Despite all the pre-movie hype in Pakistan surrounding Happy Bhag Jayegi, Momal Sheikh’s Bollywood debut has been held from being released in Pakistan by the censor boards.
The ban was imposed due to a scene which shows a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, reports Hindustan Times.
The producer of the film, Anand L Rai, said that the censor board had initially approved the film but had asked them to make some changes.
The censor board of Pakistan saw the film and they loved it. They wanted us to cut a minor part of the film. We agreed to it. Initially, I was told that the film is clean,” he said.
The film was later barred from screening across the country.
“Later, we were informed that a ministry in Pakistan had objected to the film. As a filmmaker, the only greed I have is that the movie should reach a larger audience. The political reason for which a film is banned has nothing to do with a common man.”
Comparing the situation to Bollywood, Anand said, “In Bollywood, we have made a film on Gandhiji — Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006). But we never faced any backlash. As filmmakers, we are allowed to have our own voice.”
The producer went on to say that the board also “had issues with the policeman’s character in the film (played by Piyush Mishra)” for which they were not provided the reason.
Earlier, Happy Bhag Jayegi faced a roadblock as CBFC could not reach a unanimous decision due to technical differences between the board members.
Earlier, an official of the Punjab Board of Film Certification told The Express Tribune that the board had no issues with the film.
“We had reviewed the film and found it suitable for public viewing in Pakistan but we cannot issue a certificate because apparently the federal government has a few objections with it,” he said.