning team. For a personal touch, acknowledge the team’s efforts by mentioning each one of them by name and thanking them for their unique contributions. Hearing their own name makes people feel proud and honoured.

Realise the success should be passed on

Instead of basking in the glory of their own achievements, good leaders encourage, motivate and inspire others to achieve success. A good leader should acknowledge his own mistakes, share his experience and knowledge and cultivate an environment where every milestone is an accomplishment for everyone in the team. Talk about challenges, the personal and professional struggles that you had to overcome. Sharing setbacks helps others to relate to you and helps them overcome struggles they may be facing.

Celebrate

Nothing beats shaking-off the deadlines, work-pressure and fatigue by celebrating success together. Enjoying a job well done together as a team brings about a spirit of camaraderie. A catered lunch, evening drinks or a weekend off-site, the important thing is to enjoy the win with people who have gone through the same struggle.

Keep it flexible

The last thing you want is for work celebrations to become monotonous and repetitive. Not all milestones have to be celebrated in a grand manner, some can just be acknowledged with gestures such as personal Thank You notes or writing a recommendation on LinkedIn.

Make success more meaningful

Go beyond numbers, sales targets and profits and add meaning to the achievement. Reminding everyone of the larger purpose inspires people. It’s easy to lose interest when you do something in a routine fashion. Giving a larger meaning to success makes people feel more involved and energized.

Great leaders are those who share their victories with others. They acknowledge that the path to success is collaborative. Great leaders don’t stand in front of their team, but are found working amongst them. This video is an ode to such leaders who epitomise the Chivas culture and know how to Win The Right Way. Follow Chivas on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Chivas Studio Music CDs and not by the Scroll editorial team.