The anti-smoking legislation in India has proved controversial for film makers before
This weekend would have seen Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine open in around 30 cinemas in India, but the director has decided to withdraw him film due to the anti-smoking campaign that would have penetrated two of his scenes. In India, on selected scenes that are deemed suitable, a banner is shown warning against the dangers of smoking.
Woody Allen on the set of Blue Jasmine
In Blue Jasmine, which stars Cate Blanchett, there are two scenes that would have been affected by this, which wasn’t acceptable for Allen, who decided to pull the movie.
A publicist for the director explained to Reuters: "Due to content in the film, it cannot be shown in India in its intended manner. Therefore, the film is not scheduled to play there."
The film's Indian distributor, PVR films, told DNA newspaper the director the final say with regards to his film. "He wasn't comfortable with the disclaimer that we are required to run when some smoking scene is shown in films," Deepak Sharma said.
“He feels that when the scroll comes, attention goes to it rather than the scene. We had to abide by the law and we don't have control over the film."
For Allen, this won’t mean a great deal. A very slight dip in the box office haul, perhaps, compared to what it could have been, but nothing dramatic.
The film is still being talked about in Oscars conversations, with Blanchett’s performance dominating sentences. Her performance in what has been described as Allen’s finest work for two decades is now the favourite for Best Actress, according to the bookies. She’s 1/4 with Paddy Power and 3/10 with Ladbrokes at the time of writing.
Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine