Union Health Minister Anbumani is upset with Bollywood films for showing too much smoking! His ire was obviously directed at the promos of the much-awaited Don in which superstar Shah Rukh Khan exhales a pouch-full of air.
Earlier this week, Ramadoss made a statement saying that all films showing characters who smoke would bag an ‘A’ [Adults] certificate!
The industry is amused and says it’s a case of much ado about nothing. Director Farhan Akhtar is even more amused because in ‘Don’, Shah Rukh’s character has actually been established as a non-smoker!
Remarked Farhan, “I am surprised about the controversy because it far from applies to ‘Don’. Too much has been made of it. Why would I glamourise smoking on screen and make it look like a heroic stunt?!
In the film, Shah Rukh holds an unlit cigarette in his hand and is trying hard to quit. In fact, I have known many people who are struggling to quit smoking, doing that. I thought it would be an interesting trait to incorporate into Shah Rukh’s character in ‘Don’.”
Reacting to why ‘Don’ has been targeted, he reacts, “Obviously, people are all waiting to see the film. Furthermore, Shah Rukh is a huge star and it may have been thought that he would sub-consciously influence impressionable minds. But the way to curb smoking is to ban it in public places and increase cigarette prices, not prevent characters in films from smoking!”
The music of ‘Don’, just out in the market, is already at No.1 on the music charts. Says Farhan, “Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy have worked with me before on Dil Chahta Hai and Lakshya. They have created a very young and modern sound with a mild retro element, which harks back to the 1970s. They have achieved something special and the response has been heartening!"
Commenting on his decision to re-make the old Amitabh Bachchan classic, he says, “I have grown up on Don. I think most of us have! I loved its narrative, its characters and its music! I was very excited about making a contemporary Don, merely as a tribute to the film which I have enjoyed in my childhood years! While retaining the essence of the old version, I have given it my own touch and perspective!” he signs off.