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Updated: October 14, 2013 19:15 IST

No smoking scenes, please

Udhav Naig
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Filmmaker M. Rajesh
Special Arrangement Filmmaker M. Rajesh

What has prompted director M. Rajesh to take this stand?

Director M. Rajesh, who gave us the line “Oru Quarter Sollu Machi”, announced that his heroes would henceforth not smoke in his films at the audio launch of his All in All Azhaguraja. “Even in this film, Karthi doesn’t smoke,” he says.

What prompted this sudden change? “Every time I went to the censors, they asked me to reconsider scenes where characters drink and smoke. They have always asked me to avoid such scenes,” says Rajesh.

This decision of the director comes in the wake of criticism against displaying ‘anti-tobacco’ messages during smoking scenes in films. Recently, noted Hollywood filmmaker Woody Allen decided against releasing his film, Blue Jasmine, in Indian cinemas, citing that running such scrolls interfered with his vision and creativity.

Will this decision not affect Rajesh’s creative expression? “In a country like India, where big stars have a huge following, I realised that these scenes do have an impact. Which is why I have decided that my films will be free of these scenes in future,” he says.

Does this mean he will also refrain from having ‘drinking scenes’ as well? “No character will smoke,” he says and adds, “With regard to characters drinking in my films, I will make sure that I don’t glorify or endorse alcohol consumption.”

Welcome change - Appreciate this from Rajesh ;
Let him stick to this stand - don't portray his characters smoking and drinking.

from:  Rajlakshmi
Posted on: Oct 15, 2013 at 14:19 IST

It is very nice of Director Rajesh to not to include smoking scene.
sincere thanks on behalf of the society. Let all the other directors
follow suit. Similarly let all the directors also take a pledge to avoid
drinking scene and double meaning dialogues as well.

from:  S S Rajan
Posted on: Oct 15, 2013 at 12:04 IST

The ban should also include consumption of liquor, showing drunkards and their
behavior

from:  SR
Posted on: Oct 15, 2013 at 11:10 IST

Nice to know that censor board advises the film-makers to refrain from screening smoking scenes. This does have benefits. I have heard elders tell that many took to smoking seeing yesteryears stars - Sivaji ganesan do. There was no fault of the film star. But our art-loving audience pick up the good and bad of what they view.

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Oct 14, 2013 at 21:13 IST
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