THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES | THE INDIA FILES
by James Killough
Flipping mindlessly, sleepily through the chattering polyglot channels of Indian TV last night in my hotel room, I landed on a station that screens Hollywood films, the kind I would never ordinarily watch, i.e., the majority of films that are made. Ivan Reitman’s My Super Ex-Girlfriend was on. Wow, what a crock of shit. Unwatchable. I cannot imagine how Uma Thurman must have made it through a single day of shooting that clownish cack without taking her eye off her mortgage payments.
During a showdown between Uma Thurman’s ex-girlfriend character and Anna Faris’s current girlfriend character, the word “bitch” was bleeped so as not to offend sensitive Indian ears. The subtitles, which translated American into standard English, substituted “bitch” with “witch.” That blip of stringent censorship helps to understand why studios are so relentlessly inclined toward making nothing more rattling than a PG-13 film. Even the anodyne The King’s Speech has been modified to take out the whole “fuck” sequence with a view to broadening the film’s marketability, as if an Oscar sweep weren’t enough. As a result, it has made over four hundred million worldwide, and will continuing pumping money for years to come.