First things first, the film has not been banned as of yet!
On the contrary, the film has actually been cleared by the Punjab and Sindh censor board and only a certificate is yet to be issued. The Central Board based in Islamabad is the only one who has yet to clear the film and that is because at the initial five-member screening all members unanimously felt the film was unfit for public viewing, so the full board will re-watch the film tonight and give the final verdict.
Here it is worth mentioning that post the 18th amendment the three boards are autonomous bodies and can give out different verdicts and a film can release in one province while not in the other. But with a high profile Pakistani film which apparently has irked quite a few government officials the other two censor boards probably want to be on the same page with the Central Board and hence are waiting for the board’s verdict.
Nonetheless, coming back to the main point and how this ban situation is a blessing in disguise for the film. Ever since the news of the ‘ban’ was first made public it has triggered this almost maniacal response from the audiences. Verna is trending on Twitter, Facebook is full of statuses where heated debates are taking place on the news. All in all the film has become a talking point and has piqued the curiosity of the audiences something which was earlier missing, despite the crazy promotions that the team was doing.
For whatever reasons, up until yesterday, the film hadn’t really generated the kind of hype as was expected from a Mahira Khan- Shoaib Mansoor film which was evident from the talk within the trade. However, this ban has generated quite the buzz for the film and once the film gets cleared by the Central Board this will only to translate into more tickets and a thunderous opening at the box office this Friday.
But while we are fairly optimistic that the film will be cleared for screening, Industry insiders are sharing their reservations that the Central Board is bent on banning the film as the film paints a picture of Pakistan which the officials deem negative and feel the content is objectionable. Anyhow, we truly hope that this entire issue settles down and the film releases this Friday and we get to see the third film from the maestro who in the past gave us memorable films like ‘Bol’ and ‘Khuda Kay Liyay’.
All the best Team Verna, we are rooting for you, as is all of Pakistan!