India's RAGINI MMS Runs Afoul Of Censors. New Trailer Online

Editor, U.S. ; Dallas, Texas (@HatefulJosh)
India's RAGINI MMS Runs Afoul Of Censors.  New Trailer Online
Well, it looks like the producers of India's first found-footage style horror film have run into a bit of trouble.  The country's notoriously uptight censors have refused to grant Ragini MMS even an "A" certification, unless three sequences are cut from the film.  In this case, the problem isn't violence or gore, with which Indian censors seem to have little problem, but sex.  To make the case even more confounding, at least to this Westerner, there isn't any explicit sexual conduct or even nudity in the scenes in question, just suggestive dialogue.  Here are the details, as reported by Bollywood Hungama:
The Censor objected to the vulgarity quotient in 3 scenes. The first scene which the Censors found objectionable was a scene in which the male lead Rajkumar talks to his girlfriend Kainaz about the after-effects of aphrodisiac tablets. Another scene which shows Rajkumar's character asking his girlfriend to indulge in oral sex has also been chopped while the third and final scene which has been snipped is a scene in which the couple use vulgar language referring to male and female genitals while getting intimate.
We can get most of that stuff into PG-13 films these days in the States.  A certification from the censor board is required for a film to be played in public theaters, and with a relatively big investment from a brand new company like this, Alt Entertainment has little choice but to do what the censors say, or else forget about making any money off Ragini MMS.

The news isn't all bad for Ragini MMS, though.  Despite it's relatively low budget, it has scared up a huge amount of interest among young Indians, specifically due to the reportedly raunchy content.  Ragini MMS looks set to make a serious showing on the Indian box office charts when it opens next weekend, regardless of what the censors say. 

The film is purportedly based on a true story, but then what horror film isn't?  Shot in the style of, and admittedly inspired by, Paranormal Activity, it hopes to repeat the kind of success that film had with a miniscule shooting budget.  The trailer does nothing to distance the film from the Paranormal Activity comparisons, though Ragini MMS does have the sex angle working for it, which is a big selling point.

Here is how the producers describe it:
Ragini MMS is a sensuous paranormal film, shot as if in real time!

The quintessential couple, Ragini and Uday, set out to have a dirty weekend at a friend's farmhouse on the outskirts of Mumbai.

The weekend getaway quickly changes gears as they find themselves in a house that has been rigged with cameras in Bigg Boss style.

The cameras that were meant to capture love-making are witness to something that is beyond the realm of human understanding...something metaphysical....

Within the confines of this house, Ragini and Uday are now at the mercy of an unexplainable paranormal force.

With sundown approaching, what will the new entrants of the house do?

Positively, among the most keenly awaited films of the season, Ragini MMS, a hybrid of fact and fiction, is thrilling voyeurism from the producers of Love Sex Aur Dhokha.

The scariest date movie, buffering in Theatres on Friday the 13th May!
Alt Entertainment and the fledgling iRock Entertainment have a lot riding on this one, and their brand of marketing seems to be working, with Ragini MMS getting just as much print space as titles from the big Indian studios like UTV and Yash Raj, which is a major coup.  Independent Indian film has been something of a cypher until recently, but with this, a new market could open.  With iRock already planning their Fall release of Shaadi of the Dead, they seem to have a long view of things, and Ragini MMS looks like it might be a great start.  I haven't seen any of my local Indian theaters listing the film in their "coming soon" sections, so it may open first exclusively in India, but hopefully we'll be able to catch it here.

I make no claims against the quality of the film, as I haven't seen it, but I do like the look and the attitude of these filmmakers who are trying to push the envelope as far as content is concerned with mass market Indian film.  An uncensored edition might make for an appealing prospect for international distribution and/or festival play as well.  Good luck.
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Pawan KripalaniVaspar DandiwalaVirag MishraAgnel RomanMayank TewaariKainaz MotivalaRajkummar RaoRajat KaulJaniceDramaHorrorMystery

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