Momal Sheikh’s Bollywood debut Happy Bhag Jayegi, has been held from being released in Pakistan by the censor board.
The ban was imposed due to a scene which shows a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, reports Hindustan Times.
The producer of the film, Anand L Rai, said that the censor board had initially approved the film but had asked them to make some changes.
“The censor board of Pakistan saw the film and they loved it. They wanted us to cut a minor part of the film. We agreed to it. Initially, I was told that the film is clean,” he said.
The film was later barred from screening across the country.
“At present, we can’t say anything about not releasing the film,” says a source in the censor board. “There are some restrictions in everything and we must work within them. Right now we are also awaiting a decision.”
Momal Sheikh while talking to the media said, “A decision is still pending, so I’m just waiting for their response. It was a big day for me with a lot of mixed feelings; I’m excited yet nervous as it is my [Bollywood] debut film. I usually don’t complain nor do I [harbour] any negative [feelings] but this incident has really upset me.”
Momal added that she doesn’t think there were any objectionable elements in the film.
“I’ve yet to watch the whole movie myself, so I’m personally not even aware of half of the scenes,” says Momal, “but from what I’ve seen and gathered, they have definitely shown a positive side of Pakistan, where they are working on helping Indian women.”
Comparing the situation to Bollywood, Anand said, “In Bollywood, we have made a film on Gandhiji — Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006). But we never faced any backlash. As filmmakers, we are allowed to have our own voice.”
The producer went on to say that the board also “had issues with the policeman’s character in the film (played by Piyush Mishra)” for which they were not provided with the reason.
Momal plays the role of Zoya, a strong-willed girl who is an entrepreneur of a fashion house. The film also stars her father Javed Sheikh and Bollywood actors Diana Penty, Abhay Deol, Jimmy Shergil and Ali Fazal.