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Bollywood movie posters that created controversies!

Bollywood movie posters that created controversies

Film posters are created to pique the audiences’ interest about the arrival of a film. But at times, they seem to create news of its own and end up in hot water for their content. From accusations of nudity to indecency, here’s a look at Bollywood movie posters that created controversies.


The posters showing Akshaye Khanna smoking invited some trouble for the actor and the makers. The Delhi Health Department issued a strict compliance notice to the producers of the mystery thriller, Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri Khan, Karan Johar, Hiroo Johar and others, for promoting smoking.
The department had issued the statement about the notice saying, "This promotional material poster of the film being publicised in media is in gross violation of Section 5 of COTPA (Cigarette & Other Tobacco Products Act) 2003 as it promotes smoking. 5,500 youth in India consume tobacco daily and Bollywood films have a lasting effect on youths."

Jism 2

If the fact that the poster was copied from a fashion designer’s visuals wasn’t enough, the ‘Jism 2’ poster was mired in further controversy when protest groups in Amritsar took to burning down dummy models of Sunny Leone to protest for violating the accepted standards of propriety.


Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film ‘Guzaarish’ starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan sailed in troubled waters for its share of controversy. The poster of the film which showed the female lead Aishwarya holding a cigarette in her hand had raised the question. The medical community was up in arms against the poster and even the doctors said that the poster unveiled an unhealthy message to the youth over smoking issues.

The Dirty Picture

Vidya Balan bowled everyone over with her performance in the film. However, the film's poster generated enough controversies. A city court in Andhra Pradesh directed the police to book Vidya for posing indecently on the film's posters and other publicity material. The Nampally Criminal Court passed the order based on a petition filed by advocate SK Azad. The petitioner also mentioned that the hoarding and posters of ‘The Dirty Picture’ were corrupting the minds of people and causing harm to society. There were also reports in the media which suggested that the petitioner requested the police to book Vidya under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and also Indian Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.

Dirty Politics

The movie landed into trouble because the film’s lead actress, Mallika Sherawat, was seen on the movie’s poster wearing nothing but having only the Indian National Flag draped across her torso. This was regarded as a huge insult to the National Flag, and political parties revolted against the poster, which eventually had to be changed.

Hate Story

The West Bengal Censorship Board’s interference with the posters of ‘Hate Story’ had the makers in trouble as it was ordered that actress Paoli Dam’s bare back be painted blue. Calcutta High Court ordered the protagonist’s back be painted. Indeed, in a bid to tone down the risqué element of the movie posters, the Calcutta High Court prohibited their display unless the actress’s bare back was painted blue.

Dunno Y... Na Jaane Kyun

Bollywood's first mainstream gay film ‘Dunno Y... Na Jaane Kyun’ was also embroiled in controversies over its content. Touted as a film that handled the issue of gay relationships sensitively, the film's poster ran into trouble for depicting two bare-bodied males - the film's lead actors Kapil Sharma and Yuvraaj Parashar, in a passionate embrace. Though the film didn't set the cash registers ringing, all the controversies managed to create enough buzz for it.


Kareena Kapoor Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan-starrer ‘Kurbaan’ was also embroiled in controversy before its release when political party Shiv Sena objected to the movie's poster that flaunted Kareena’s bare back. The party even sent Kareena a saree, urging her to cover up. When Kareena was asked for her reaction on the same at an event for the film, she chose not to speak on the subject. However, her better half, Saif came to her rescue and said that if the promotional images had offended anyone unknowingly, then the matter would be looked in to.

Ek Chhoti Si Love Story

Shashilal Nair’s film ‘Ek Chhoti Si Love Story’, which was touted as an innocent love story about a 15-year-old teenage boy and his beautiful, lonely neighbour, made headlines for all the wrong reasons. The women's wing of Shiv Sena set fire to the posters of the controversial film at a theatre and also stopped its screening, in protest against objectionable scenes portraying actress Manisha Koirala in a bad light. Not only this, Manisha also demanded a stay order on the film alleging some of the intimate scenes were shot with a body double and inserted in the film without her permission. However, despite all the controversies and steamy scenes, the film failed to impress the audience and bombed at the box-office.


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