Less than a month since his removal as the chief of the Central Board of Film Certification, Pahlaj Nihalani has returned to the film industry. He will be ‘presenting’ the upcoming ‘bold, beautiful and blessed’ sequel to the 2004 Neha Dhupia erotic film, Julie.
Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, director Deepak Shivdasani said, “I started writing the script in 2012 and had discussed the idea with Pahlajji then. He loved it. He is family and after seeing it with his wife recently, he told me ‘Yeh film ab meri hai,’ and will be presenting it.”
Asked about the racy material, especially with regard to Nihalani’s controversial stance on similar films (he refused to allow the word ‘intercourse’ in Shah Rukh Khan’s Jab Harry Met Sejal, among other things), Deepak said: “It’s a content-driven film and Pahlajji had no objections to any of the scenes.”
This isn’t the first time Nihalani has been associated with controversial material - during his career as producer, he made several films that included suggestive scenes, films like Andaz and Aankhein.
When asked about Julie 2’s themes, Nihalani told the Mirror: “Julie 2 should be given an ‘A’ certificate without any cuts. There is no vulgarity, obscenity or even a language problem. This is a hot seat, you have to be careful with guidelines which are perfect and only the rating system we require.”
Instead, he said Julie 2 would be doing aspiring actors a favour by not sugar-coating the realities of the industry. “My family loved Julie 2, it’s a bold thriller about how talented people come into the industry and then are forced to compromise. It’s a good expose with a message for aspiring actors who come from across the county and don’t get the right people or platform.”
Julie 2 is scheduled to release on October 6. It stars Raai Laxmi in the lead role.