Bond gets a ‘sanskari’ makeover in India

Daniel Craig and Lea Seydoux.

Daniel Craig and Lea Seydoux.

India’s notoriously prudish film board has ruled that long kissing scenes in the new James Bond movie “Spectre” are not suitable for Indian audiences.

The Mumbai-based Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has reined in the fictional British spy’s famously lusty romantic life by cutting the length of two passionate embrace scenes, its chairperson told AFP.

“We have reduced them,” CBFC head Pahlaj Nihalani said, referring to separate kissing scenes between Daniel Craig, who plays Bond, and his co-stars Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux.

“Our work is for censoring the movie according to the rating of the film so we have done that,” Nihalani said of “Spectre,” which hits screens in India on Friday.

Nihalani said the film had been given an unrestricted adult rating, which means parental guidance is required for children under 12 years old.

Nihalani said the film’s promoters had the right to object to the edits but had not done so.

India’s censors have a long history of barring movies and cutting scenes, including those that are deemed too racy or may cause religious offense, with filmmakers accusing censors of intolerance.

The hashtag #SanskariJamesBond, meaning ‘virtuous’ in Hindi, trended on Twitter with users sharing Internet memes portraying a more demure Agent 007, sometimes dressed in traditional Indian attire.

A still from “Casino Royale,” in which Craig emerges from the sea wearing tight blue speedos, was doctored so that his torso was covered by an orange ceremonial scarf.

Another showed Craig with an ash pattern on his forehead, much like a Hindu holy man, while one compared Bond girl Ursula Andress with a “#SanskariJamesBond” girl in a sari.


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