The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the thrilling box office hit that won Rooney Mara a Golden Globe nomination, has been banned in India. Censors shelved the film citing “unsuitable sex scenes,” Sony Pictures said this week.
Sorry cinema fans, David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo won’t be hitting theaters in India after all.
The American version of the popular who-dun-it will not be released in India on Feb. 10, as previously planned, after the film’s director refused to cut graphic sex scenes from the movie, in compliance with India’s classification board.
India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) insisted that several scenes be edited before Dragon would be permitted to open in theaters. The CBFC highlighted the following scenes as “unsuitable for public viewing:” two sex scenes between Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) and Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig); a lesbian scene where Lisbeth meets a woman at a bar; the controversial rape and torture of Lisbeth and her subsequent revenge rape on her legal guardian Nils Bjurman (Yorick van Wageningen).
Ordinarily, scenes involving nudity are blurred before being screened to Indian audiences. But Fincher and Dragon producers were asked to cut the offensive scenes out altogether by officials of the nation, which is home to some of the highest child sex slavery and sex crime statistics in the world.
On Sunday, Mumbai’s branch of Sony Pictures released a statement confirming the film’s withdrawal, just weeks ahead of its planned release date.
“Sony Pictures will not be releasing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in India. The Censor Board has adjudged the film unsuitable for public viewing in its unaltered form and while we are committed to maintaining and protecting the vision of the director, we will, as always, respect the guidelines set by the Board,” the statement read.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an R-rated adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling book of the same name. The late writer decided to write the story after witnessing a gang rape when he was 15.
But that explanation hasn’t helped the film or its literary predecessor escape allegations of glamorizing rape and violence.
This is the second time Dragon has courted controversy since its release last month. Just weeks ago, popular clothing retailer H&M drew the ire of critics when it released a line of fashions inspired by the film.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has already earned nearly $100 million at the U.S. box office. The film took in more than $165 million overseas. It appears on its way to breaking the $200 million mark globally, with much of Asia still ahead.