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Film beats scissors, treat next week

They judged the Code and found it ?innocent?. But the acquittal came with a few riders. The Censor Board cleared Ron Howard?s The Da Vinci Code capping two days of nail-biting suspense. It was let off with an ?adults only? certification and a disclaimer saying it was a work of fiction. But it?s release may be delayed by a couple of days.

india Updated: May 19, 2006 13:28 IST

They judged the Code and found it “innocent”. But the acquittal came with a few riders. The Censor Board cleared Ron Howard’s The Da Vinci Code capping two days of nail-biting suspense. It was let off with an “adults only” certification and a disclaimer saying it was a work of fiction. But it’s release may be delayed by a couple of days.

Sony Pictures Limited, which is distributing the movie in India, will have to seek the producer’s approval for insertion of a proviso that states that the movie is based on fiction. “This might take a couple of days,” said an I&B ministry official.

I&B minister P.R Dasmunsi told reporters that the disclaimer was necessitated keeping in mind the sensibilities of the Catholic community. “There will be no cuts, no editing, just a disclaimer in the beginning and the end,” Dasmunsi said. The representatives of the Catholic organizations settled for the disclaimer on Thursday when they submitted their objections to the ministry.

Father Dominique Emanuel, spokesperson for the Church, said there was no reason to ban the film and a disclaimer would suffice. The Catholic Bishops Conference of India also wrote to Dasmunsi indicating their “stand”. The I&B minister had watched the movie, along with representatives of the Catholic Christian community, in the capital on Wednesday. Sources said they were ruffled by a few scenes, where breaking of the Da Vinci Code was portrayed as a “historical fact”. Some members even objected to the “brutality” in the last ten minutes of the film.

The issue, however, rocked the Rajya Sabha, when a Congress member from Goa, Santharam Naik, demanded a ban claiming that it hurt Catholic sentiments. He also regretted the way the Censor Board had handled the issue.

“It appears that Censor Board chief Sharmila Tagore had decided to clear the film even before viewing it,” he said.

First Published: May 19, 2006 13:28 IST