Now ‘Fighter’ Banned in the UAE Too

The big-budgeted Hrithik-Deepika film, due for release on Jan 25th, has hit another roadblock with the UAE becoming the latest Arab nation to suspend it.

Jan 24, 2024 - 18:35
Jan 24, 2024 - 21:02
Now ‘Fighter’ Banned in the UAE Too

With just a few hours remaining for the first-day-first-show of the much-anticipated Bollywood action extravagaza Fighter, the UAE has also decided to disallow the thriller from release. This surprising news comes despite recent reports that the film would be allowed to screen across the nation despite being barred in the rest of the Arab world. But as of today, Jan 24th 2024, the UAE has joined the other countries belonging to the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) in passing this decision. However, the official reasons have not yet been shared with the media.

In the wake of the movie’s suspension, speculation and unconfirmed rumours have been doing the rounds. Could it be that the film’s implicit anti-Pakistan stance might have something to do with the sudden move? After all, Indian and Pakistani expats account for the largest foreign ethnic groups in the UAE – at 28% and 12%, respectively. 

Is it possible that the movie’s theme could hence be considered inflammatory and a likely trigger for dissonance between the two communities? Also, lest one forget, the film has been sent through the filter of India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which on Jan 19th,, 2024, attested it after several modifications.

Bollywood films have generally been the rage in Dubai and the other emirates. The natives and expats from South Asia throng to cinemas to catch the latest releases. One might even consider it a mode of cultural bonding. Furthermore, the UAE has been a source of tremendous revenue and an assured way to help expensive Indian films recoup their big budgets. 

One could add that the market in the Middle Eastern country even provides added incentive for Indian production houses to churn out extravagant new feature films. Plus, the UAE has generally been more liberally commercial than its neighbouring countries. Will the nation's authorities relent if the movie undergoes some chopping and changing? Will this sky-bound flick live up to its name and prove to be a... Fighter? Only time will tell!