After making cinematic masterpieces like 2008’s Khuda Kay Lie and 2011’s Bol, Shoaib Mansoor is back yet again. The visionary director and writer has a unique ability to magnificently portray social issues, corroding our country, to light.
His previous films highlighted issues like the dilemma of Muslims post 9/11 in Khuda Kay Lie, and graver subjects like honour killing, and chauvinism in Bol. Shoaib Mansoor’s this new film, Verna, is set to cover something different. The movie is set to uncover the impact of political power and aftermath of rape.
Well, everyone by now knows the movie stars the beautiful and talented Mahira Khan, along with her we have debutant Haroon Shahid and Rasheed Naz in lead roles.
Why did Verna get banned?
The film landed itself in some trouble as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) refused to let it screen. The board claimed that the movie has vulgar dialogues and raw content. According to the board, all of this was unacceptable for the domestic audience and theatres.
The movie’s premiere in Lahore got cancelled, and there was a lot of uproar from the media and the public. The Tribune brought to light a troubling statement of one of the senior members of the CBFC:
“There are many reasons as to why the objections have ascended. Firstly, it shows a governor’s son involved in a rape case – which was the biggest objection. Secondly, it includes many bold dialogues and scenes. The general plot of the movie revolves around rape, which we consider to be unacceptable.”
The Green Signal
The movie has finally been cleared now and has begun screening in most cinema houses across the nation. Audiences of Punjab are rejoicing the lift of the ban since they were the last to be notified. Sindh and Balochistan were the first to get the ban lifted, and Punjab soon followed.
The efforts of the twitteratis and prominent celebrities helped the movie get clearance from the CBFC, and fans couldn’t be happier.
— Ali Rehman Khan (@alirehmankhan) November 14, 2017
The issue by the censor board is that the topic of Rape was too boldly addressed and the rapist character is the Governor’s son. #Verna
— Hina Butt (@hinaparvezbutt) November 14, 2017
Shoaib Mansoor's movie, "Varna" is not about "Rape Scenes", its about police & FIA manipulating evidence & legal system to exonerate the influential rapist; its an "art product" that holds mirror to the system of injustice in Pakistan; should it be banned? Why?
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) November 15, 2017
Even politicians raised their voices.
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) November 14, 2017
Even Deepika Padukone gave her thoughts on the matter of censorship.
"It's sad that a small section of people don't understand the power of cinema." @deepikapadukone speaks out about the controversy surrounding the release of #Padmavati. @iharoonrashid also asks her about @themahirakhan's #Verna which is facing issues. pic.twitter.com/IwwjYMGM4u
— BBC Asian Network (@bbcasiannetwork) November 14, 2017
The movie narrates how power and money can corrupt people and how this can affect others. Verna sheds light on the corrupt political framework of Pakistan and how the faltered administration results in the devastation of a seemingly happily married couple. Shoaib Mansoor’s latest work highlights the horrors of a regular woman being subjected to a social ill as horrible as rape, and how it destroys the lives of its victims.
Mahira Khan plays a strong woman fighting the establishment and trying to get justice for herself. The dialogues and screening of the movie look promising.
Moreover, we get to see the magic of Shoaib Mansoor, once again, after 6 long years.
Personally, I never felt like that movies ban was permanent; it always felt like it was going to be cleared eventually. Could it be just a publicity stunt? The only one gaining from this whole fiasco was the movie itself. It made news headlines EVERYWHERE!!. The ban was even conveniently lifted in good time. Just kidding. Or am I?
However, we couldn’t be any happier that we can finally watch the movie now.
In the meantime, here’s the trailer for Verna. It is absolutely brilliant. The best one I have seen from Pakistan so far.
Do let us know what you think about the movie.
Feature Image via Verna (HUM FILMS)