A number of his films have been festival favourites but actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui feels the movies which get tremendous acclaim abroad, unfortunately get stuck here because of censorship issues.
The actor, who has worked in critically acclaimed films as diverse as ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ and ‘Miss Lovely’, says he is saddened by the fact that things really haven’t changed as much as one was expecting.
“There are lot of things we were expecting to move ahead, which haven’t. Five years ago there was a glimmer of hope because such good films were being made. Now, they go to festivals, get awards and acclaim, but the moment they come here, it all fizzles. It is very scary,” Nawazuddin told PTI.
When asked if censor board is one of the reasons, he says films made on real life stories find difficult to be passed.
“There are a lot of places where films are selected only when they get passed by the film federation, censor board. So our films get stuck there. People like when films are made on real topics, but they won’t let it pass or move ahead.”
The 42-year-old actor, however, is happy that his upcoming film “Haraamkhor” is finally releasing on January 13, after the Examining Committee of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had earlier declined to pass the movie citing that the movie’s theme was “unacceptable.”
The film chronicles the relationship between a 14-year-old girl (Shweta Tripathi) and her tuition teacher, played by Nawazuddin, in a small town.
He says though the subject might look sensational to some, the film’s treatment is anything but that.
“We have shot it in a very normal way. It is the story between a teacher and his student, even the title might make people think we are trying to do something sensational.
“But it’s a very smooth, well made film where the aim is not to sensationalise. There is nothing deliberate in the film, or done to grab eye balls.”
Nawazuddin says he was fascinated with the film the moment director Shlok Sharma narrated him a brief idea.
They shot the movie in a small town within 16 days, “improvising scenes as we went along”, he says.
His character, of a married man cum teacher pursuing his young student, is a tricky one to play, and Nawazuddin says there lies the fun.
“What happens usually here is that we have very straight characters. If there is a good guy, he will remain good throughout. We haven’t been able to explore the complexity of a human in our films.
“If a person is good, he must also be having some wrong qualities. That complexity is rarely seen but thankfully new directors are focusing on this, which is good because this kind of cinema will give us an identity worldwide,” he says.
“Haraamkhor” was premiered at the 15th annual New York Indian Film Festival, where Nawazuddin received the Best Actor award for his performance.
The film was also presented the Silver Gateway of India trophy at the 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.