Woody Allen's latest masterwork "Blue Jasmine" was scheduled to be released in India this past weekend, but that never happened because Allen refused to alter his film to fit in with government mandates.
To explain: In India, before every movie (whether it's an Indian film or not), an anti-tobacco ad is played. The ad, created by the Ministry of Health, explicitly details the health concerns associated with smoking. But what Allen really objected to are the warnings within the movie. Because during the scenes where smoking is depicted, a text message runs through the scene, warning about smoking.
Allen, who has "creative control" over the film's distribution in India, wasn't comfortable with modifying the film. The film's India distributor, PVR Pictures, noted that, "He feels like when the scroll comes, attention goes to it rather than the scene." This is probably true -- why would you watch a quiet scene of two people talking when you can read giant block letters about the dangers of smoking?
The film, about a woman (Blanchett) coming to terms with her new lowly social status after her husband (Alec Baldwin) is discovered for being a Bernie Madoff-type fraud, received strong critical notices and a fairly sizable box office haul when it was released this past summer. Blanchett, even now, is the front-runner for the Best Actress Oscar nomination thanks to her nuanced, heartbreaking performance.
Allen isn't the first filmmaker to refuse India's stringent alterations; last year David Fincher refused to cut sequences from "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" after India's censor board "adjusted the film unsuitable for public viewing in its unaltered form." Instead of change the film, it went unreleased in India.