Jungle Book Fiasco: Censor Board’s “Acid” Test Revealed


Jungle Book Fiasco: Censor Board’s “Acid” Test Revealed

Illustration: Namaah/ Arré

Aday after children’s movie The Jungle Book was changed from U/A to A, highly-placed sources revealed to Arré on Thursday the exact process behind reviewing and certifying movies. Known simply as the “acid” test, it involves Censor Board of Film Certification chief Pahlaj Nihalani, dropping acid, and taking a swig of Black Label, before the screening.

According to the report, which is an illegible scrawl of stick figures of animals, “tiger is scary”, and “daravna bandar”. It goes on to add “aaaaaah saaap”, a side effect, no doubt, of the acid dropped before reviewing the film.

The CBFC move to grant the movie an A certificate comes in the backdrop of mass protests across the country by critics, fans, and animals, who have argued that the earlier U/A certification “was inadequate”.

The Jungle Book had come to India with a PG rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, the US cinematic rating office, owing to “scary action” sequences and scenes of “peril”.

The report, a copy of which is in possession with Arré, goes on to add that Mowgli, the lead character, is too “scantily clad” through the film. It also says the character Kaa, a python voiced by Scarlett Johansson, is too “phallic” and would lead to “unsanskari” urges. The censor board report also went on to recommend that the title song — “Chaddi Pehen Ke Phool Khila Hai” be dropped for obscenity, because of the word “chaddi”.

When contacted Nihalani’s secretary said, “He needs to mellow out.”

Despite repeated attempts to contact Kipling via a psychic medium, he simply turned in his grave and declined to comment.