India Insight

No ‘Dirty Pictures’ please, we are Indian

April 24, 2012

Indians woke up on Sunday to front page newspaper ads announcing the TV premiere of “The Dirty Picture”, a National-award winning film that was both critically acclaimed and successful at the box-office.

The film, based on the life of soft porn star Silk Smitha, was one of the most popular Bollywood movies of 2011, and its success catapulted lead actress Vidya Balan into the big league.

It was a glaring example of how Indian audiences, torn between traditional values and rapidly Westernising cities, have come to accept films with bolder themes.

For those who hadn’t watched the film in cinemas, this was a chance to see what the hype was all about. Sony Entertainment, the TV channel, launched a high-octane publicity campaign for Sunday’s telecast.

But noon came and went and there was no “Dirty Picture” in sight. Instead the channel ran a ticker, apologising for not being able to show the movie. As it turned out, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting deemed it unsuitable for family viewing, asking the channel late on Saturday night to air the film only after 11 p.m.

This after the censor board asked the film’s producers to make 59 cuts in the film to make it suitable for television viewing. Bollywood was furious, as were the producers of the film.

“It is sad that even after a valid U/A certificate from the CBFC and all the cuts being in place, the channel was directed to telecast the film at 11 p.m.,” Tanuj Garg, CEO of Balaji Motion Pictures, which produced the film, told Reuters. “We have not seen this happen to any other film”.

Of course, if you’ve been a regular on Indian television, this wouldn’t have come as a surprise. Hollywood movies are routinely censored, with even innocuous words beeped out while “having sex” is often changed to “making love” in the subtitles.

HBO’s popular “Game Of Thrones” series, which was telecast on Indian television last year, was almost unrecognisable, with several cuts and beeps.

The irony in all this is that Vidya Balan received the National Award, given by the same ministry, for her role in “The Dirty Picture”.

It all boils down to whether the government gets to decide what you watch or don’t watch on television.

Comments
4 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

IT IS VERY SAD SUCH THEAMFUL MOVIE IS NOT TELECAST BY SONY TV DUE TO SOME UNAVOIDABLE REASONS THEY SAY. THEY MUST HAVE PROCLAIMED ALL RIGHTS AND COMPLETED ALL THE FORMALITIES BEFORE DELIVERING AN ADV. FOR THE SAME MOVIE. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG IN TELECASTING THE MOVIE. WE AWAIT.

Posted by lakhiani | Report as abusive
 

After 59 cuts by the sensor board, the movie is the watchable. I am surprised.

Posted by adal | Report as abusive
 

I think its a depends on sensor board.

Gute Horrorfilme

Posted by allay | Report as abusive
 

This is pathetic. Where on earth are they before showing black grape flavoured condoms all day through, kids watching them………..There was not so much in that movie.

I have seen it and yes after 59 cuts, I wonder if there can be possibly any objectionable part.

Most blockbuster Indian movies today telecasted on TV have so much on sex and even the daily soaps….you find some scenes……that were earlier unimaginable.

Posted by IndYouth | Report as abusive
 

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