The astounding number of Bombay Velvet’s multiple edits has become a topic of discussion in Bollywood

Anurag Kashyap’s ambitious drama, Bombay Velvet, continues to be mired in controversy even as the film’s release draws near. The film, which Ranbir Kapoor is banking so heavily on and for which Fox Star Studios India have paid a whopping price, has become the most-discussed project in film circles.

First, there was news about Ranbir’s displeasure after seeing the film’s rushes. Then one heard about the major re-shooting that the film underwent. Now, the trade is abuzz with stories about the film’s multiple edits — apparently, there are over 35 cuts of the film that Anurag has at his disposal to choose from.

For the uninitiated, this is how usually a film’s edit works. After the film is shot, the editor (with or without the director) goes through the film’s rushes and makes a cut of his own — the way he sees the film. Sometimes, he also makes a cut based on the director’s brief, in case it is radically different.

For Bombay Velvet, Anurag had brought in Prerna Saigal (who did the acclaimed film Peddlers) to edit the film. A source from the film’s unit reveals, “After the film’s re-shooting, there is so much material to choose from. The film has been in the news for all the wrong reasons so Anurag doesn’t want to take any chance. Prerna has made over 30 different edits — with each one having a different take and perspective.”

But that’s not all. Oscar-winning Thelma Schoonmaker (who did films like Goodfellas and The Departed) is editing the international version of the film. Our source reveals, “Prerna was with Thelma in New York, working with her on the international edit. Now, Thelma has five different edits ready. That is in addition to the edits done by Prerna.”

It still doesn’t end here. People connected with the film insist that Anurag himself has also made a few cuts — as per his vision. “While the editor’s versions are in the range of 119 minutes in length, Anurag’s version is almost 140 minutes long.”

There sure seems to be a lot of variety in Bombay Velvet, at least as far as the edits are concerned. Hopefully, the makers and the audiences enjoy whichever version makes it to the theatres.