Indian Films

Movies from India that have been cut or banned in Australia.


Petta

Directed by Karthik Subbaraj / 2019 / India / IMDb

A 171-minute DCP of PETTA was rated MA15+ (Strong violence) in January 2019.

The classification matrix described,
Strong impact: violence
Moderate impact: themes
Mild impact: language
None: drug use, nudity, sex

January 4, 2019
Reasons for the Decision
The classifiable element is violence that is strong in viewing impact.

The examples described below do not represent an exhaustive list of the content that caused the film to be classified MA 15+. The times given are approximations.

VIOLENCE

The film contains violence that is strong in impact and justified by context.

Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

At 22 minutes, post intermission, a baby shower celebration is held for Poongodi. The estranged brother of Poongodi, Singaar, attends the celebration and offers gifts and reconciliation. Singaar has concealed explosives in the gifts and as he departs the explosives are detonated. Numerous bodies are thrown in the air and onto the ground from the force of the detonation. Post-action visuals depict numerous persons, including children, implicitly dead with bloody wounds and burnt flesh. Several assassins armed with automatic rifles, fire numerous rounds into any survivors of the bombing and blood sprays into the air as the bullets penetrate into their bodies. Petta’s brother receives two bullet wounds to his upper body, accompanied by stylised blood spray and he falls to the ground to his implicit death.

At 80 minutes, post intermission, Singaar is captured by Petta and forced to sit in a chair. In retribution for the murder of Malik and others, Petta orders his allies to fire numerous shots from automatic weapons at Singaar. A slow-motion sequence depicts numerous bullets penetrating

into the body of Singaar, accompanied by blood sprays. The scene concludes with a close-up of the body of Singaar, rocking in the chair as blood oozes from the bullet wounds in his body.

In the opinion of the Board, the cumulative impact of the frequent gunplay and shoot-cuts, together with the blood and injury detail, exceeds moderate and, as such, warrants accommodation within the MA15+ classification.

OTHER MATTERS CONSIDERED OR NOTED

The Board notes that the film contains themes that can be accommodated within a lower classification.

Decision:

This film is classified MA 15+ with consumer advice of strong violence.

– Classification Board report

Censored M-rating

Four days later, a 169-minute cut version saw the rating drop to M (Mature themes and violence).

The classification matrix now described the ‘Moderate impact’ violence, rather than ‘Strong’.

January 8, 2019
Synopsis
This film is a modified version of PETTA, an Indian action adventure film about Kaali, a hostel warden, who has a hidden past. The film is in the Tamil language with English subtitles.

Reasons for the Decision
The classifiable elements are themes and violence that are moderate in viewing impact.

The examples described below do not represent an exhaustive list of the content that caused the film to be classified M. The times given are approximations.

THEMES & VIOLENCE

The film contains themes, including caste discrimination, family honour and revenge killings, that have a moderate sense of threat and menace and are justified by context. The film contains moderate violence that is justified by context. The two elements are inextricably linked throughout the film.

Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

At 22 minutes, post intermission, a baby shower celebration is held for Poongodi. Poongodi became pregnant prior to her marriage with Malik who is from a lower caste. The estranged brother of Poongodi, Singaram, is outraged but attends the celebration and offers gifts and reconciliation. Singaram has concealed explosives in the gifts and as he departs the explosives are detonated. Numerous bodies are thrown in the air and onto the ground from the force of the detonation. Post-action visuals depict numerous persons, including children, implicitly dead with wounds and burnt flesh. Several assassins armed with automatic rifles, fire numerous rounds into any survivors of the bombing, including Malik. No blood spray or explicit wound detail is depicted.

At 72 minutes, post intermission, Petta and his allies engage in a lengthy and frenetic gun battle with Singaram’s henchmen inside a house. Numerous shots are exchanged and several persons are implicitly shot and killed.

The scene climaxes at 80 minutes, when Singaram is captured by Petta and forced to sit in a chair. In retribution for the murder of Malik and others, Petta orders his allies to fire numerous shots from automatic weapons at Singaram. The shots are heard but there is no depiction of blood spray or wound detail as Singaram is implicitly killed and the scene immediately cuts to Petta and his allies in the downstairs section of the house.

In the opinion of the Board, the lack of blood and wound detail mitigates the impact of the violence, therefore allowing it to be accommodated within an M classification.

OTHER MATTERS CONSIDERED OR NOTED

The Board notes that the original film was classified MA15+ with consumer advice of strong violence on 4 January 2019.

In the opinion of the Board, the modifications made to this version of the film (including but not limited to, the removal of blood sprays and removal of depictions of bullets entering bodies) are sufficient to reduce the impact of the violence from strong (MA 15+) to moderate (M).

The Board also notes that the film contains language that can be accommodated within a lower classification.

Decision

This film is classified M with consumer advice of mature themes and violence.

– Classification Board report
Petta (2019) - Advertisement 1
Ad – MKS Retail Group

The applicant, MKS Retail Group, released the film theatrically.

What was censored?

22:00 – The baby shower attack tones down the blood spray.

January 4, 2019
MA15+ rated – Several assassins armed with automatic rifles, fire numerous rounds into any survivors of the bombing and blood sprays into the air as the bullets penetrate into their bodies. Petta’s brother receives two bullet wounds to his upper body, accompanied by stylised blood spray and he falls to the ground to his implicit death.

January 8, 2019
M-rated – Several assassins armed with automatic rifles, fire numerous rounds into any survivors of the bombing, including Malik. No blood spray or explicit wound detail is depicted.

– Classification Board reports

80:00 – The death of Singaar Singh (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) removes blood spay and reduces the violence.

January 4, 2019
MA15+ rated – A slow-motion sequence depicts numerous bullets penetrating into the body of Singaar, accompanied by blood sprays. The scene concludes with a close-up of the body of Singaar, rocking in the chair as blood oozes from the bullet wounds in his body.

January 8, 2019
M-rated – The shots are heard but there is no depiction of blood spray or wound detail as Singaar is implicitly killed and the scene immediately cuts to Petta and his allies in the downstairs section of the house.

– Classification Board reports

Censored on Netflix?

In December 2020, Netflix Australia had two listings for PETTA. One Tamil (169:32) and one Telugu (169:40).

PETTA lost 01:03 of ‘strong violence’ in the UK before a 169:35 version received a BBFC 12A. This running time was similar to Netflix. Despite this, they still labelled it MA15+ (Strong violence), the rating awarded to the 171-minute version.