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I feel the same way as Salman: John Abraham

Actor-producer John Abraham says he’s following an “intelligent promotional campaign” to market his upcoming film. The Censor Board has played spoilsport and given his film an ‘A’ certificate, thereby severely limiting his audience. Read on to find out why a disappointed John is nevertheless confident that this won’t affect his film’s run at the box-office…

Did the ‘A’ certificate surprise you?
Yes. It threw us. I was left scratching my head! But I guess it’s part of life and a part of the filmmaking process and you got to deal with it. I feel it won’t affect the commercial outcome of our film.

You weren’t expecting that rating?
Not at all! We have consciously tried to bring about a change in our presentation of action in the film. Action is always synonymous with blood and gore. We made it very palatable for women and for kids. Our action isn’t gory. It’s cool, sexy and urban and we like it that way.
Salman once said that giving an ‘A’ certificate to action films is the worst decision ever.
I feel the same. This film doesn’t have any bad language, no skin show or any double meaning or anything derogatory. There is a kid in the film, for heaven’s sake. Still, like I said, I’m sure there will be a huge young audience that will come and watch this film.
An ‘adult’ action film limits the audience reach. Agree?
We applied for a U/A certificate but they told us that the basic theme of the film is a 16+. We accepted it. But we still feel that for our film, there will be a huge young audience. Whether they like it or not, they will go to watch this film. Sometimes, it goes beyond certification. And our film has got that core, that pull! A lot of reactions that I have got are from 10-12 year old kids who love that knife fight. It’s so cool!
How can you be so sure of box-office success?
I believe in smart movie-making. If you see the films I’ve produced — I have always tried to back a concept-driven film with an idea of its box-office estimates. For Rocky Handsome, we will be in the safe by the end of Sunday or the first Monday latest. So there’s nothing to worry.
Those who won’t be able to see the film in theatres, will resort to piracy.
It’s a film that people are going to sneak into theatres to watch. They will watch it, I can guarantee you. I promise you. (Smiles) In fact, you will hear of cases where young kids go in to watch the film.
Other countries have different ratings — something that doesn’t exist in India. Comment.
Before I can answer this, I think I need to delve further into what censorship laws are overseas vis-à-vis India. All I can say now is, we showed it already to a young audience, especially girls. They came out saying “we freaking loved it.” So we even asked them, ‘Did you like the emotions?’ They were like, ‘No, man! We loved the action!’


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