In a country known for its much-celebrated sex manual Kama Sutra and more than one hundred colours of love, it’s hard to figure out bizarre reasoning behind the blanketing out of Fifty Shades of Grey. But the Censor Board, which prefers black-and-white moral judgements, has decided to shield the Indian movie-goer from the blockbuster erotica, which dramatizes the adventures of a sadomasochistic couple.
The future of the film, an adaptation of a best-selling erotic novel by British writer E. L. James, is indeed grey in India. Indian Censor Board will not allow Fifty Shades of Grey, directed by English filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson, to be shown in Indian cinemas, even after the studio made voluntary cuts to the film for removing all nudity.
The chief executive of the Central Board of Film Certification, Shravan Kumar, declined to comment on the decision but said Universal Pictures, which released the film, could appeal the decision.
The movie has smashed records at the international box-office after earning almost $500 million, as per a report in Hollywood magazine Deadline. The trilogy of books has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.
India has now joined the league of Malaysia, Indonesia and Kenya, which have banned the movie from their theatres because of its explicit sexual content. The film’s distributors are also not pursuing a commercial release in China because of the tendency of Chinese censor board to ban sexually explicit films.
Universal Studios sources told Reuters, the studio had already approached the relevant committee at the central board to make its appeal. The source, however, declined to be identified as he is not authorised to make media statements.
The Indian government recently appointed Kumar as chief executive of censor board. Ever since the new appointment, the censor board has adopted a conservative attitude towards artistic freedom concerning sex. In the case of a new Bollywood movie ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’, the censor board asked that the word “lesbian” be removed from the film.
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