Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine’ will not release in India this weekend. Apparently, the filmmaker strongly disapproved to the anti-tobacco ads that the Indian government needs cinemas to play before and during the movies that shows scenes with characters smoking. Alan declined to make “customizations” in the movie for the sake of the advertisements. He was adamant to portray the film the way it is. It is rumoured that this has led PVR to cancel the release.
“Blue Jasmine,” has been tremendously praised by the critics. It is supposedly his best work in recent times. Cate Blanchett is on the lead in the film. She plays rich New York socialite who has to face humiliation due to her husband’s arrest for financial crimes. The film released three months ago in US and was supposed to release this week in India. But, due to Alan’s refusal to show anti-tobacco adds the movie will not make it to the screens this week.
Showing smoking scenes in movies and TV shows has been banned in India for over a year. It has therefore become mandatory for all the filmmakers to show health warnings along with text inserts at the bottom of the screen whenever a character is shown smoking in a film. Nearly all directors accept these rules but Woody Allen refused to allow these insertions in the film.
This is not for the first time that something like this is happening. India’s film censor board consistently demands cuts and changes when certain scenes seem offending to our culture. Movies like, David Fincher’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ and Steven Spielberg’s ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ had been banned due to certain objections.
Many directors accept the alterations while others rest adamant. A few stand up and put forth valid arguments too. David Fincher refused changes while Martin Scorsese David Lynch and other put forth strong arguments. What all the directors have to say is that these alterations alter the very basis of their art and their imagination.
There is a very small audience of Hollywood in India. But, the fact that the market is continuously growing also cannot be denied. The issue that always remains in the dark is that we, Indians are losing on some really good works of art.
Watch the official trailer, here: