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In the global world we live in, it’s not uncommon to see something considered innocuous in one place handled very differently somewhere else. It happens a lot when pop culture is exported from one country to another. A film may be rated differently in one country than another because different cultures and societies can view the same things very differently. So, the fact that the new James Bond movie was given some additional edits in India is not surprising on the face of it. However, the reason for those edits is more than a little surprising.
India’s Central Board of Film Certification has deemed the kissing scenes in Spectre to be "too excessive" and has thus, removed half of them from the film. They have also removed the film’s one PG-13 acceptable f-bomb as well as an uttering of the word "asshole." This has earned the film the U/A rating, which is more or less on par with the MPAA rating of PG. India does not have a rating option between the U/A and Adults Only.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, this removal of the scenes has led to a backlash on the internet’s home for backlash, Twitter. The hashtag #SanskariJamesBond, or Loyal James Bond, is now your home for all your favorite James Bond jokes, shifted into Indian culture in order to be more in line with what the Film Board would apparently like to see.
This isn't the first time that the CBFC has tried to make modifications to western films. A couple of years ago, they wanted to remove nude scenes from David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was eventually decided to simply not release the film there at all. Hey, does India just have a problem with Daniel Craig?
Being a much more conservative nation, India doesn’t have the variety of film ratings that we have here. Their "Adult’s Only" rating is exactly that. It’s more akin to our NC-17 than an R-rating. Your movie either needs to be family friendly, or nobody who is not an adult can see it at all. It was the wide variability in film content that led to the creation of the PG-13 rating here in 1984. Movies like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom were given PG ratings, something director Steven Spielberg wasn’t sure was right, though an R-rating didn’t seem appropriate, either. There’s a lot of ground to cover between those two extremes.
So remember, James Bond, it’s ok to make out with your Bond girls, just don’t get to "excessive." Why isn’t a peck on the cheek good enough for you?