After repeatedly locking horns with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC; informally called Censor Board) since Dec 2016, director Alankrita Shrivastava’s film, Lipstick Under My Burkha, finally got a July release date earlier this month.
The film’s poster, which shows a lipstick in place of the middle finger, released on Tuesday, creating a buzz for what many think is the makers’ way of getting back at CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani, who had earlier denied the film certification, terming it “lady-oriented”. But the film will finally see the light of day, after they approached the Appellate Tribunal.
Ask Alankrita about the intent behind it, and she says, “The poster is about women having fun and defying patriarchy (sticking to the film’s theme). The credit goes to Ekta [Kapoor] and team and the design agency for coming up such an innovative idea to put across our point.”
This poster, which went viral, isn’t the only example of bold posters of films that ran into trouble with the Censor Board. Befikre posters had Ranveer Singh and Vani Kapoor on a lip-lock spree, the one for Fuddu saw the lead actor standing naked holding a flower pot hiding his modesty, whereas the Wajah Tum Ho poster stressed on steamy scenes.
But is this their way of turning rebel? “When I see such a poster, I don’t think about CBFC but what the film is trying to say. So, posters [like these] end up becoming a great marketing tool to create awareness and interest in the film, especially if it’s a small budget film,” says filmmaker Onir, adding that CBFC anyway has no control over what’s being released in the web space.
Actor Sana Khan of Wajah Tum Ho says, “Filmmakers know that they can’t put everything in execution in the film, so they put it out there in the form of bold posters”. She adds that Censor Board needs to anyway become slightly more lenient.