MUMBAI: Director Amit Rai says he wanted everyone to watch his latest release "OMG 2" in theatres, a wish that remained unfulfilled after the CBFC cleared the film with a few modifications and an 'A' certificate.
The Hindi movie, starring Pankaj Tripathi and Akshay Kumar in the lead, explores various issues concerning teenagers, including sex education.
It hit the screens on August 11.
After being "heartbroken" over the censor board's decision to limit the viewing of the movie to adults ('A' certification), the filmmaker is happy with the audience's response.
"OMG 2" has earned Rs 101.61 crore at the national box office in 10 days of its release, the makers announced Sunday.
"We were heartbroken because we made the film for everyone to watch, now that cannot happen.
We begged them to give us a U/A certificate (children below 12 years of age can watch a film under parental guidance) but they didn't.
We tried to convince them till the very end. But then they walked some distance, we walked some distance."
"The film has been released with modifications. We are happy people have loved the film.
The intent of the film was pure. Nobody wanted to titillate the audience, hence they liked it.
We have dealt with it (the story) in a way that doesn't sound vulgar. We talk about the reality, but in a sweet and humorous way," Rai told PTI in an interview.
Asked if the team would make "OMG 2" available on OTT without any changes, Rai said yes.
"We have decided that we will show the original film (on streaming), a film that the censor never wanted people to see, but the public has seen the film and given their verdict.
If the censor board doesn't understand it, what do we say?" At the outset, Rai said he had trouble finding a producer for the film.
"OMG 2" is produced by Cape of Good Films and Wakaoo Films, and presented by Viacom18 Studios.
According to the writer-director, best known for 2010's "Road To Sangam", many top producers had refused to bankroll the movie.
"I went to almost nine production houses and the majority of them rejected the script on the basis of its boldness.
Somebody even said, 'It is crass and gross'. It was surprising for me.
"I was wondering how we will make this film. Luckily, someone introduced me to Ashwin Varde, Vipul Shah, and Rajesh Behl.
They took me to Akshay Kumar, who told me 'It is an interesting and important subject'. I believe if you have a producer like Akshay Kumar, things become easy," he recalled.
"OMG 2" features Tripathi as a devotee of Lord Shiva named Kanti Sharan Mudgal and Kumar as a messenger of God.
Rai, who spent over five years working on "OMG 2", said his aim was to make a film that would both educate and entertain viewers.
The movie is billed as a spiritual sequel to 2012's "OMG - Oh My God".
"The sequel is different from the first part. Like 'OMG' was the story of an atheist, while 'OMG 2' is the story of a theist.
We started thinking what could be the story where we can fit in this thing that the protagonist is a believer of God," he said.
As the first part, headlined by Paresh Rawal and Kumar, was "male-dominated", Rai said they wanted to have a woman lawyer for the courtroom sequences in the follow-up film.
In "OMG 2", Yami Gautam plays advocate Kamini Maheshwari.
"We thought if we can do something around women because the first part was male-dominated.
Then, we thought we could have a female lawyer for the sequel.
"We had also thought about doing something around why women are not allowed to enter temples.
But then we felt we should do something that is educational and benefits people. That's how we zeroed in on the topic of sex education," he added.