Trouble refuses to die down for the makers of Go Goa Gone. After the Anti Tobacco Oganisation raised objection to the film’s lead actor Saif Ali Khan smoking in the publicity poster, now Goan MLA Pramod Sawant is protesting against the film for ‘defaming’ the state.
“The poster shows Saif smoking a cigar through a girl’s corpse. It encourages public to smoke. This is one of the instances wherein the filmmaker has been misusing Goa’s name,” said Sawant, who has appealed to Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar to take strict action against the filmmakers.
The production team has, however, already replaced the cigar with a bullet in Saif’s mouth in the poster, and refuses to bow down further. “Whatever has been shown in the film has no direct reference to the state. The characters in my movie are not representing the state. It’s all situational and unreal and we could have shot it anywhere but I chose Goa as it’s one of my favourite places — a happening one. So we did not have any intention to defame the state,” says director Raj Nidimoru.
Others in the fraternity support Nidimoru, and say it’s unfair to curtail creative freedom in the name of a state’s dignity.
“Where do we go? Everyone sees the film industry as an easy target, and blames everything on it. This has been happening for long … par hum apna kaam karte jaa rahe hain aur wo (protesters) apna,” says filmmaker Ramesh Taurani.
Filmmaker Sunil Bohra says this is a classic case of babu hypocrisy. “If they can’t see actors smoking cigarettes as it defames their state, why don’t they ban cigarette sale in the state? They will never do that. So when the government has nothing else to do, they start pelting stones at us. If they are so particular, why don’t they fund us so we can make educational films instead?” he says.
In the past, many films, including Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum and Dum Maaro Dum among others, have faced similar trouble where the government or moral police accused them of spoiling the state’s image.
Goa’s past troubles
The Goa government raised objection to one of the dialogues in Dum Maaro Dum, and the title track that showed Deepika Padukone smoking. The filmmakers were made to delete the dialogue and put a disclaimer during smoking scenes.
The Congress in Goa demanded a ban on Ekta Kapoor’s Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum, saying the film offended Christians.