Yet another Indian film has hit a dead-end in Pakistan. The country’s censor board has banned Vidya Balan-starrer The Dirty Picture (TDP) from being screened in their country, apparently deeming it unsuitable for theatrical exhibition because of its ‘subject matter and bold scenes.’
Pakistan’s ‘no show’ stance for TDP came after the film’s overseas distributors informed makers that the Pakistan Censor Board refused to clear the film.
“It’s a very hypocritical step. Even if the censors ban it from releasing on the big screen, they can’t stop people from watching it on pirated DVDs. Since Pakistani films aren’t anywhere close to the popularity of Bollywood, they should allow our films to run in theatres for their own good,” says a senior official involved with a Bollywood marketing firm.
When contacted, Tanuj Garg, CEO of Balaji Motion Pictures (producers of TDP) confirms: “Our overseas distributor informed us about the film being rejected by the Pakistan censors. It is very unfortunate that the audience in Pakistan, who have been keenly awaiting its release, will not have a legitimate means of viewing it.”
In the past too, Bollywood films have met with a similar response in Pakistan. Aamir Khan’s Delhi Belly was banned because of its bold and lewd content.
Earlier, Pakistani singer-actor Ali Zafar starrer Tere Bin Laden, about a lookalike of Osama Bin Laden, was also banned because it was a “controversial subject which depicted the character of Osama Bin Laden in a comic way... and contains vulgar and objectionable dialogue, abuses and derogatory remarks.”