NEW DELHI: It seems the on-screen speed demons will soon have to push their brakes before wooing the Indian cine buffs. With the government mulling a standard disclaimer in films and television commercials depicting car chase and car stunts, the James Bonds or the Bollywood super cops will only be able to showcase their chasing skills with a statutory warning.
As per the existing rules, any Hollywood or Bollywood films, which have smoking or drinking scenes, need to run a warning scroll saying “Cigarette smoking is injurious to health” or “Alcohol consumption is bad for health”. In certain cases, the filmmakers have been asked to remove such scenes altogether.
And now, if the government has its way, Roger Moore’s iconic film, The Man With the Golden Gun, will be relieved off the 360-degree cork-screw car roll in mid air or the scene will be required to carry a statutory warning.
The filmmakers in the past had cried foul over the rules citing violation of right to speech and creative expression. But with the government and Central Board of Film Certification planning to introduce the new warning, the film fraternity’s already strained relationship with the censor board could worsen further.
With the government mulling a standard disclaimer in films and TV commercials depicting car chases and car stunts, the movies will only be able to showcase their chasing skills with a statutory warning.
On March 16, a meeting was called by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting with senior officials from CBFC, Advertising Standards Council of India and some officials from Doordarshan. Some experts from the automobile industry also attended it. “The ministry told the officials that mostly youngsters are influenced by car chasing scenes and bike stunts. This not only threatens their lives but also puts others in jeopardy,”sources said.
They add that the ministry maintains that such disclaimer is necessary for road safety given that road accidents kill over 300 people every day.
Representatives from the auto industry, however, categorically told ministry officials that such disclaimers will not be beneficial. They pointed out that many cars are built for speed. Showing statutory warnings on TV commercials for these cars will be difficult.
Certain scenes from Bollywood director Rohit Shetty’s film Singham, which shows Ajay Devgn popping out of a car at 120 km per hour, was discussed. Salman Khan’s commercial of a cola brand in which the superstar converts his bike into a motorboat with some powerful stunts was discussed.
“The government has asked representatives from the advertising fraternity for their considered views on the matter. The CBFC officials, however, said that implementation of a new statutory warning could be difficult given differences over alcohol and smoking disclaimers. Doordarshan officials were of the view that they have already sensitised the commercial and film wings to ensure all videos are properly vetted and reviewed before airing them,” sources said, adding that top officials of the I&B ministry will meet soon to take a final decision on the issue.
On the fast lane
Scenes from Bollywood director Rohit Shetty’s film Singham, which shows Ajay Devgn popping out of a car at 120 km per hour, was discussed in the I&B ministry meeting. Salman Khan’s cola commercial was also a case in point.