MUMBAI: The behind-the-scenes goings-on regarding Delhi Belly would unarguably make as interesting a film as Delhi Belly. We now have the film’s director Abhinay Deo and its writer-associate director Akshat Varma completely divided on the question of a cleaned-out version of Delhi Belly.
While Aamir Khan and Varma are skeptical about the vegetarian version of salacious saga, Deo is well on the way to doing Operation Clean-Up on Delhi Belly.
Deo tells Businessofcinema.com, “I’ve already obliterated the expletives and colourful language from the first reel of Delhi Belly. Now I’m on to Reel 2. It’s a challenge because the cusswords and the colourful language is an integral part of the characters.So we’re actually re-structuring the episodes, giving the words and therefore the situations a new relevance.All the actors are re-dubbing their lines.”
Deo admits Aamir was opposed to the idea of a cleaned-out television version of Delhi Belly. “Aamir felt Delhi Belly didn’t belong on television. But I took on the challenge doing a version palatable to family audiences on the home medium.I am not a stranger to such languge. My father (veteran actor Ramesh Deo) who was from Kolhapur used to break into expletives whenever he got angry. My brother and I used to wonder what those words meant! Because my mother(actress Seema Deo) was from Mumbai and never spoke like that. In fact she sat next to me watching Delhi Belly tolerating the film’s language only because her son had made the film.The language , you see, is something I don’t speak myself. But if you meet Akshat within five minutes you’d know where the language of the Delhi Belly characters comes from. Though Akshat has lived abroad most of his life he’s very comfortable using Hindi cusswords even in front of his son.”
No wonder Varma baulks at the idea of an Operation Cleanout currently being performed on Delhi Belly without his knowledge or consent.
Says Varma, “Is a new version of Delhi Belly really being done for television?I’ve no idea.I’m no part of it. I can’t see how it can be done. We really don’t need to be apologetic about the spoken words in Delhi Belly. Even home-viewing audiences are no strangers to expletives and unparliamentary language. Once you flash the pre-warning that the film contains adult language and content there’s no need to modify the language. Delhi Belly is an adult film and that too for adults who are comfortable with a certain kind of language.Its characters speak a certain way. You can’t enter the film on any medium and get shocked by what you hear.”