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|March 25, 1999||
'I say the censor board's thinking is perverted'
This is not his first film though with sexual content. His Andru Peytha Mazhayil had dealt with an adult theme realistically and sensitively but the audiences and the critics were not kind to his next production, Kamagni. He'd also shot an English film, Perfume Garden, on the lines of the Kama Sutra, in Khajuraho.
Why was so obsessed then with Kama?
"You cannot sell the film unless it has got some sensuality. So, I selected the subject -- a very sensuous, erotic story -- to sell the film. I selected newcomers [the hero, Vishal, is his own son]. Let me tell you, kama is desire, passion or, as many call it, sex.
By choosing such a theme and title, wasn't he restricting yourself?
"I am not making films for everyone. See there is no vulgarity, no nudity in my film... For that matter, in any of my films. You know the kind of reviews I got for my film Kamagni which was 10 years ahead of its time? In that film, the wife, who is tortured by her husband, wants to escape from him. So she fantasises about someone who can protect her. I made that imaginary person a body builder and she felt happy, deriving pleasure whenever she thinks about him."
The most controversial part of the film is apparently a scene wherein the heroine has honey poured over her.
"I say that kama is as sweet as honey and it has the fragrance of honey. The censor board says I am perverted. I say their thinking is perverted. I am not. Let me ask, are they from any film school to question my creativity? Do they have any cinematic sense? Do they have any aesthetic sense?
"How did they become censor board members? My father is a great poet. Do you think I'd spoil his name by making pornographic films? If I am a pornographic filmmaker, why was I in the national jury? They are destroying me, torturing me, a creative film-maker.
Wasn't he expecting this kind of a reaction when he made a film with the title Kama?
"No, not at all. I thought they would love it. It's so sweet and beautiful. Okay, at the most they should have given an 'A' certificate. But they chose to write such a dirty letter. I am angry, very, very angry.
"I'm not hurt. Not at all. I feel only creative people; good film-makers should be there in the censor board, not bureaucrats. Why can't they have creative people like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, John Sankaramangalam, Mahesh Bhatt, etc in the censor board panel?"
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