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University of South Florida

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Graduate Theses and Dissertations Graduate School

January 2013

A study on the depiction of drug usage, alcohol

consumption and cigarette smoking in movies and
its perceived effect on a young audience. A
comparative study of American and Indian cinema
and their respective Audiences.
Zain Farook Merchant
University of South Florida,

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Scholar Commons Citation

Merchant, Zain Farook, "A study on the depiction of drug usage, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking in movies and its
perceived effect on a young audience. A comparative study of American and Indian cinema and their respective Audiences." (2013).
Graduate Theses and Dissertations.

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A Study on the Depiction of Drug Usage, Alcohol Consumption and Cigarette Smoking in

Movies and its Perceived Effect on a Young Audience. A Comparative Study of American and

Indian Cinema and their Respective Audiences.


Zain Merchant

A thesis proposal submitted in fulfillment

of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Department of Mass Communications
College of Arts and Sciences
University of South Florida

Major Professor: Roxanne Watson, Ph.D.

Justin Brown, Ph.D.
Scott Liu, Ph.D.

Date of Approval:
November 7th, 2013

Keywords: Addiction, drinking, youth, influence, censorship, restriction

Copyright 2013, Zain Merchant


List of Tables .................................................................................................................................. ii

Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... iii

Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 1

Theory ........................................................................................................................................... 5

Literature Review ........................................................................................................................ 12

Research Question ...................................................................................................................... 24

Methodology ............................................................................................................................... 25

Results .......................................................................................................................................... 29
Focus Group 1 .................................................................................................................. 29
Focus Group 2 .................................................................................................................. 34
Focus Group 3 .................................................................................................................. 39
Focus Group 4 .................................................................................................................. 43
Focus Group 5 .................................................................................................................. 48

Discussion and Analysis .............................................................................................................. 53

Conclusion ................................................................................................................................... 66

Limitations ................................................................................................................................... 72

References ................................................................................................................................... 73

Appendices .................................................................................................................................... 77
Appendix A: Emergent Themes from Focus Groups ...................................................... 77
Appendix B: Focus Group Transcripts ........................................................................... 88
Focus Group 1 Transcript .................................................................................... 88
Focus Group 2 Transcript .................................................................................. 144
Focus Group 3 Transcript .................................................................................. 182
Focus Group 4 Transcript .................................................................................. 216
Focus Group 5 Transcript .................................................................................. 254
Appendix C: Certificate of IRB Approval ..................................................................... 288


Table 1: Results from Focus Group 1 ...................................................................................... 30

Table 2: Results from Focus Group 2 ...................................................................................... 34

Table 3: Results from Focus Group 3 ...................................................................................... 39

Table 4: Results from Focus Group 4 ...................................................................................... 44

Table 5: Results from Focus Group 5 ...................................................................................... 48

Table 6: Emergent Themes from Focus Groups Tables........................................................... 77

Table 7: Emergent Themes from Focus Groups Group 1 ..................................................... 79

Table 8: Emergent Themes from Focus Groups Group 2 ..................................................... 81

Table 9: Emergent Themes from Focus Groups Group 3 ..................................................... 82

Table 10: Emergent Themes from Focus Groups Group 4 ..................................................... 84

Table 11: Emergent Themes from Focus Groups Group 5 ..................................................... 86


This study analyzes the depiction of drug usage, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption in

movies in terms of character stereotyping and typecasting. Because movies are focused on

making money they are being used as marketing tools by alcohol and cigarette conglomerates

(Grube, 2004). The study also explores youth perception of such content and tries to determine

the behavioral implications or influence of such content on young children. The goal of this

research is to analyze the social cognitive influence of movies on the youth and the effects of

censorship in movies today. The research compares this effect in the two largest movie markets

the American market (Hollywood) and the Indian market (Bollywood) and the effect of these

depictions on the youth to see whether this issue warrants a global understanding and awareness.

The aim of this study is to understand the nature of the movie markets and the depiction of such

content in movies. It analyses the issue solely from the perspective of a youth audience to better

understand how the youth today perceive movies and to see if depiction of cigarette smoking,

alcohol consumption and drug usage has a positive or negative effect on the youth audience. A

part of the analysis of the study is to also better understand censorship techniques employed for

both movie markets to see if they are effective or need to be improved upon. Finally the study

asks the question of social responsibility and whether movies and movie stars have a

responsibility to maintain higher censorship standards or they are merely depiction art through

the medium and should not be held accountable for their depictions on screen.


Movies are the lifeblood of the entertainment industry today. They account for billions of dollars

in global revenues annually (Mclintock, 2012). Movies today, have become a popular medium

for mass communication. They have transcended from being just superfluous tools in

entertainment to something more concrete in the last three to four decades. Movies have a greater

impact on audiences, who relate emotionally to the characters and their actions and are affected

by the character portrayals of the actors in these movies. Movies may have an influence in small

ways in our daily lives. They influence our fashion, the food we eat, and the way we talk (Ferla,

2010). Movies over time have also been approaching more realistic themes and depict reality

with a stark realism that shows characters doing drugs and smoking cigarettes in very real

scenarios. The influence of these types of content often occur as unconscious affectations in our

personalities as a result of the particular genre or characters we watch (Wong, 2012). Movies

range from small-scale political dramas that are script heavy character studies, to the bigger

blockbuster fares with explosions and alien robot races and everything in between. And all these

movies have deep influences on their audiences (Norman Lear Center, 2012). For example,

George Lucass Star Wars saga has had a serious and enduring influence on multitudes of

moviegoers over the years (Corliss, 2002). Star Wars became part of youth lifestyle. Kids bought

Star Wars merchandise and accessories. The new trends of Superhero movies have had similar

effects. These movies are cash cows for studios that keep churning them out at a rapid pace with

greater emphasis on violence and high-octane action and they are getting bolder in their pursuit

of higher revenues (Coats, 2002). Some famous actors convincingly depict characters who are

drug junkies and alcoholics, who suffer great mental turmoil, which they overcome by the end of

the movie. In the movie Max Payne the lead is a pill popping, alcohol swigging, and cigarette-

smoking hero who overcomes great odds to beat the bad guys (Vehvoda, 2008). Actors are

lauded and praised and even given awards for portrayals such as this.

The Heineken ad campaign was sponsored by the James Bond movie franchise.

Heineken is promoting the consumption of alcohol by showing a veteran actor in an iconic role

drinking the beverage. Marlboro advertisers have used similar product placement in the film,

The Departed (Sargent et. al., 2001). This product placement detracts from the main purpose of


In India, wide audiences ranging across a broad demographic from the youth to the

seniors, the poor to the rich and from the illiterate populous to the literate cosmopolitan minority

watch Bollywood movies. Indian movies, like their Hollywood counterparts, have a great

influence on audience perspective and are increasingly used as tools by companies to sell their

products. Because alcohol advertising is banned in India (Mary, 2007), the companies

manufacturing alcohol have to be creative in marketing their products. They can do that by

creating and marketing surrogate products like music CDs or mineral water etc. Another way for

them to advertise their product is to place it conveniently in a movie. A study conducted in Delhi

for the World Congress of Cardiology found that 10% of the students aged between 12-16 years

surveyed had already tried alcohol (World Health Federation, 2012). But students who had been

most exposed to alcohol use in Bollywood movies were found to be 2.78 times more likely to

have tried alcohol as compared with those who were least exposed (World Health Federation,

2012). Dr G.P. Nazar from HRIDAY a youth health organization said, "While alcohol

advertising is banned in all Indian media and scenes that justify or glorify drinking are not

allowed in Bollywood films, there is no dedicated health legislation that prohibits the depiction

of alcohol in these films and there is a clear need for an immediate alcohol control

policy," (World Health Federation, 2012).

Another important factor in Indian cinema is influence. As a growing industry, the Indian

cinema looks at other movie markets for influence. They look at films from the United States and

Britain for inspiration and incorporate these influences within their own cinema. The result is

that today Indian films are depicting more realistic issues and scenarios and are becoming bolder

with their creative licenses. While this does help the industry grow and the quality improve, it

may also have a negative repercussion. Indian movies like Gangs of Wasseypur and Dev D

include a realistic depiction of drug usage and characters who smoke and drink. The popular

Hollywood films by directors like Tarantino and Guy Ritchie inspire these movies (AFP, 2012).

With such influences permeating Indian cinema the question arises about the validity for

depicting such content in Bollywood movies. Are Indian filmmakers expressing creative

freedoms and using these depictions to create organic films that depict a realism that constitutes

art and literature similar to books, plays and paintings in India or are they merely emulating the

depictions of Hollywood cinema to fill more seats in the theatres without questioning the

relevance of the content to the cinema. The answer may lie somewhere in the middle as Indian

cinema continues to grow. Some filmmakers like Anurag Kahyap, use the influence of

Hollywood to hone their own filmmaking skills and use it to explore more creative and realistic

avenues within Indian cinema while other directors, who produce more mainstream films, use

these devices as gimmicky techniques to add a cheap laugh or solve an inherent character issue

by merely giving the character a drinking problem. It is a problem that can be found in American

cinema as well with there being a clear divide in the way these activities get depicted in these

movie markets. The question that gets asked a lot with such depiction is whether or not movies

are art and a form of expression and should have all the creative freedom and liberties to explore

the intricacies of human life and depict it through the medium of film

Movies are supposed to be mainly for the entertainment and enjoyment of audiences.

They are a form of art and expression and are supposed to move the audiences in emotional

ways. But sometimes movie producers go a step too far and, then the movies may need to be

censored. This study aims at analyzing the effect the depiction of cigarette smoking; alcohol

consumption and drug usage in both Hollywood and Bollywood films has on the audience. It

compares the two movie markets to see the similarities and differences in the depictions of these

stereotypes in both movie markets. It analyzes the industrys sensationalization of a topic by

making the lead character a drug addict in order to sell his emotional turmoil. It also focuses on

the issue as something global and tries to understand whether and how the youth today are being

manipulated by the sensationalization of addiction and substance abuse. The study raises the

questions of censorship and its effectiveness about analyzing the issue from the perspective of

the youth audience. These depictions in movies determine whether such depiction in movies has

had an effect on their personal lives. It also looks at the role and responsibility of the parents of

young children, the government and the industry in monitoring this content this content and its

availability to the youth today.


Sometimes movies can be powerful tools of persuasion and can lead to the formation of opinions

within the audiences mind (Ferla, 2010). These opinions may not always be accurate because

movie producers take great dramatic liberties in telling their stories. The first theory relevant to

this study is the Social Cognitive Theory. According to Bandura (1986), an individual's

knowledge acquisition can be directly related to observing others within the context of social

interactions, experiences, and outside media influences. (Bandura, 1986. P. 63) By that

definition, observational learning and retention are key factors in shaping the behaviors of

people. This includes content seen in movies. Leyens and Camino (1975) examined the effects

of movie violence on aggression in a field setting to determine whether there was a social

cognitive effect in watching movies (Leyens, Camino, 1975). In the study one group of people

was exposed to violent and aggressive movies and another group only saw neutral content.

Researchers found that there was a definite increase in physical and verbal aggression in the

group that was shown violent content. Social cognitive theory supports the argument that the

content in movies might have an effect on the behaviors of individuals.

Another study exploring factors affecting adolescent alcohol initiation decision (Camp,

2007) found of social cognitive theory relevant in influencing adolescents to pick up drinking.

The study which involved children between the age of 11-14, found that, adolescent alcohol use

or initiation may be influenced by a number of contributing factors including parenting, family,

siblings, gender, socioeconomic factors, living environment, and other factors including a

combination of the above (Camp, 2007, p.3). This study is relevant in showing how malleable

the mind of the youth is and how easily any factor can influence their decision. Camp (2007) also

justifies the validity of censoring media and content in media that is accessible by children until

they are ready to process the information clearly and make an educated decision.

Cin (2009) used social cognitive theory to investigate the psychological processes

that underlie the relationship between exposures to alcohol use in media and adolescent alcohol

use (Cin,, 2009). The study analyzed the expectation and willingness to use alcohol

amongst peer groups in order to address whether movies have an effect on adolescent alcohol

use. The researchers found that these factors were mediators of a strong relationship between

movie alcohol exposure or scenes depicting alcohol usage in movies and alcohol consumption.

They found that despite a significant influence of movie alcohol exposure on descriptive norms

about alcohol use, we detected no subsequent influence of norms on willingness to drink or

drinking behavior, suggesting that perceptions about the behavior of one's friends are more

influential. The study suggests that other elements like family and peer groups have a stronger

impact on the decision to use alcohol than content in movies (Cin, 2009). However while

this study though indicates that movies are not necessarily the main factor influencing the youth

decision, it acknowledges that they still have an effect and contribute to the decision making

process. It also found that even in rated G movies and PG 13 movies, easily accessed by

children, the depiction of alcohol consumption was often prevalent in a large number of films

(Cin, 2009).

Another theory relevant to this study is persuasion, specifically the elaboration likelihood

model of persuasion. The elaboration likelihood model (ELM) of persuasion is a dual process

theory of how attitudes are formed and changed (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). The model proposes

an "elaboration continuum," that determines the extent to which arguments are processed and

evaluated (high elaboration) versus peripheral cues such as source expertise or attractiveness

(low elaboration) shape persuasion. This model holds that persuasion can occur either when

thinking is central or peripheral. The central model requires the audience to pay attention and

give thought to the content. Under these conditions, a person's unique cognitive responses to

the message determine the persuasive outcome. On the other hand, peripheral persuasion is a

mental shortcut process that causes viewers to accept or reject a message based on irrelevant

cues as opposed to actively thinking about the issue (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). The peripheral

route is the process by which outside influences affect the decision-making process. Some of

the common images seen in movies that may influence audiences and especially younger

audiences are smoking, alcohol abuse, unsafe sex and violence. Max Payne, Scarface, and

The Salton Sea are popular examples of movies that depict such content with no negative


A study conducted by the University of South California looked at the implications of the

Elaboration Likelihood Model of persuasion and mass media attitude change (Petty, 2009).

It found that one of the most important determinants of motivation is the perceived relevance of

the message. It also found that the central route of persuasion is more often responsible for

long-term changes in behavior brought about by exposure to mass media messages. Another

study looked at how entertainment can affect beliefs and attitudes (Slater, Rouner, 2002). It

found that the influence depends on the individuals readiness to change. The study, which

focused on efforts to persuade viewers about social values and social issues, found that beliefs

and behavioral changes were clearly associated with viewers of education-entertainment. The

research analyzed ads where actors talked about socially relevant issues to see the effect it

would have on the audiences perception (Slater, Rouner, 2002)

Movie producers dont intentionally set out to persuade audiences, and in most cases

movies may have no effect as the audience may perceive movies as they are intended, for pure

entertainment purposes (Hilton, 2006). However, sometimes there is an unintended effect.

Sometimes the characters depicted by the actors in the movies influence audience members. The

audience, especially a young audience is influenced by the way the character is dressed or

behaves and tries to emulate it in real life. There are also statistics that support the theory that

movies have an effect on audience cognition. Dalton (2003) found that teenagers are

significantly more likely to start smoking if they watch movies featuring leading characters who

smoke cigarettes. Another study found that over the past six years more than half of the movies

geared toward children feature characters smoking (AMA, 2008). In more than a quarter of the

movies, actors light up cigars (AMA, 2008).

The third theory relevant to this study, though based in research focused on television

media, is Cultivation Theory. Cultivation Theory stipulates that the more time people spend

living in the television world or, in this case, the movie world, the more likely they are to believe

the social reality portrayed in the movies (Weimann, 2000). The premise of this theory when

applied to the study is that watching a lot of content that contains depictions of cigarette smoking

or alcoholism may lead the audience to relate that to reality and to perceive smoking, drug use

and alcoholism as normal behavior (Weimann, 2000). Abbott and Jermyn (2009) found that in

Indian romantic films, romance is portrayed within a sanitary unproblematic environment where

love and romance are a pure and perfect journey of internalization a person endures to obtain

love. Gunasekera and Chapman (2005) found that 98% of movies with sex scenes make no

mention of safe sex. Another study found that, By glamorizing certain social aspects of reality,

the media contributes largely to attitude change among adolescent viewers (Perse, 1986). The

highly stylized themes of Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and drug usage and repition of

these themes and its possible effect on a young audience makes cultivation theory relevant to this


Cultivation theory is relevant to this study because it goes hand in hand with another

theory relevant to this study, stereotyping (McGarthy Et Al., 2002). A stereotype is a rigid and

inflexible image of the characteristics of a group. People who stereotype attribute these

characteristics to all individuals belonging to that group. Movies have played a pivotal role in

the development of racial/ethnic cognitions. While some movies may depict race and ethnicity

in a favorable light, in general, movies do create and recreate stereotypes (Gerbner, 1979).

Stereotyping goes beyond ethnicity and race and runs the gamut of age, financial status and a

host of other brackets of people. In movies depicting drug usage, such as Four Brothers or

Half Baked, the drug dealer is a foul-mouthed African American. Negative depictions of

Arabs or Russians as the bad guys, in the films such as, Traitor, may also lead to alienation

and discrimination of these groups. Similarly, some movies like Super Bad, depict young kids

still in high school doing drugs, with no negative consequences to their actions. While these are

fictional stories that should not be taken seriously, when young children, who are the

predominant movie watchers, view movies, such as Dazed and Confused and Superbad, they

might take away the wrong message from these movies. The same can be said about Indian

youth, who watch films like Delhi Belly, and Gangs of Wasseypur, which are similar in

tone and content to their Hollywood counterparts.

These theories in no way posit a direct positive correlation between content in movies and

peoples attitudes and behavior. On the contrary, some studies actually found a negative

relationship between exposure to usage of drugs and violence in movies and real life behavior.

The well-known movie, Requiem for a Dream, includes several scenes depicting drug usage

and graphically depicts the process of injecting heroin into ones system. However the movie

also shows the effects of the drugs on the characters. At the end of the movie the lead actor

loses his arm because an infection caused by reusing syringes and sharing them with other

junkies. This might dissuade youngsters from using hard drugs. This shows that there is a clear

divide in the depiction of these activities in both Indian and American cinema. With movies

approaching the status of being compared to books and plays and paintings, seen as approaching

the threshold of creative art, movies now depict these activities with an organic realism that

justifies their usage and could influence young audiences in decision-making. Other movies

include drug usage and activities as gimmicks. Movies like This is the End and Bling Ring

also include portrayals of doing drugs, but their inclusion doesnt affect the plot at all and only

depicts young people doing drugs and smoking. When young audience members see these

movies they may be affected by the depiction of cigarette smoking, alcoholism, and drug usage.

Social cognition, persuasion and cultivation theories are just tools used by researchers to create

a concrete analysis of the topic. The main questions arising from these theories are

1) How does viewing stereotypical images in the movies affect audience perception

and behaviors?

2) Are young audiences being persuaded by movies depicting cigarette smoking,

drug usage and alcohol consumption?

3) And if so, is the persuasion long term or short term, subliminal or more direct?

4) What are the psychological implications for a young audience of depicting

cigarette smoking, drug usage and alcohol consumption in?


Many studies have analyzed the use of stereotypes in movies. In a study, aptly titled, Addiction,

Stigma and Movies, the author identifies through his results the prevalence of four main

character stereotypes in movies with alcohol and drug use, the tragic hero, the demonized user,

the rebellious free spirit and the comedic user (Cape, 2003). Cape (2003) also found that these

are the main characters that audiences identity with. The tragic hero who overcomes his demons

and personal losses to save the day, the free spirit who doesnt care about the world and just

wants to have a good time, and the comedic drunk who uses his drunken swagger for slapstick

humor are all archetypes who show alcohol and drug use in a positive light as either an escape

from pain or just an aid to a good time (Cape, 2003).

Cape (2003) concludes that films are a Cultural Reservoir and that they directly and

indirectly influence the things we take for granted in society and our cultural norms. The study

focused on the theory of stereotyping and type casting of the characters who are alcoholics and

drug users in movies and concluded that movies as a medium for mass communication have a

powerful influence on how the public regards the use of drugs and alcohol. The author also

mentions that there is a scarcity of depictions of stories where these characters are trying to

recover from their vices. One important area in the treatment of substance use problems which

is conspicuous by its absence is harm reduction (Cape, 2003). Thus, movies with a few

exceptions rarely show the negative impact of these vices, which would help in discouraging

audiences from being influenced by them.

Similar to the Cape study, many research articles in India have found a new growing

trend in Indian movies, the feminine drunk who Chronicles movies in the last decade showing

this trend of female actors portraying a drunk character in a scene or scenes in movies. The

problem is that this depiction is being used to portray the independence and freedom of women.

The stereotype is used poorly to depict the modern Indian woman and shows her in a negative

light by depicting her as drunk and not in control of her senses. A study done by

(2010), lists the movies and the female actors who depicted this stereotype in movies over the

last decade. The article shows movies like Break ke Baad, Kaminey, 3 Idiots and others

which are all predominant youth centric Indian movies where youth icon female actors like

Deepika Padukone and Kareena Kapoor are shown as docile Indian characters, who have to get

drunk to release the shackles of Indian Domesticity and become modern women.

Datta (2012) explored the correlation of exposure to depictions of drinking and

alcoholism amongst Indian youth. The article analyzed the effects of such depictions in Indian

Cinema on the Indian youth and found that people who watched such content at a young age

were three times more likely to pick up drinking in real life. The article analyzed other avenues

like peer pressure and stress and found that they were also contributing factors in the incidence

of youth drinking which could not be blamed on one single cause. Datta (2012) also found that

Underage drinking and access to liquor from shops and at bars in India is also common and an

added factor in youth drinking.

Another study focused on youth exposure to alcohol usage and the appearance of brands

in popular contemporary movies (Cin, 2008). The study was a content analysis of the top 10

box office movies between the year 1998 and 2002 as well as 34 movies produced, beginning in

2003. 6544 children aged between 10-14 participated in this study. The study found that most

movies, (83%) showed alcohol consumption and more than (56%) of those movies were rated

PG/G. 52% of the movies had at least one alcoholic brand appearance. The study concluded that

the use of alcohol and specific alcoholic brands are frequent in American movies most of which

have been rated as appropriate for children under the age of 13. This study indicates that there is

a frequent depiction of alcohol in American movies and most of this content is easily assessable

to children who are extremely impressionable.

A study by Ross (2013) found that early exposure to sex and alcohol content from

movies had both specific and general effects on later risk-taking by adolescent participant.

However, gender differences were evident: for men, sexual exposure was a stronger predictor

than alcohol exposure, but for women, only alcohol exposure predicted later risk behavior. This

study again validates the fact that young kids are easily influenced and can be affected by

depictions from an early age. Though sexually explicit content is generally censored to protect

children, exposure to alcohol, drugs and cigarettes as it may also have long-term effects on the


In a content analysis, Shapiro (2002) looked at the portrayal of drug use particularly

cocaine throughout the history of cinema between World War I and 2002. Once again the

depictions ranged from a serious scenario to a more comical one like a Charlie Chaplin movie.

The period prior to World War II saw cocaine use portrayed both in comic situations and in so-

called exploitation films which more closely mirrored sensational press coverage where cocaine

was viewed as the 'gateway' drug to opiates. (Shapiro, 2002, p. 14) Cocaine largely disappeared

from the recreational drugs scene after World War II until the late 1960s. Since then, films as

diverse as Easy Rider (1969), Annie Hall (1977), Scarface (1983) and Clean and Sober (1988)

have framed cocaine use and dealing variously as comic, heroic, glamorous, as well as

damaging. (Shapiro, 2002). This study is relevant because it provides a picture of how

portrayals and the depiction of drug usage have changed with the generations and the genre of

the film. It also reveals that, while in the 1950s drugs werent mentioned in movies, they were

brought back in the late sixties. This reveals that there are cultural influences in the depiction of

drug usage, which might parallel actual usage today. Depictions of drug usage were vastly

comedic before World War II, but became the central subject for a lot of movies that dealt with

drug problems and addictions or recovering from them during and after the 1960s (Shapiro,

2002). The focus changed again as drug use was attributed as leading to violence and related to

sex in the, eighties and nineties. This study is a quintessential chronicle of factors that influenced

the depiction of drug usage and their portrayal based on what audiences wanted at that time.

Shapiros (2002) thesis is, however, that movies arent intentionally pushing drug usage but

merely reflecting real life, and relevant to the genre of the film.

An inquiry by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that film, music and video

industries actively market adult-themed material to children (Shiver, 2000). Between 1995 and

1999, the FTC found that 80% of R-rated films and 70% of electronic games with mature ratings

were targeted to children under 17. The report, which took one year to be compiled, focused on

how the studios marketed violence to young kids. The 105-page report unearthed documents

from film studios, record companies and video game manufacturers in which entertainment

executives acknowledged they targeted violent material at kids, according to Capitol Hill aides

who were provided copies of the report over the weekend (P.1). According to Shiver (2000)

Movies rated "R" for violence are marketed in publications primarily geared to teens, such as DC

Comics and Teen magazine as well as Planet Report and Fast Times, which are distributed

to 8,000 high schools nationwide. This inquiry showed that the violent content is deliberately

aimed at and marketed to children by the studios.

Relating to the FTC inquiry, a study was conducted to define the Effectiveness of the

Motion Picture Association of America's Rating System in Screening Explicit Violence and Sex

in Top-ranked Movies (Nalkur, Jamieson, Romer, 2010). The purpose of the study was to

examine how effective the MPAA's rating system's had been in screening explicit violence and

sex since the system began in 1968 and the introduction of the PG-13 category. It also examines

evidence of less restrictive ratings over time or ratings creep. The study found that, The

explicitness of violent and sexual content significantly increased following the rating system's

initiation Explicit violence in R-rated films increased, while films that would previously

have been rated R were increasingly assigned to PG-13. This pattern was not evident for sex;

only R-rated films exhibited higher levels of explicit sex compared to pre-ratings period.

(Nalkur et. al., 2010, 440.) The researchers found that, although the MPAAs rating system was

effective in screening explicit sex, it has allowed for more violent content in PG-13 movies,

thereby allowing the youth to access harmful content. They suggest the rating should be more

sensitive in accounting for the depiction of violence in films and should use similar standards to

those used for censoring explicit sex (Nalkur et. al., 2010).

Dahl and Dellavignas (2009) research also focused on the effects of exposure to violence

and examined whether this exposure led to increased levels of violent crime. The study was a

psychological analysis of the long-term effects of violent movies. The researchers first found that

media violence increases aggression in the short run. They found that, violent crime decreases

on days with larger theater audiences for violent movies. The effect is partly due to voluntary

incapacitation: between 6 p.m. and 12 a.m., a one million increase in the audience for violent

movies reduces violent crime by 1.1% to 1.3%. After exposure to the movie, between 12 a.m.

and 6 a.m., violent crime is reduced by an even larger percent (Dahl and Dellavigna, 2009,

677). They explain that violence is less when violent people are in theatres watching violent

blockbuster movies. The results emphasize that media exposure not only negatively affects

behavior in viewers, but also provides an outlet for violent behavior by channeling the violence

into alternative activities (Dahl and Dellavigna, 2009). This study suggests that violent movies,

by providing another outlet for violent people, reduce their desire to commit violent crimes.

Though this study focused on violence in movies and not on the consumption of alcohol or drug

usage, it showed that movies have an influence on the audience and affect their actions. In the

same way that movies with violent content distract violent individuals; movies depicting

alcoholic usage could also lead to reduced alcohol consumption (Dahl and Dellavigna, 2009).

These findings are important considerations for research in the area of media effects on behavior.

Kooredeman (2011) looked at the effects of the use of alcohol portrayals in movies

on actual alcohol consumption, amongst men and women in the youth population while, weekly

alcohol use and identification with the movie actor/character were assessed as moderators. The

research found that exposure to depictions of alcohol in movies was more likely to increase use

of alcohol among men than women although there werent significant changes in weekly

consumptions, indicating that the effects may only be short-term. This study may indicate that

movies with alcohol portrayal can lead to an increase in consumption in a young audience, at

least in the short term.

Gibson and Maurer (2006) conducted a study at the Central Michigan University focused

on cigarette smoking in movies and looked at the influence of product placement on the attitudes

of smokers. It also looked at participant views about the actors who used the product and the

effect of this on their tendency to smoke. The study found that the effects of product placement,

where the actors use products such as cigarettes on screen have been under researched. To prove

this, they showed the participants clips from Die Hard half of the participants were shown clips

of the lead actor smoking and the other half saw a clip where he was not smoking. Nonsmokers

who were shown the clip of the lead smoking had a more favorable attitude towards smoking,

while the smokers rated the actor as more appealing. On the other hand participants who watched

the scenes that did not include the smoking werent affected either way. The study showed that

smoking in movies does have an effect on the audience, even those that are non-smokers (Gibson

and Maurer, 2006).

Another study closely related to the Gibson Maurer study (2006) looked at the

immediate effects of smoking cues in movies on smoking behavior (Kirsten, 2010). This

study looks at the Peripheral route of persuasion. They tested whether smokers who are

confronted with smoking characters in a movie smoke more cigarettes while watching than those

confronted with non-smoking characters and whether this effect is less profound when smokers

are more involved in the narrative participants were allowed to smoke during the movie. The

results showed there was an immediate effect on smoking behavior as the audiences smoked

more cigarettes while a character who smoked was present on screen then when a non smoking

character was present. This study showed that movies have a persuasive effect on the audience,

even if the effect is to help them sustain the habit of smoking.

Another study on smoking looked at the effect on youth, smoking scenes in movies and

anti smoking ads before movies (Pechmann &Chuan-Fong, 1999), the first experiment showed

an audience of 800 9th graders a movie with either the smoking scenes present or with the scenes

edited out. The results showed that Forbidden Fruit Thesis was valid since smoking scenes

positively aroused young viewers and increased their intent to smoke. But the study also proved

the effectiveness of the anti smoking commercials that were aired before the movies, which left

the young kids feeling that smoking was forbidden and tainted thereby nullifying the effects of

the smoking scenes. This study demonstrated not only the malleable nature of the minds of the

youth who can be easily persuaded, but also showed the effectiveness of the anti smoking

commercials in India, a practice followed in Indian cinema today.

Another study focused on a cross-sectional analysis of the correlation between incidents

of exposure to alcohol or drug use in films and young adults' own alcohol or drug use (Hunt, et

al., 2011). The study was conducted in Scotland and followed the development of children into

adulthood. These children were observed, starting from the age of 11, at two-year intervals

focusing on their movie-watching routine. Finally they were analyzed at the age of 19 to

determine whether there was any correlation between their movie consumption and drug usage

and alcoholism. As early as the age of 11 these children were watching films that contained drug

usage and alcohol consumption. The researchers found that one third of these young adults were

classed as 'heavy drinkers' and almost half as 'binge drinkers' on the basis of their previous

week's consumption. More than half reported ever using cannabis and 13% had used one or more

of the 'hard' drugs listed. There were linear trends in the percentage of heavy drinkers (p = .018)

and binge drinkers (p = 0.012) by film alcohol exposure quartiles, and for ever use of cannabis

by film drug exposure (p = .000), and for ever use of 'hard' drugs (p = .033). These findings

indicate that the films that the subjects watched from a very young age directly influenced their

adult behavior since most of them reported heavy consumption of alcohol on a weekly basis

along with usage of marijuana and harder drugs (Hunt, et al., 2011). This eight-year longitudinal

study helped researchers confirm that youngsters are easily influenced by content in films and

they can be negatively affected by watching drug and alcohol use in movies. The researchers

concluded that, it is important to design good longitudinal studies which can determine whether

exposure to images of potentially health-damaging behaviors lead to uptake of these behaviors

during adolescence and early adulthood, and to examine factors that might mediate this

relationship (Hunt, et al., 2011, 264). A longitudinal study not only strengthens research but can

also help analyze the long-term impact on young adults. This study was conducted in Scotland

but its implications are universal and it also shows that the effects of movies are a global issue as

movies are universal.

Another study conducted in Germany also shows the global reach of this issue. This

study focuses on parental restrictions on movies watched by kids that included depiction of teen

smoking and drinking (Hanewinkel, Morgenstern, Tanski, Sargent, 2008). The aim of the study

was to determine whether children who reported that their parents restricted their access to

movies featuring teen smoking and drinking were less likely to try smoking and drinking in the

future. The focus was on movies with a restriction of FSK-16 which means movies that only

people 16 years old and over can watch. The parents and their children were divided into four

groups, the children whose parents didnt restrict them, the children whose parents didnt let

them watch the FSK-16 movies, children who were allowed access sometimes, and finally,

children who were allowed to watch these movies only once in a while. The results of the study

showed, There was a significant effect of parental movie restriction on each substance use

outcome measure after controlling for covariates ....FSK-16 restrictions were associated

with lower viewership of all classes of movies, but especially FSK-16/18 movies; in addition,

FSK-16 restrictions were associated with substantially lower exposure to movie depiction of

tobacco and alcohol use, suggesting a mediational mechanism for the association. (Hanewinkel,

et. al., 2008, P 1728) Children with no parental restrictions showed the highest rate of drug and

alcohol usage while children whose parents didnt allow them to watch the FSK-16 films,

showed the lowest rate. The other two categories of children showed relatively similar results

and were less likely to try alcohol and drugs than children who regularly watched the mature-

rated films. The results show that there was a clear correlation between censorship by parents

and the decreased risk of substance use in the future (Hanewinkel, et. al., 2008). This study was

interesting because it demonstrated that censorship by parents helped the children to choose not

to use drugs and alcohol.

A study was conducted in Brazil that looked at substance use and misuse in Brazillian

movies between 2000 to 2008 (Castaldelli-Maia 2013) using a sample of 50 movies they

found that scenes show substance use and misuse almost similar to that in the general

population, mainly alcohol cannabis and inhalants. However, they also found that there was an

overexposure of cocaine use and an underexposure of tranquilizers compared to real use in

movies. Nonetheless this study shows that today in cinemas across the globe there is a rise in the

realistic depiction of very realistic image of substance abuse. At the same time it also shows that

while some movies are taking the route of realism, there are still those that depict the content in

an unrealistic manner. It highlights the validity of any study of the effects of the depiction of

alcohol, drugs and cigarettes in movies as one that merits a global perspective as it includes

movie audiences and markets around the world.

Like the U.S cinema, Indian movies also use stereotypes of people who consume alcohol.

The first one discussed earlier is the female alcoholic. This has become a common element in

most modern Indian movies. For example in, Fashion, Dum Maaro Dum, Cocktail, the lead

female character is depicted as inebriated and intoxicated and having a good time at parties. This

is not a positive message to send to the young viewers, but famous Bollywood director, Rohan

Sippy, who directed the movie, defends the stereotype saying, consumption is shown in films

only when it is crucial for a script. (Mid-Day, 2011). A second common stereotype is of men

taking to the bottle in depression or anguish, which was effected in the movie Devdas, and

Dev D.

A new study presented by the World Heart Federation in April, 2012 analyzed alcohol

usage in Bollywood movies to determine whether it was directly influencing the drinking habits

of Indias adolescents. The study set out to determine two things the first was whether Indias

adolescents were exposed to alcohol use in Bollywood films and, secondly, whether this

exposure was associated with their own alcohol use. Fifty-nine popular Bollywood movies were

coded to record the number of alcohol use occurrences and 3,956 adolescents were then asked

whether they had seen these movies. Students were grouped according to their exposure to

alcohol use occurrences in these movies. They were then asked about their alcohol consumption

status. Students in the quarter that had seen the greatest number of alcohol use occurrences in

these movies were found to be 2.78 times more likely to have tried alcohol compared with

those students in the first quartile of exposure. This shows that in India there has been found a

clear correlation between observing content depicting alcoholism and its effect on the youth.

(World Heart Federation, 2012).

Another study looked at marketing of beer products in the Indian market (Schultz, 2012).

A cable television network regulation amendment bill, passed on 8th September 2000, strictly

prohibited advertising of alcohol-based products. This study examined how companies got

around the rules with so-called surrogate advertising in which marketers sold bottled water,

compact discs and other goods emblazoned with booze brand names to raise awareness.

SABMiller, for instance, advertises "Miller Time" clocks for High Life, which was introduced

last year and is positioned with a work-hard, play-hard mentality. (Schultz, 2012). This study

shows how conglomerates use loopholes to market their products in India. Another avenue for

them to show their products is through movies. This study shows the failure of a censorship

technique in managing to curtail advertising campaigns for alcoholic products.

The research shows that there is a definite correlation between the exposure to films

depicting drug and alcohol usage and behavioral impacts on the audience, specifically the youth

today (Dahl and Dellavigna, 2009). The research also shows that youth are more likely to start

using drugs and alcohol when exposed to movies that include image of drug use from a young

age (Hanewinkel, et. al., 2008.). Studios also deliberately market films with violence and drugs

to a younger audience in order to make more money (Hanewinkel, et. al., 2008), and this is a

global issue that affects the youth of many countries. This research suggests the validity of this

study, which examines, through focus groups, the youth perspective to identify correlation

between exposure to alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking and drug usage in films and their

use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs in real life. Other research explores the effectiveness of

censorship techniques whether employed by the movie industry, government or parents

(Pechmann &Chuan-Fong, 1999). The issue is valid across all movie markets and needs to be

closely scrutinized and analyzed to better understand what effect such depiction has on a youth

audience, how long the effect lasts and what techniques to employ to censor or accommodate for

such depictions in movies.


From the analysis of the literature on prior research done on this topic, it is clear that the

question of whether exposure to movies depicting use of alcohol have an effect on childrens

tendency to consume alcohol later in life holds merit. The same is true for an examination of

depictions of cigarette smoking in films. The effect of this exposure should be examined not only

on youth in the U.S., but also on a global perspective. This research, which compares effects of

exposure to smoking and alcohol in movies from both U.S. and Indian cultures on youth

smoking and alcohol consumption decision. On the basis of the literature review and from an

understanding of the theories involved in analyzing this topic, this study can be broken down into

three research questions.

RQ1 How does character depictions and stereotyping of drug, smoking and alcohol use in films

affect the youth audiences perspective?

RQ2 Does censoring or restricting access to this content with smoking, alcohol and drug usage

have a negative correlation with perception of substance usage in children when they grow up?

RQ3 Are there any similarities or differences in the perception of the Indian and American

youth about the effects of and views about depicting images of people smoking, using drugs and

alcohol consumption in regard to their respective film industries?


This study used qualitative methods to collect and analyze data. An analysis of the data from

other studies on this topic suggests that there is a clear influence of movies on the youth

(Hanewinkel, ET Al., 2008). Persuasion and social cognition theories also attest to the fact that

the audience is likely to be affected by films (Shapiro, 2002). This means that it is possible that

the depiction in movies of characters drinking a lot and doing drugs may incite the youngsters to

try these vices. It is very hard once these children start at a young age, to stop these vices (Hunt,

et al., 2011).

This study focuses on how social cognition and persuasion, along with stereotyping and

cultivation, affect youth opinion about smoking and the likelihood that youngsters exposed to

movies depicting lead characters who smoke are likely to smoke themselves. It is aimed at

exploring the effects of movies that dont show the negative consequences of these bad habits

and motivates children to try them. It also addresses the fact that children today are allowed

access to a lot of violent content in films because of a relaxed MPAA rating system and how it

might affect their personalities (Nalkur et. al., 2010). The study analyzes the topic and answers

the research queries of the study with the focus on whether censorship by parents and perhaps the

government could reduce the risk of exposure to substance abuse and violence among kids. This

research is particularly important because of the marketing efforts by studios toward the younger

audience. This includes the promotion by advertisers of tie in products like beer and cigarettes in

their movies when they get money from these conglomerates (Barrie, 2012). This study will look

at whether the youth audience is aware of this fact or has been in any way influenced by such

product placements in films. This will help better understand how and why studios market

mature themed movies to youngsters from the perspective of the youth audience. Past researchers

on the topic have been done mainly from a study of youth behavior but not on their own

perception of the deoiction of drug usage, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking.

For example, the James Bond movies multi million-dollar deal with Heineken could

have an effect on children exposed to this content. Studios, however, are less interested in the

effect their movies have on the kids then in their profit margins and violence and drugs sell. The

major question is what is the effect of such content on the youth and their perception toward

smoking or doing hard drugs? The null hypothesis is that there is no correlation between such

content in movies and its effect on the youth or the audience and that movies are purely

entertainment and is seen as such by the public.

To carry out an in depth analysis of the topic, the study utilizes focus groups as the main

source of collecting information. Focus groups can be effective in collecting information that

provides an in-depth, nuanced look at how participants view an issue. While the data collected

will not be generalizable, it can provide a richer exploration of the viewpoints of the participants.

This is because of the emergent and open-ended format that focus groups provide, allowing thick

descriptions (Grow & Christopher, 2008). It is also good to use focus groups in situations where

stereotypes are being explored (Rowles & Reinharz, 1988). Interactions that take place in focus

groups allow the development of insights and synergy among participants that richen the

discussion (Morgan, 1988; Berg, 1999).

Focus groups are an effective way to explore the issues in this study and access rich

comments that will provide a background and understanding in developing the research area.

For this study, the focus groups was conducted in the United States as well as in India

with the focus being on the films in their respective markets and their depiction of drug, cigarette

and alcohol consumption. The study comprised of both male and female participants ranging

from 18-25 years in age to determine the effects of drugs, cigarettes and alcohol consumption in

movies on the youth. Five focus groups were conducted, two in the U.S comprising students at

University of South Florida and three in India comprising students affiliated with the University

of Pune. 4 focus groups had 5 participants and one focus group had 6. The study utilized the

snowball effect to get participants, where the participant will be encouraged to tell their friends

about the study and get their friends to join the focus groups. This will be done in order to

populate the focus groups. The focus groups will be semi structured and semi formal in nature

and will be recorded for later transcription.

Participants were asked to sign consent forms and were informed that their identity will

be protected in the final study and replaced with aliases. Participants will be provided with a

food incentive. Because of the nature of the study and the need to identify demographic trends,

the researcher were asked a few demographic questions such as age, educational level, name of

institute, gender and ethnicity. The researcher started the focus group by showing the participants

a short video clip and asking them to jot down their thoughts and discuss them.

Basic questions were asked to help guide the discussion and keep it on topic. After the

focus groups, the recordings were transcribed verbatim for further analyses. The transcripts were

compared and contrasted with one another to find common thematic trends or contrasting

opinions to find out whether the research questions hold merit and whether there are any

similarities between youth perception about drug, alcohol and cigarette usage in the U.S. and

India. The reason for conducting focus groups is to gain a collective opinion and to generate a

discussion on the study topic of drug usage and alcohol depiction in movies. For this topic, it was

better for the researcher to collect data from a discussion as the participants can go into detail

and also argue with the points made by the other participants. Focus groups also benefit the

timeline of the study and allow more voices to be heard in a limited time frame.


For the purposes of the study, the participants real names will not be used. They will be

identified by their initials. The first three focus groups were conducted in India. The clips they

were shown pertain to Indian cinema and movies made in Bollywood. Food incentives were

provided to the participants for their time on the focus groups. For the Indian Focus groups an

extra question was asked regarding the rise of the female drunk character stereotype in recent

movies and how they felt about the stereotype.


The first of the Indian focus groups consisted of six male participants. Two of the participants

had no parental restrictions growing up while a third participant said that the only restriction he

had was that he had to go to bed early which worked in keeping him away from mature themed

content. In general, while the group acknowledged that their parents did not allow them to watch

movies with sexual content, they did not disallow movies that depicted smoking, drinking or

drug usage. The main consensus of the focus group was that in Indian cinema there is definite

influence of depiction of cigarette smoking, drug usage and alcohol consumption that could

influence youngsters to engage in these habits, but rather than government censorship, parental

control would be the key to controlling their behavior. (See Emergent Themes from focus group

1 table in Appendix section)

Table 1- Results from Focus Group 1

Issues P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6
Parental (AT) (PP) (AK) (BB) (TK) (AW)
on content
Smoke None None None None Restricted None
Drink None None Parent None Restricted Curfew
Drug Use None None Parent None Restricted Curfew

The participants were shown three different clips. The first depicted characters engaging

in smoking, the second in drug use and the third drinking alcohol. After viewing the clip

depicting characters smoking, the general consensus of the focus group was that the character

was showing how cool he was by smoking in the bath. He was also depicting an attitude of

rebellion by showing a character who doesnt like being told what to do. One participant, AW

described the scene as, a form of rebellion. He continued:

it was about looking cool and good but later on as the scene progressed and the story

is mentioned in the background and you see the scene with the mirror and he says no one

tells me what to do and in a way he goes to the psychiatrist I think who is trying to wean

him off his addiction and he has, I guess, a complex where he doesnt like having people

tell him what to do. So the psychiatrist tried to get him off his addiction, so he keeps on

smoking. In a way its a form of rebellion.

The clip about drug usage featured a song from a recent movie accompanied by images

of youth getting high on a variety of narcotics. The clip also depicted the sense of being on drugs

through kaleidoscopic, hallucinogenic images. After viewing this clip the participants argued

about whether or not the clip promoted the act of doing drugs, the general consensus was that

because the clip showed no negative side effects to doing marijuana or acid, although the

representation of the act of doing drugs and being under the influence of narcotics was both

realistic and well executed, it was unclear whether the clip promoted or cautioned against the

uses of drugs. Participant AT said:

no where in the scene have they shown what they are actually doing. Its just that they

are getting high and in their minds its the only thing in their mind. Ganda boss ho,

girlfriend ke sath jhagda ho (Bad boss or a fight with your girlfriend) this is the solution

to all your problems.

The final clip that depicted drinking showed characters who were college youth sitting

around campus getting drunk and pouring their hearts out. The groups position was that t the

scene, which was an important one in the movie, could have been handled without the use of

alcohol. The scene was pivotal in progressing the plot, but the participants felt because it was

accompanied by the heavy drinking, it left the message that alcohol loosens tongues. BB said:

its engineering [department], people are under pressure. Not only engineering, any field. If

people are under pressure, they drink. But, he [the producer] doesnt portray that clearly.

BB said the depiction was realistic as it showed the stress of being in college and also

showed the state of mind of inebriated people. The group agreed with his point although, they

said, the pivotal scene, though well executed and acknowledging the validity of the use of

alcohol, could have worked with another plot device.

The group also agreed that movies have changed over time and today have become more

realistic. AK felt that they were pushing the limits of the new normal thinking.

Participant PP identified periodic changes in censorship levels that correlated with

changes in administration in the Central Board of Film Administration (Censor Board), which

has responsibility to regulate films in India. Thus, he noted, why between 2004-2006, actors

could not smoke on screen, but by 2009 this restriction was lifted and actors were, once again,

allowed to smoke on screen, although in these situations a small tag at the bottom of the screen

warned of the hazards of smoking. Despite the disclaimer, participant TK was concerned about

the more organic and realistic depictions of characters smoking and drinking alcohol in movies

today, and the effect of these depictions on childrens perception of these activities. He said:

Everything carries a disclaimer note. In earlier days they showed it as an ordinary

background activity such as drinking and smoking. And thats why I think people didnt

put that much stress on it. And they didnt think about it. But as far as you're seeing it as

a normal social activity. But now that you are seeing the disclaimer notes, we would ask,

or I if I'm a child, I would ask what it is about and if its harmful to my health.

While the group agreed that in some cases the depictions of alcohol, drug and cigarette

use were authentic and contextually sound, in most blockbuster movies there was a definite over

usage of these scenes. They also agreed that they were placing alcohol and cigarette brands in

movies and using youth icon actors to market their products to the youth, that portrayals of

feminine stereotypes who drank and behaved in an anti-social manner demeaned women and

feminism by creating the impression that the only way a woman could break free from her

shackles was by getting drunk and acting crazy under the influence of liquor. They also agreed

that alcohol conglomerates were using clever loopholes to continue marketing their brand and

their liquor with the use of famous celebrities who had a moral responsibility toward their

audience not to solicit such activities.

This notwithstanding, participants believed that the current government censorship

techniques did not work, and had hindered the movie industry. They believed that parental

control of content and the education of their children about the adverse effects of drinking and

smoking were more effective than government censorship. As BB, who had no restrictions on

such content said:

Honestly its a domestic issue. Its more on the parents. This responsibility should be

more on the parents than on the government. The government should do its own job

which is to keep a check on who enters the theatre and keeping it in check but this issue

should be on parents.

The participants agreed that having stricter rules regarding movie rating and access to

theatres would also help. However most were okay with having friends and peers who drank or

smoked as long as it didnt affect them. Most were also okay with the usage of drugs, though

only mentioned minor gateway drugs like marijuana. AT, who had no restrictions growing up,

though said that he wasnt okay with his peers doing drugs around him.

The participants agreed that Hollywood cinema has influenced Indian cinema and that

government restrictions would not work because the government directly benefitted from the

sale of cigarettes and alcohol.

When the participants were shown an anti-smoking commercial from Florida, they agreed

that they would be affected if they did not stop smoking. The advertisement, showed a long time

smoker preparing for her day by putting in her breathing device in her throat. This showed an

extreme consequence of smoking, and so none of the participants felt this consequence would be

their fate if they did not stop smoking. Only BB and AW smoked in the group.

The group agreed that the best solution to the problem of alcoholism and smoking

amongst avid television watchers would be to let movies explore their creativity, while

depictions in blockbuster movies could be toned down. However, the main and most effective

censorship tool should be parents speaking to their children and preparing them for the real

world. The censorship of such content in their opinion, can only be done by parents, who should

restrict access to content showing drug usage, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.


The second Indian focus group was slightly more diverse, consisting of five participants, three

males and two females. One of the participants, SK, a female, said that she grew up with parental

restrictions on content that included characters who drank excessively, smoked or took drugs

because her parents didnt want her getting addicted these activities. The other participants did

not have any concrete parental restrictions on media content, but their parents did warn them

against indulging in such activities. Three of the participants, TK, MP and EH admitted to

consume alcohol. (See Emergent Themes from focus group 2 table in Appendix section)

Table 2 - Results from Focus Group 2

Issues P1 P2 P3 P4 P5
Parental control (MP) (TK) (SA) (EH) (SK)
of content Female Female
Drink None Parental guidance Parent None Restricted
(Though not warned of
affected well by negative
parent) effects
Smoke None Parental guidance Parent None Restricted
(Though not warned of
affected well by negative
parent) effects
Dug usage None Parental guidance Parent None Restricted
(Though not warned of
affected well by negative
parent) effects

Like the previous focus group, the second focus group was shown three clips depicting

characters variously involved in smoking, drinking and taking drugs. With reference to the clip

about smoking, the groups perspective was that although the clip depicted a cool persona, it

didnt incite in them to desire to pick up smoking. EH said:

once you get addicted to it, its very difficult to leave it. So its better not to get addicted

to it. To one extent its okay. But the way he smokes smoking, smoking, smoking all the

time, is not good.

Although all the participants agreed that the depiction was realistic and appealing to

youth, MP did not have a problem with the very realistic depiction of the character smoking. He


If the scene demands something like this then it needs to be shown. Cause if they show a

guy who drinks or smokes because he is stressed, that just what people generally do. Its

a vicious circle, people smoke, thats why its shown in the movies and then because its

shown in the movie, there are some people who smoke.

On the second clip, which had the character portrayed using drugs, the participants again

said that the depiction of being under the influence of drugs was realistic and accurate.

According to MP:

When you're high you can do all these crazy things without thinking twice about it.

Coming back to drugs. They say marijuana is a gateway drug it is true in a way, cause

they start with ganja and end up with coke, acid, E (ecstasy). I have seen some of my

friends down that path, smashed out of their skulls, which is bad in a way. It is bad. So as

far as its depiction in movies, like I said, its a vicious circle that has formed, if youve

seen entourage (TV show), if you see they smoke pot all the time thats what they do.

Then again that is a reality. Theyre showing in a TV series or in a movie so once again,

it happens in a movie, they show it on TV.

On the final clip, which depicted the character drinking, the participants agreed that the

movie producers could have avoided the depiction of alcohol consumption in the scene although

the scene was an authentic portrayal. SA said:

Actually, as it [the movie] said when the man is in the drunken state he pours his heart

out I find thats true but that has a positive side as well as a negative side. Maybe he

spoke out something which he shouldnt have and positive that a person with whom he is

speaking he get to know about his feelings thoughts, whats going on?

MP believes that parents should explain to their children why they impose restrictions on

the content they view. He said:

It is a very important part in the growth and development of the child. A child should be

able to talk to their parents. If the family is that open the chances of you getting into that

are figuratively less cause you know what you're walking into and you know what might

happen and before something goes wrong you know your parents are approachable which

is not the case in most Indian households. So that is a major draw back where teen

smoking drinking comes into the picture.

The group agreed that movies had progressed over the years becoming bolder in their

depiction of more realistic content. MP said:

In the 80s and 90s they had these songs in the movies where the villain and his goonies

are enjoying and drinking and then there is this random female singing and dancing and

scantily clad. Its been going on since those times. But those songs werent given as

importance as today

Nonetheless, the participants agreed that if a depiction in a film is contextually relevant

then it makes sense for movies to show it.

Interestingly, while the males in the group felt that the feminine stereotype depiction in

Indian movies was inaccurate and demeaning to women, but although thee women felt that the

depictions were over exaggerations of reality, they nonetheless saw it as a move in the right

direction since it was the only existing voice for the feminine youth perspective. They predicted

that it would continue to trend for a few years by which time the depictions in films would

become more realistic or more organic. The group also agreed that there was a trend toward

reduced depictions of cigarette smoking in movies as cigarettes increasingly were starting to be

seen as a taboo.

Like the first focus group, this group felt that the Indian movie industry was heavily

influenced by Hollywood with an increasingly direct and immediate influence, Bollywood

ripping off whole plot lines from movies and scenes, without the replicating Hollywood

standards. However, their opinions were mixed on the question of whether conglomerates used

product placement to encourage the activity of smoking or drinking, in the same way that the

Egg commercials or got milk propaganda was used. MP felt that while egg and milk ads

promoted a product, the cigarette and liquor ads promoted a name brand. He said:

They [egg and milk consumption ads] arent promoting branding as such. There are not

many players in the egg business; an egg is an egg you buy it from a chicken shop or the

supermarket. But when it comes down to cigarettes, you have Marlboros, Wills,

Rothmans same with alcohol. So its different. If you're promoting Marlboro. Obviously

Marlboro is going to pay for it. You're promoting that brand. Specifically when they

censor it, the brand doesnt matter, yes.

Some of the participants agreed that it was possible for movies to play a persuasive role

in encouraging increased drinking or smoking. MP agreed based on his own personal experience.

A smoker, MP chronicles that he once went to see a movie that included a lead who smoked after

recently quitting the habit. He said that watching the depiction of the lead character smoke, made

him relapse into smoking. While acknowledging that this could happen in the case of cigarettes,

TK, who smoked 10-15 cigarettes a day felt that it wasnt true for drugs. He said that no

depiction would make him do drugs. He used to also do drugs because of peer pressure in his

college but gave it up when he left the college and the peer group.

In relation to censorship techniques, the general consensus among participants in the

second focus group, as it had been in Focus Group 1, was that the impetus for censorship of and

education about such depictions had to be on parental responsibility. However, both TK and MP

felt that currently parents werent communicating clearly with their children. The girls felt that,

in the interim, government anti-smoking campaigns were effective and should continue with a

few variations that would remove the redundancy of the commercials.

When the focus group was shown the Florida anti-smoking commercial that had been

shown to the first focus group, the consensus among participants of the second group was that

the advertisement would not be effective because its graphic nature would scare smokers or

potential smokers, but wouldnt make them stop smoking. SA felt that, nonetheless, there should

be similar ads for drinking.

The groups position on content depicting scenes of smoking, drinking and drug use,

though fine in art house movies and movies meant for adults, could be removed or represented

differently in the more mainstream cinema where children would have access to the content.


There were 5 participants in the third Indian focus group - four were male and one was a

female. All the participants in this focus group admitted to having been involved variously with

smoking, drinking alcohol and using drugs in the past. They all admitted to having tried one if

not more of the activities. AG and MP had some restrictions but mainly for sexually explicit

content. AP said that her parents were approachable with questions regarding such content while

NA and VT had no restrictions though NA admits to parents changing channels when sexually

explicit content was shown. (See Emergent Themes from focus group 3 table in appendix


Table 3 - Results from Focus Group 3

Issues P1 P2 P3 P4 P5
Parental AG NA VT AP MP
Restriction Female
on content
Smoking None None None Parents None
Alcohol None None None Parents None
Drugs None None None Access to parents None

They were shown the same clips that the other Indian focus groups had been shown. They

felt that the first clip, which depicted a character smoking, was inaccurate and pretentious. As

former or current smokers they believed that the depiction was too false to be taken seriously.

The participants felt that the clip would not motivate a younger person to start smoking because

the character depicted by the actor was neither cool nor hip but, rather, an actor playing the role

of a smoker. They did, however, point out to the brand placement of alcohol bottles and

cigarettes in the clip. AP said:

I dont think the point of a movie is ever drugs smoking or alcohol its just made to

accentuate a character or to explain a certain influence this vice could have on the plot

its not supposed to be the whole story like how this movie was. The whole thing [clip]

was about smoking and it made no sense.

Although they liked the depiction of being under the influence of drugs in the second

clip, they again felt that the scene wasnt entirely accurate in its depiction of behavior. MP said it

was not authentic cause if I'm not mistaken this whole song is based on smoking pot and I dont

see them doing anything else and babaji ki booti (Title of song referring to the act of smoking

pot) is reference to smoking pot so I mean exactly trip balls on pot.

The participants also agreed that the movie sensationalized drugs by never showing any

of the negative repercussions of doing drugs. AP countered this by talking about movies that do

show the negative repercussions of movies. She said:

But a younger audience doesnt singularly see this movie if you watch Shaitan (Indian

movie, 2012) you see how you have coked out kids killing people and killing each other

at the end and it was just a complete disaster so its not only that they are exposed only to

the good depiction, they are also exposed to the bad depictions of drugs which is the

whole point of the free society.

When they saw the third clip depicting alcoholic use, participants felt that not only was

the scene an authentic depiction of drinking amongst the youth, but it was also justified based on

the characters being portrayed by the actors. AP said that the scene would not be authentic

without the alcohol. She said:

No, it wouldnt be real. The whole point of an engineering college where you have

people coming from different backgrounds and getting to know each other and living

with their fears like that guy who wears like 10 rings. Aamir Khan [actor depicting lead

role] will never tell him, Dude whats wrong with you? He tells him that because hes

drunk, and the conversation flows a lot easier under the influence of alcohol. That doesnt

mean it wont flow if you are not under the influence of alcohol but its a lot easier.

One important discussion point amongst the group was the increased access of children,

even up to five years younger than the average age of the group, to cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol

from an early age. In their generation, the participants said, the focus had been on sexual

depictions, with interest in smoking and alcohol and drugs coming much later. And I think

thats the difference between our generation and the one thats right after us, AP said. its just

that our curiosity was limited to the opposite sex. Sex was like the first thing we wanted to know

about after which smoking drugs alcohol came in the picture which was a little later in life so

when we were kids it was probably just that.

NA opined that not being allowed to watch particular content made it attractive for people to

want to try it. This position is consistent with Pechmann and Chuan-Fongs (1999) forbidden

fruit theory.

AP, the female, was the only one who felt that the quality of movies have improved in the

last two decades. The other participants felt that the quality of cinema had diminished to mere

exploitative and redundant clichs represented in their mediocre quality. AP said:

Yah, there are movies that are shit but you do have directors like Anurag Kashyap who

bring things to the cinema Dev D (Indian movie, 2009) was path breaking for Indian

cinema the way he brought drugs and everything into the picture was insane and this

started with directors who had the guts to strap on a pair it started with Chandni Bar

(Indian movie, 2001) movies that could really make a difference. Page 3 movies that

actually showed stuff that we wanted to see and now weve come full circle and were

doing the same thing like from fashion (movie, 2009), which was a big deal they came

to heroin, which was just a redundant thing all over again just because it clicked once. So

we reached a point where we started doing well.

The participants agreed that some art-house movies are breaking the 4th wall between reality and

fiction and showing content that is a realistic representation of India today.

In terms of censorship, the groups perspective was that the industry and actors had no

moral responsibility when depicting drug, smoking and alcohol use. Youth had a responsibility

to make wise decisions about whether or not to engage in these activities, and parents the

responsibility to inform their childrens decisions and to guide them properly. They agreed that

there was product placement by alcohol and cigarette manufacturers in movies, but insisted that

if other commodities such as clothing and food brands could be marketed in this manner, then

alcohol companies should also be allowed to do this.

AP, the female in the group, felt that the feminine drunk stereotype was an accurate

representation of todays female, but that the desire to admonish it was part of Indian culture.

She said that the depiction of female characters who drank showed a new India where women

were allowed to engage in activities that had once been the sole purview of men. In fact, she was

strongly defensive of the image of drunken females, challenging one of the male participants

who criticized an actress who played the role:

Its what she does in her professional life, you cannot say that this is what you are and

what you do and how you influence the youth chill the f*** out! Its my job, I get paid

for it, I go home, go to sleep, and she was such a drunk, she wouldnt be where she is

today. Shes 23 years old where are we? Shes doing well for herself. And, instead of

appreciating her, in fact, this is hypocritical--you watch the movie, you enjoy it, and then

you judge her, G (addressing another participant). Thats what I'm saying, if you dont

like her, dont watch her movie and stop criticizing her.

AP also felt strongly that the governments role in in censoring this content should be

limited. She felt that the greatest tool to ensure against such habits, was educating the children

about these activities and preparing them for the real world. She felt that the school curriculum

should include modules aimed at educating and providing complete information about the

negative effects of engaging inactivitys like drinking, smoking and drugs, in the same way that

they provided sex education modules. The other participants also felt that no one had a right to

censor films, it was intellectual property, they said, and that censorship should come from

parents and education rather than be imposed on the industry which was growing and needed

room to explore its creative boundaries.


The first American focus group had five participants -- four male and one female. All

were students at the University of South Florida. MJ, DA and DG were smokers and drinkers

while DB only consumes alcohol. SP does none but has tried both alcohol and cigarettes. In

terms of parental restrictions on television content during their childhoods, the participants had

varying experiences. Growing up, DB had restrictions on what content he could watch and felt

that when he was old enough to watch the movies depicting drugs, cigarettes and drinking, he

was ready for it and could perceive it in the right light. He felt that the parental censorship

worked for him and was necessary to avoid being influenced by this content. However, DA

who had similar restrictions, felt that the restrictions made him rebel, and instead of refraining

from indulging in these habits, it prompted him to try these activities when he was old enough

just because his parents didnt allow him to when he was young, reflecting the forbidden fruit

effect discussed earlier. The other participants had no restrictions on the media content that they

were exposed to, instead, they said, their parents sat and watched the movies with them

explaining to them the pros and cons of engaging in these activities. MJ said that his parents

also showed him real life examples of people addicted to drugs, which helped him to make the

decision not to do drugs. (See Emergent Themes from focus group 4 table in Appendix section)

The participants were shown clips from American films and, like the Indian focus groups,

they were provided with food incentives for their time. The first clip on drinking showed James

Bond, an iconic character, play a dangerous drinking game with a scorpion on his arm. The

group felt that by using a male icon, the clip glamorized drinking and defined it as an important

factor in determining masculinity. MJ said:

When I watch that scene I think that not only is he expressing manhood, but I also think

that its a rite of passage because like all the people around him are accepting him in their

community and they are betting on whether or not he can do it. So thats another thing.

Drinking is a competitive thing. Even if you are drinking with other people, even within

yourself you're competing with the other person.

Table 4 - Results from Focus Group 4

Issues P1 P2 P3 P4 P5
Parental Restriction DG MJ SP DB DA
on content Female
Smoking None None None Restriction Restriction
Alcohol None None None Restriction Restriction
Drugs None Real life None Restriction Restriction
shown as

MJ also felt that, although exposure to depictions of alcohol use in movies had not

affected his decision to start drinking, it did affect his choice of what to drink and the specific

brand, when he saw iconic characters like James Bond drinking specific brands.

The second clip, focused on smoking, included a collage of smoking scenes from

different movies. SP felt that the scenes, which pictured women smoking, glamorized women

and made them look seductive. Although DA agreed that there was definitely a lot of smoking

and drinking in movies rated G and easily accessed by little kids, he also provided examples of

movies for children in which the bad guy was the smoker, and smoking depicted represents evil.

He felt that these depictions could lead children to view smoking as a bad thing, While watching

movie images of icons smoking cigarettes had not influenced him to start smoking initially, MJ

said that watching these smoking scenes made him want to have a cigarette. Thus, he felt that

movies would help sustain an existing habit by depicting the behavior as cool.

The third clip which focused on drug use featured people under the influence of heroin

and acid. The movie also included images of the negative repercussions of drug usage.

Nonetheless, DG thought the clip might send a message that doing drugs was fun. He said:

They did a good showing of when they did heroin, they were like lets shoot up again

and it kind of shows that, hey its kinda addictive and its a warning against that but its

not really giving a warning. More that they shoot up they are dancing, they are high

having a good time before they are taking Ecstasy and there are no bad side effects for

that. They are having a good time so you can look at it from one side and say its

influencing people to take drugs and its not showing the bad side of doing it. Its just

showing the happy times.

DJ said that although the example shown of the movie clip goes on to show the repercussions of

doing drugs, many movies today dont do that and just show the joy of being high.

The participants agreed that movies had changed to include more realistic depictions of

characters smoking, drinking or doing drugs. They said these movies sensationalized this type of

content, though at times, the accurate context the depictions provided was necessary should be

protected. Most of the participants felt that watching movies with this content desensitized their

outlook on people in their peer group who engaged in these activities. They also felt that the anti-

smoking commercials didnt work and that censorship efforts by the government were not

effective. SP, however, believed that there had been a change in the way cigarette smokers were

portrayed in movies. He said:

with drugs, like cigarettes okay thats gone from the cool people do it to kinda now the way

they portray cigarettes with things like the smoke free Florida and everything with the impact

that cigarettes do and they are bad on your lungs. They kinda portray people who do cigarettes

now as idiots more so than [as] the cool kids.

She said that this character stereotyping would be more effective as a deterrent than the

real anti-smoking ads. MJ added that the same was true for stereotyping of potheads as dumb

hippies who are clueless.

However, MJ said that mainstream movies continued to over sensationalize their

depictions of drinking and drug usage, which often could be removed from films, as they werent

adding anything to the plot of the story. However, he admitted that in art house indie movies or

movies where it was contextually relevant, such depictions were appropriate. He said:

If its in the main theme of the movie and is driving the story then that would be good. I

mean coffee and cigarettes. You cant call it a movie; its a bunch of shorts. But I

wouldnt say thats overdoing it. The movie isnt focusing so much on cigarettes, they

just do it during the conversations.

The participants also felt that access to and competition with European and French

cinema had changed the way that Hollywood depicted drug, alcohol and cigarette use, making

the portrayals more realistic and organic rather than overly sensational. Participants generally felt

that movies were being used to market drinking and smoking and that, particularly in the case of

drugs, movie producers ought to show the negative repercussions of doing drugs rather than to

show it in a light-hearted comedic light as often happened in Hollywood movies.

The consensus opposed government censorship. DA was concerned about blaming the

industry for youthful decisions to do drugs and smoke. He felt that people should break out of

their conservative shells and accept movies for what they are, entertainment. He said that movies

didnt need to be censored because people had a personal responsibility to determine the

activities they choose to partake in. He also felt that parents should take a more active role, rather

than merely prohibiting children from watching content, initiating a more open approach and

being ready to answer questions children might have about these depictions in movies. In terms

of other government programs to discourage use and abuse of substances, the participants felt

that programs like The Drug Abuse Restriction Education (DARE) in most public high schools

did not work at all. They also felt that movie producers should have creative freedom to depict

whatever they wanted to and that the best deterrent against youngsters developing these habits

would be parental control and self-decision.


The second American focus group consisted of four male and one female participant. Most of the

participants had been subjected as children to parental restrictions preventing them from

watching R rated movies. For KK:

it was very important that I was shielded from all this drug use because it definitely is

influential. They [his parents] would monitor what TV channels I was watching. Always

even PG 13 was iffy and had to be parent approved. They just had to make sure what

things were in it, oh, this one has a lot of drug usage and sexual thing. But if it was like

this one has mild humor and my mom was like you can watch that.

Table 5 -Results from Focus Group 5

Issues P1 P2 P3 P4 P5
Parental SJ J KK CS MP
Restriction Female
on content
Smoking Books encouraged None (parent Restricted Restriction none
over TV and smoked) (Based on
movies ratings)
Alcohol Books encouraged None Restricted Restriction None
over TV and (based on
movies ratings)
Drugs Books encouraged None Restricted Restriction None
over TV and (Based on
movies ratings)

J noted that today with tools like Imdb it is easier for parents to monitor content. MP said

that DVRs and other technological advancements also helped parents to monitor the content that

their children watch. CS admitted to alcohol consumption and MP and J only drank socially. The

others didnt do any of the activities. (See Emergent Themes from focus group 5 table in

appendix section.)

The participants were shown the same clips that the first American focus group had been

shown. CS said that the James Bond clip on drinking was cool and masculine and created the

impression that drinking was fun and cool, but there was nothing wrong with this in his opinion.

KK disagreed with CS. He said, [in the clip] they [producers] were kinda advocating the death

defying [act] and showing that drinking is super cool and [in reality] its not super cool and

people die all the time.

After viewing the second clip focused on Leonardo DiCaprio smoking, J said that she felt

that seeing an actor smoke so much made him unattractive. However, the male participants

believed that the cigarette made him appear to be cool. SJ said:

It depicted aloofness. Specially when he's confronted by the one guy behind him whos

obviously someone of authority and Di Caprio was aloof and took out a cigarette and

smoked right in his face and he showed it in every scene he was doing it in by just

ignoring people and not showing people any respect at all.

For SJ, the cigarette was used in the scene as an acting device to more effectively portray the

characters personality, which was an acceptable use.

KK objected to the vivid description of how to prepare drugs in the third clip. He said

that it was wrong for the movie to show the details about how to cook heroin or drop acid. He


I didnt know anything about this thing but I feel like I can do that now. It didnt seem

that bad. Its definitely bad. Kids can be watching this.

The other participants agreed with this but they also noted that the movie was balanced because

it also depicted the negative repercussions of doing drugs.

SJ said that he spends more time reading than watching movies because his parents

encouraged him to read rather than watch movies because they felt that movies werent art or

instructive. But, like movies, he has found that books over several centuries have included

questionable content such as opium smoking and drinking and depicted these activities with

graphic accuracy and yet there were no restrictions on book content. This brought into the

argument the question whether movies should be classified as having the same educational value

as books and other artistic mediums of expression, rather than as pure entertainment.

What the parties did agree on was that movies have become more realistic over time.

However, KK was concerned that the comedic movie genre was still over exaggerating

depictions of drugs without including portrayals of any negative consequences of drug use. He

described this as idiotic and said that it should be stopped. He said

they're way more liberal in the practices of not just showing sexually explicit scenes

but also drugs alcohol and cigarettes. Drug use used to be so taboo specially in the movie

industry and now its in every movie and its so like they make no big deal out of it all

Seth Rogen films are like smoking and its all cool and its not even a big deal.

MP said that no depiction in movies influenced his habits. CS, on the other hand,

admitted that exposure to movies with scenes of smoking and alcohol use had helped him sustain

a habit and brand placements had encouraged him to try particular brands. However, CS felt that

he was old enough to enjoy his habit and, as long as he moderated his consumption, it wouldnt

affect him.

MP identified a definite issue of product placement of alcohol brands in movies, but said

that it was fine in the U.S. because it was a capitalist society. CS also argued that good directors

were going to explore the limits of realism and not be burdened by morality. Although the

general consensus was that there was some influence from European movies, MP said that

generally, rather than being influenced by other movie markets, Hollywood influenced other

movie markets, SJ was not concerned about his peers and other people doing drugs, smoking and

drinking as long as these activities didnt hinder him and his actions. He also felt that the only

way to curb the effect of this type of content on youth decisions to engage in the activity was to

educate children at an early age. He felt that the DARE program did not work because it was

implemented in high school and, by that time, it was too late and the children had already formed

their opinions. He suggested that a program tailored inform children beginning from the age of 6

would be more effective in deterring them from forming the habit. He felt that the government

should not have a say at all in the issue of regulating content and that the only solution was the

early education plan and that other censorship techniques should be removed and the money

diverted to help to find a cure for cancer.

KK strongly disagreed with SJs position, arguing that censorship though limited in its

effectiveness, still warranted a place, as some effect was better than none. KK felt strongly about

removing the content in movies that were using it as comedic relief. KK believed that the

government had a responsibility and a right to regulate content. He said, they do have the ability

to infringe upon things that are in the government interest and creating a hostile society that

allows for illegal activity is in the government activity.

SJ refused to back down from his position that focusing completely on education was the

only way to solve the problem and the effect of censorship was too minimal to warrant its

continuance. He even disagreed with a two-pronged program combining education and

censorship saying that the money could be spent in better helping cure diseases.

KK believed that the movie content had a strong effect on the behavior and decisions of

young people. He said that the depiction of the content was, beyond excessive. I think they have

been too exposed to the media through television and movies and it makes them go crazy with

drinking like they watch the movies like project x and then they become animals and shed their

restraint and its definitely a problem and its a detriment to their health. Its really sad. All the

participants felt that parents needed to be more active in monitoring and censoring their

childrens TV habits, along with the education plan in schools. CS and MP felt that the anti

smoking commercials were effective deterrents and the blitz Krieg frame of scaring a viewer

worked. But SJ felt that this content, already present in books and plays, should not be

scrutinized in movies.


On the clip showing smoking, the Indian focus groups agreed that the depiction showed a

young guy being cool by smoking. TK from focus group 1 felt that ya what I feel is the sense of

accomplishment he feels in smoking, there is a conflict. There are two sides of him within his

head. He feels guilty about his smoking. Guilty because his social life is being hampered and

affected by that. His partner, his girlfriend, she doesnt like it but he still feels that sense of

accomplishment and its accompanied by a sense of insecurity as well. He is hooked on to it

cause it gives him a sense of security. The moment he leaves it, hes afraid of what might happen

to him. MP from the second focus group felt that, if the scene demands something like this

then it needs to be shown. Cause if they show a guy who drinks or smokes because he is stressed,

that just what people generally do. Its a vicious circle, people smoke, thats why its shown in

the movies and then because its shown in the movie, there are some people who smoke. The

third focus group felt that this clip didnt depict smoking accurately and showed a false sense of

cool. They felt that this clip wouldnt have an effect on the audience, as its not authentic

enough. For the most part though they all felt the depiction was youth centric and depicted

smoking as cool.

In the clip shown to the American focus group a similar consensus was reached. They all

felt that smoking was glorified and depicted as cool. The smokers also felt that seeing a scene

showing smoking made them feel like smoking a cigarette as well.

On the clip showing Drug usage again in the Indian groups, all groups felt that the clip

was a realistic depiction of doing drugs and that they also depicted being high on drugs

accurately. MP of group 3 said that although they depicted the wrong drug usage for the

sensation depicted, it still was a good depiction of drug usage. BB of group 1 felt that, they are

just showing how they take drugs in the beginning of the song and then being high and you know

thats all they show the feeling of being high. They are not promoting drugs. They just showed a

small how do you say it they are not pushing it in your face, they are just showing what high

feels like. He felt that the movie didnt linger on the usage of the drugs and moved on to the

lighter aspects of the story. TK of group 2 felt that although being accurate, the depiction of

drug usage in movies would not make him do drugs again. Although he admits that he is

influenced to continue smoking by cigarette smoking scenes, Once upon a time even I was

addicted to drugs. In the same college everyone, used to have 3-4 joints daily but past 2 years I

have completely stopped trying to quit smoking, but its not simple. Its very tough to quit

smoking. You quit it for one day, the person knows whos smoking, what happens. They

agreed that in most movies, there is no negative connotation of doing drugs.

Participants in the American Focus groups said that the clips depicted the act of doing

drugs too realistically. They felt that it was age appropriate and meant for an adult audience. DB,

who had proper parental control of such content growing up felt that, well there were for me. I

pretty much couldnt see anything that was not rated for my age group or whatever so I couldnt

watch R rated movies when I was younger anything like that. While SJ of group 5 felt that,

if you look at that clip alone, they went from really focused and they had a plan to make money

and be profitable and as soon as they took drugs their ability to focus went away. And while they

were having fun, it completely ruined any possibility of profitability. He felt that it shows the

immediate repercussions on their lives and on the lives of others. They agreed that the clip was

youth centric and both groups felt that its important for movies to show the negative

connotations of doing drugs instead of glorifying it as its dangerous and sends the wrong


On the final clip of consuming alcohol, the Indian focus groups unanimously agreed on it

being the most accurate depiction of college life in India. They all felt that it was also all right for

the filmmaker to depict alcohol consumption in the context of the scene as it was what happened

in real life. However group 2 felt though that it could affect a young audience aged 13 or so to

look on college life favorably and want to drink alcohol. Analyzing the clip BB of group 1 felt

that, He didnt want to show people that drinking is good. See the good thing I like is that he

doesnt get into details about why this guy is drinking, why the middle guy is drinking, why the

other guy is drinking? Its engineering college, people drink youll feel free to you know judge

why they are drinking, you know. We know the background of these characters, one is rich, one

is poor, and one is off a different religion. See he doesnt go into the details. But hes like its

engineering, people are under pressure. Not only engineering, any field. If People are under

pressure, they drink. But, he doesnt portray that clearly. Hes smart. Maybe he doesnt want to

get caught up in all the copyright things. He wants the viewers to think openly about how they

feel or think about it.

Also in group 3 AP looked at it as a necessity saying that, the colleges are hard, there are

no girls around. The guys have nothing else to do. And said that its an acceptable depiction. The

clip was from a movie rated PG 13 and accessible to kids. When asked, group 1 and 2 agreed

that it could send the wrong message though group 3 was of the view that kids at 13 are already

aware of these things and so its acceptable to have such depiction.

In the case of the American focus groups, participants all agreed about the influence of

the clip stating that it used an iconic character to depict drinking in a cool light. DG said, as you

said theres generations behind the movie. Theres the classic line in James bond. What would

you like to drink? martini, shaken not stirred. You have that every time. However SJ from

group 5 felt that the clip wasnt focused on the drinking. I really think the drinking part was

inconsequential it was about the way he had to take the glass and drink without disturbing the

scorpion I really think what he was drinking was inconsequential.

Certain trends emerge from the results. First, with very few exceptions, amongst both

Indian and U.S. participants parental controls and restrictions that had been imposed on their

movie watching privileges as children focused on sexually explicit content rather than on

smoking, drinking or drug usage. SA of group 2 said that his father would, however, point out

these activities, warn him not to engage in them and explain the negative effects of the activities.

MP in Group 2 reported that his parents had shielded him from this content as a youngster.

However, instead of negating the desire for it he said that because of this content restriction, he

wanted to try these drugs out himself when he was of age to make a choice. He felt that

censorship didnt work and actually had the reverse effect.

DA, an American in group 4, had a similar experience and is now insistent that parental

restrictions alone will not be effective in discouraging the behavior in adulthood if parents do not

communicate to their children the reason why something is forbidden. In American groups, most

people had little or no restrictions but those who did noted conflicting results and opinions also.

DB and KK felt that parental restrictions had worked limiting access to content with such

depiction until they were mature enough to handle it. The others who had been subject to

restrictions felt that because the content that was not accessible became the forbidden fruit, the

restrictions made them want to try the substance even more. The point that came up, again, was

that parents first censor sex and explicit material and are, for the most part, okay with letting

kids watch Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and drug usage.

As a follow up to this, AP of group 3 bemoaned that children who were some five years

younger than the age group of the Focus Group were being exposed to more realistic content and

had more access to this content through the Internet. She said it was, therefore, impossible to

have restrictions on the children. Instead she said parents had to approach the issue differently,

informing their children rather than restricting them.

Notwithstanding the lack of consensus on the effectiveness of parental controls, all the

participants across cultures believed that parental control would be the most effective way to

reduce incidences of access to content and preventing use in adulthood. All the participants were

wary of too much government restrictions, and many felt the industry had no moral duty to

temper content to protect the most vulnerable. They all believed it was the parents job to ensure

their child was not exposed to such content. They also felt that it was the parents job to inform

and educate their children about such depictions and they highlighted the need for parents to be

accessible to their children rather than using the remote to change the channel when such

content came up. One Indian group emphasized the need for education in schools on these issues,

which was resonated in one American focus group. The DARE program in the U.S. is aimed at

doing this, but both the American groups felt that DARE program was not working. SJ of Group

5, who was very vocal on the issue of education in schools, suggested that a similar system to

DARE would be more successful if implemented early in the childs life when they could more

effectively absorb the information.

The participants all also agreed that government and industry restrictions were limited

and that, although the current censorship tools werent very effective, there werent a lot of ways

to improve on them. For example, an issue that was prevalent in the Indian focus groups was that

even though there was a rating system for movies, it was not being enforced in theatres with all

groups agreeing that it was not unusual for minors to walk into a R rated film. On the other

hand, the focus groups also indicated that there were a large amount of movies that were rated

G or PG 13, which include depictions of drug, alcohol and cigarette usage. Group 5 gave

examples of G rated movies that showed characters smoking and drinking.

The groups were, however, more polarized on the question of whether actors and movie

producers had a moral duty toward their audience for the content they produced. Two groups in

India and one in America felt that actors and the industry did have a moral duty to shun product

placements of such depictions because they had a direct influence on fans. The other groups felt

that being in a capitalist society, it was acceptable, and the responsibility rested with the people

who watched the content to determine what behaviors they would indulge in.

The groups said that movie portrayals of smoking, drinking and drug usage were

sensationalized. Participants in the Indian focus groups, said that in the mainstream Bollywood

movies, the depictions were inaccurate, exaggerated and trying too hard to emulate Hollywood

cinema. A few depictions were accurate, TK of group 2 said citing for example, Dil dosti etc.

(Indian movie, 2007) and delhi belly (Indian movie, 2011) which both had a very positive

impact, show that at this age its quite normal to do all these things. They noted especially Iman

Shahs (Bollywood actress) behavior in Dil Dosti etc. that shows the habit to be very normal

behavior for a college student. Now they are going around here and there you know. There is no,

I mean there is no negative aspect to it. You cannot find anything negative when you watch those

scenes. The same goes for Delhi Belly also. They show how youngsters behave. They think

its pretty cool and its part of their normal life. AP of group 3 felt that, they have romanticized

it to a great extent and theyve made it like the movie is not about smoking or drinking but

smoking or drinking becomes how you define a character for something which makes no sense.

The American participants also agreed that there are movies that over sensationalize in

depicting alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and drug usage. KK of group 5 said there is

an excessive depictions of this type of content in films like this is the end and Project X both

of which depict youngsters having fun on drugs and alcohol with no negative effects. In Group 4

MJ said:

Its more on what you're going for when you say over sensationalization. I think certain

movies do it. We just watched The Internship, and we watched the party scene and we said

they dragged it way too long it was nice that there were tits and everything but like 10 minutes of

the scene we were like good with the first two minutes and could have stopped there. Other

movies do it casually, even Inglorious Bastards where they have a little bit of drinking so I

think some directors over do it and some do it tastefully. Like the Indian focus groups they, too,

felt that such depictions in movies could be reduced and censored while the art-house cinema

production which were intended for adult audiences could explore these issues in more realistic


Another trend that emerged was that the participants all believed that depictions of

alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking had influenced their attitudes toward drug usage,

alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. PP in group 1 said that as a child he would pretend

to roll paper and smoke it like the actors in movies.

AW brought out the example of the anti- smoking ads, which he believed were extreme:

I think that the influence of our attitudes depends on what we have see [sic] of it like

the video you showed of the lady with the hole in the throat and obviously it would

influence [viewers] in such a way that you wouldnt want to smoke cigarettes. But if you

show them something like Rajnikant (South Indian Tollywood actor) then they want to

smoke. Its your perception its whats shown to you.

He said that audience members could be persuaded either to adopt the habit or against it

depending on the strength of the depiction. He validates the use of the anti-smoking commercial

in the US as they send a strong message. They also felt that it depended on the context in which

the content was presented. Thus, if the depiction included the negative effects, it could persuade

people not to use the substances, while if the context was purely comedic and did not reveal

negative connotations then audience members might be persuaded to try them. The consensus in

Group 2, however, was that exposure to the content did not influence attitudes since people

addicted to a habit would continue it, regardless of the message in the movie. The third group felt

strongly about the influence of television depictions of drug, cigarette and alcoholic use on


The American groups also agreed that these depictions could have influenced them. CS

from Focus Group 5 said that he doesnt like the smell of cigarettes and as much as he sees

scenes showing smoking, he will never start smoking as a result of watching this content.

However, DG from the fourth focus group said:

I just feel that there is the scene in inglorious bastards its the scene where they are at the

table and their covers blown and he says I dont want to waste good scotch when he takes

the cigarette in his mouth and you see him take the last few drags you know hes going to

die and there is that moment where you look and feel I kind of want a cigarette now just

because he looks like hes having the time of his life.

DA in group 4 also recorded a definite effect, it has for me. Seeing in a movie I kinda

wanted to try it. I didnt feel the need to, but like at worlds end and doing the pub crawl, I want

to try it when I was younger, and saw someone smoke, I felt like I wouldnt mind trying one.

Others, like SP, felt that rather than movies, other factors such as peer groups and family

had a stronger effect. And on the question of influence, most felt that, although seeing the

depictions made them want to do it, it was only effective if they had already done it before. It

didnt encourage them to start nor did it make them want to try the habit if they didnt want to.

CS from Group 5 denied the effect on himself. He said, I really havent been influenced

by drugs and cigarettes in movies. I cant stand cigarette smoke so watching it on TV doesnt

make me like it, I just feel like I choose what I want.

His position was that if you arent into an activity, nothing will influence you to try it.

KK felt otherwise, I was watching euro trip with my friends they were starting to get into

marijuana and they were like actually wanted to make those (Pot brownie) and perpetuates the

thing. One of my family they are into hardcore drugs and the movies they wanted me to see are

also very drug oriented. I think it has an influence in not only perpetuating the activities but also

introducing them into the culture.

From their discussions on the three clips it was also clear that most participants believed

that depictions of drug usage, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption would have an effect

on a youth audience.

While most participants appeared to agree with SPs position, at least two participants,

one Indian and one American, reported that viewing content depicting the use of one of these

substances had caused them to continue in the habit of using it.

Even those participants, who denied that the depictions affected their choices, agreed that

depictions of alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking and drug usage did have an effect on the

young audience. Because of this, they felt that there was a need to change the content in movies

that were accessible to the youth that showed these depictions. On the similarities on the effect

and perceptions, the groups for the most part agree that depiction of drug usage; smoking and

drinking could have an adverse effect on the kids watching it. They all agreed that in the case at

least of mainstream movies, these depictions should be reduced, as they were easily accessible

by children. They felt, however, that the art-house movies should have the creative freedom to

depict realistic actions like books and plays as long as the movies were meant for adults.

In relation to whether they felt that watching movies depicting main characters engaged

in smoking drinking and drug usage had desensitized their perception toward people who drank,

smoked or engaged in drugs, the groups felt that it did not. They said that exposure to movie

characters who did drugs did not desensitize them and cause them to be comfortable with their

peers doing drugs, smoking or drinking around them.

In the case of harder drugs most felt that no amount of exposure to these depictions could

desensitize their perception of use of drugs. The Indian groups felt that smoking and drinking,

were more acceptable socially and they had no problem with friends engaging in these activities

even where they, themselves did not partake. However, most participants were not sure about

drug usage indicating that it depended on the drug in question. Most had no problem with

marijuana, but would not be comfortable around people who used the harder narcotics. They said

that movies had not desensitized them about those substances. AW in group 1 said:

I think that in terms of the 3 options youve given us, smoke, use drugs and drink

alcohol. Out of those 2, smoking and alcohol have been more acceptable because its legal

and its something that weve been exposed to since we were young. So definitely those 2

are more acceptable than using drugs. But yes, in the time that we live in, even the use of

drugs more acceptable. Id say a bit, not completely but a bit acceptable.

MP in group 2 had a similar perspective, Its not cause its been shown excessively in

movies, he said, but cause its been happening excessively around me as well so Im kinda

getting used to that scenario. I used to be in one my friends hostel and there was a guy who any

time of the day those two buggers would be rolling and cleaning. They would have rolling papers

on the wall.

Of all the groups, Group 3 was the most conflicted on the question because they all

themselves had done or did on occasion one or more of these activities and so felt that they could

not accurately answer as they werent affected by people doing it around them when they

themselves did it.

The American participants felt that although movies contributed to the process of

desensitizing, having people around who engaged in these activities also played a role. There

was a cultural divide between Indian and American audiences because exposure to real people

using the drugs was more common in the U.S. than in India.

The American participants were also more comfortable with peers and other people doing

harder drugs around them. On the issue, DG said:

I can say yes and no to that question cause I feel like Ive seen people take cocaine

before and Im not doing it and I just dont care. You shouldnt take that. Its more or less

I just dont care so much about it. I dont think it has anything to do with movies. I think

its more so that its not my problem.

However, he did agree that the realistic depictions in movies played a part in

desensitizing him to people doing drugs around him. DB, on the other hand, said that:

I know for me it hasnt desensitized me cause in Scarface you see him stick his face in

coke and Ive seen people do lines of coke and it still is nothing like seeing it for real it

hits you like its real.

The American participants in general were comfortable with people engaging in the activities but

they didnt think that movies had helped desensitize them. It may have played a role, they said,

alongside other factors such as having family, friends and acquaintances who engaged in these


Group 5s KK took a strong stand agreeing that movies played a role in desensitizing her

and society:

I think the movie industry is so irresponsible for desensitizing our society from

marijuana like specifically over the years. They made it less of a taboo and made it

socially acceptable and just a misdemeanor and its just all benefit. I think they are

responsible like all Seth Rogan movies there have just been a stream of movies, that have

made it okay to use it.

While there were only a few females in the focus groups, there were some notable minor

differences in their perceptions of media content. Thus, while Indian men believed that the

modern depiction of Indian women as lushes who drank and behaved anti-socially was

demeaning to women, female participants were content with this depiction because it meant that

young women were finally being represented effectively in the movies.

American female participants differed from their counterparts in their view of the clip

depicting Leonardo Di Caprio smoking. While male participants said that the image made him

appear cool, J and SP, the female participants in Group 5 saw his excessive smoking as

unattractive and not cool.


The first research question was how do character depictions and stereotyping of drug,

smoking and alcohol use in films affect the youth audience perspective? The focus groups

largely believed that the effect of images of lead roles in films indulging in activities such as

drinking, smoking and drug use was to glamorize these activities for children audiences and

make it more likely that they would also engage in these activities when they were old enough.

This was exacerbated in recent times, they said by the increased accessibility of this content to

this age group through new technology, ineffective rating systems and systems for enforcing the

rating system in the movie theaters in India.

The participants also mainly believed that, while exposure to this content would not cause

them to adopt a new habit, it could encourage them to decide to continue to engage in an existing

habit. Additionally, most who did not believe in using drugs said that exposure could never

encourage them to do drugs. Nonetheless, they did believe that exposure to the content could

have an effect in encouraging other youngsters to do drugs, indicating there could be a third

person effect, wherein the participants do not believe that they are affected like others by content

they watch.

Participants felt also that exposure to the content had served to desensitize them to

incidents of people engaging in these activities in their company, although the Indian

participants, except for those who engaged in it themselves, and most of the American

participants generally were not open to peers doing hard drugs in their company.

Generally, then, participants felt that there was an effect in both encouraging use of, and

desensitizing youngsters to the use of the substances.

The second research question focused on whether censoring or restricting access to this

content portraying smoking, alcohol and drug usage would lead to a negative perception toward

the use of the substance by children. The unanimous position of the focus groups was that the

most important censorship should come from parents, rather than imposing restrictions on the

industry or using government censorship. Most participants in India didnt have restriction on

content depicting smoking, drinking or drug usage but mainly restrictions on sexual content.

Though those who did have restrictions mentioned their effectiveness and have avoided doing

these activities in real life. SA from group 2 and AP from group 3 had parents that informed

them of the negative impacts of the activities and felt that this method was really effective. AP

also felt that parents should be accessible and children should be able to approach them with

queries. Only MP from group 2 mentioned that when something was forbidden, he felt the need

to try it. That was the only case of negative impact of parental restriction. They also felt that

rather than restricting access alone, parents should inform children of the negative impacts of

doing these activities.

The same was true for focus groups in America. Most participants in these groups had

some form of restriction when they were younger. In some cases it was really effective and

deterred the participants from doing the activities even when they were of appropriate age.

However in a couple of cases again, the forbidden fruit theory became relevant. DA in Group 4

mentioned that not being told why something was restricted to watch, made him want to try it

even more. On the whole, the American participants had more restrictions than Indian audiences.

But both groups did show very little negative impact from parental restrictions. They also agreed

that information is a much better deterrent than just plain restriction as it informs the children of

why they are being restricted from watching movies or TV with cigarette smoking, alcohol

consumption and drug usage.

The third research question, was are there any similarities or differences between the

perception of the Indian and American youth about the effects of and views about depicting

images of people smoking, using drugs and alcohol consumption in regard to their respective

film industry? The answer was for the most part yes, there were similarities between, firstly, the

depictions of such activities in both cinemas. The Indian groups were unanimous in the belief

that Hollywood had been an influence on Indian movies. AW in group 1 said that:

Okay so I believe the Indian movie market has been on a bit of the conservative side

because its India. The culture obviously plays into the movie market. Todays youth is

definitely exposed to the movie market from the US and in Hollywood, alcoholism and

smoking has always been acceptable. Drug usage has always had a more lenient view. So

when they look at that and want to ape that, definitely it influences our markets also

because they want to follow the American trends, they want to follow the western trends.

So todays directors or moviemakers will definitely follow those trends because they

want to get a share of the market as well.

Group 2 agreed that not only did they get inspired, but most mainstream movies were

remakes of popular Hollywood films. Group 3 participant NA agreed but felt that Indian cinema

was doing a poor job of ripping Hollywood movies. He did feel that some movies were

influenced in better ways to create more original content.

Nowadays movies are becoming a little too bold if you see the trailer for Masti

(Indian movie, 2004) or Delhi Belly its a big thing to show a guy getting a boner and

most people didnt understand the scene and no one is laughing.

The point of difference between the two countries based on the focus groups was firstly

their view about drugs. Because the Indian participants were not as exposed to harder drugs, they

werent happy with the depiction in movies. The American groups for the most part felt that it

was common in their society and that they were already exposed to it through families and peer

groups and so were more comfortable with peers engaging in it.

The second difference related to the parental restrictions. For the Indian groups,

restrictions imposed, mainly related to sexual content, while the Americans had restrictions on

all explicit or mature-themed content. But on the whole all groups had similar perspectives and

outlooks on the issue. There should be some serious concern, as an aside, that Indian parents are

not censoring movies that include scenes of drug, alcohol and cigarette use since Ross

(2013) found that early access to such content does have an effect on an adolescent audience.

The groups also had several areas of agreement across the two cultures. First, there is

definite concern about the depiction of alcohol consumption, drug usage and cigarette smoking

in movies and youth perception. For the most part, there was agreement that this content is,

firstly, easily accessed by kids and, secondly, could affect them in the long term.

They also unanimously agreed that the best way to censor or restrict such content was

parental control. The study found that participant perception on governments was that they were

not effective in censoring and their anti-smoking, or drinking ads were having a minimal effect.

The groups from both countries felt that over restricting content, parents need to educate the

children and inform them about the demerits of these activities or risk having their children

wanting to explore these things on their own.

They also suggest that actors and the movie industry may have a moral duty to their fans

not to waylay them for a quick buck and could, instead, help depict the demerits of drinking or

smoking. The groups agreed that alcohol companies and cigarette brands were employing

product placement in movies to persuade a young audience to try their brands and it was having

the desired effect as most participants admitted to being persuaded to try a brand from seeing it

in movies. They also agreed that subtler subliminal marketing techniques were also employed

where they didnt just market the product but the act of smoking and drinking by not showing

any negative consequences.

In this paper the researcher suggested several theories that might be applicable. Based on

the results the theories that seem to be most relevant in the case of these participants are

stereotyping in movies, cultivation theory and persuasion.

Stereotyping was identified as a theme in movies depicting these activities by most of the

participants. These stereotypes included the masculinity of iconic characters such as James Bond

who are depicted playing drinking games. It also included in the Indian cinema the feminine

drunk and the student who reveals everything under the influence of alcohol. Participants from

both countries also identified the comedic drunk. The Indian participants felt that the comedic

drunk was shown in earlier cinema and the depiction was always embellished. The American

particants agreed that these depictions were embellished, but felt that this stereotype was

becoming more prevalent in American movies today and didnt show the negative impact of

doing these activities.

The effects of consuming these depictions over a period of time was also obvious in these

responses, with one participant mentioning the cyclical nature of movies influence from real life

and in reciprocation, their influence on the younger generations perspective. Participants in the

American groups admitted, also to the influence that media had on their brand preference.

Persuasion effects were also obvious since participants indicated that watching content

would not cause them to adopt the habit, some admitted that exposure to these images had

caused them to continue a behavior.

Although third person effect was not one of the theories outlined in this thesis, there is

some evidence of this in that while participants indicated that they, themselves would never be

influenced to do drugs by watching content in movies, they were of the opinion that youngsters

exposed to this content could be influenced to engage in all these activities including drugs.

This study was successful in showing that the depiction of drug usage, smoking and

drinking and how these activities are perceived by young kids is an important issue to be

examined since it could have long term effects and needs to be controlled through informative

means in combination with existing censorship tools.

This study also demonstrates that this issue is a global one and needs to be studied further

to find better, long term solutions to control content in movies and access to young kids who are

easily influenced by these depictions. This study also validates prior research done on the topic


The results of this study represent five focus groups of five to six people and can by no

means be said to represent the universe. It was a qualitative analysis of 26 participants

representing two movie markets. Although their opinions are valid and their reasoning sound,

there is always scope for error. It was, nonetheless, appropriate to focus on a youth perspective

for this study since an analysis of prior research showed that very few studies looked at the youth

perspective and since this was the audience most affected by depictions of drug usage, cigarette

smoking and alcohol consumption, it was valid to get their opinions first hand on the issue.

The study had fewer female participants than male and could have benefitted from more

female perspectives. One more American focus group would have also helped consolidate the

study from the American audiences perspective. The study could have been strengthened by

conducting focus groups with older people, aged between 35-49 as they would fulfill the parental

bracket. It would have also helped to not only include other movie markets but to conduct a

mixed focus group with participants from both movie markets discussing the issue together. In

the long run, if there is a desire to have more empirical statistics, a quantitative study should be

done on the same population and other similar populations. Despite this, the study was designed

to answer these research questions, and provide a start to comparing movie effects across cultural

markets and using the focus groups garnered a mixture of opinions that consolidated the

relevance of the issue in both Indian and American cinema with respect to effects on the youth of

both movie market.


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Table 6 - Emergent Themes from Focus Groups Tables

Issue Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5

Authenticity/ Agreed, and felt Agreed and Felt that only Agreed. True for art-
Realistic of it growing with felt that a few movies house
portrayals current cinema depictions were serious
were getting improving movies,
more organic while others farcical for
with time. were mainstream
resorting to and
clichs comedies
Sensationalis Felt it was It was present Agreed but Agreed for Agreed
m in contextual to the though alright felt it was mainstream
portrayals type of movie. in adult alright as movies that
themed movies are go too far.
movies but meant to
unnecessary embellish
in mainstream
Exposure to Agreed. And felt Felt it had All Disagreed Agreed. But
content it was a growing merit though participants with regards felt other
desensitizes effect for drugs also felt it was did one or to drug factors like
viewers to part and more of the usage family were
issues parcel with activities and also relevant
current felt the
changing question not
trends in real applicable
Exposure to Agreed and felt Felt external Felt other Agreed Agreed.
content it true for young factors had a factors more
encourages children bigger impact responsible
behavior like peer

Table 6 (Continued)
Exposure Agreed They agreed Unanimously Agreed for Agreed only
helps to for smoking agreed both for drinking
sustain an scenes but not smoking
existing habit drugs and drinking
Increased Agreed. Lax Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed
accessibility restrictions from Specially
of children to parents and older
movies government movies
Forbidden Didnt feel it One person Felt it was Agreed Agreed
fruit effects affected them agreed. true.

Censorship Felt it was Was working. Not very Not Needs to be

by ineffective and Could be effective effective stronger
government cumbersome better

Parental Was most Necessary. Vital Necessary Effective

responsibility important and But needed to but with and
needs to change. change changes necessary
from current
Moral Mainly for actors Felt They are They should Mixed.
responsibility who are idolized actors and be allowed Some felt it
of movie by fans are acting. Its to explore needed
makers not their job their control for
to be morally creativity mainstream
conscious. movies
while others
felt it was
Feminine Farcical and The men felt Men felt it N/A N/A
stereotypes in derogatory it was a was negative
India towards women. negative while the
depiction but female
the female participant
participant felt it was
felt it was accurate and
emancipating justified
and needed.
And would
itself over

Table 7 - Emergent Themes from Focus GroupsGroup 1
Issue P1 (AT) P2 (PP) P3 (AK) P4 (BB) P5 (TK) P6
Authentic Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed
tic of
Cigarette Social drinker Social Doesnt Alcohol Social Both
smoking drinker drink or drinker and drinker alcohol
and smoke occasional and
alcohol smoker cigarette
consumpt s
Sensation Agreed and Agreed Agreed Agreed Contextual Context
alism in felt it could be specially in to type of ual but
portrayal curtailed female movie true in
s characters some
Exposure To some Agreed Agreed Agreed. Agreed. Only for
to content extent. Though felt drinking
desensitiz it was on and
es perception smoking
viewers level
to issues
Exposure Agreed. Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed
to content though though though
encourag some some some
es movies movies movies
behavior discouraged discouraged discoura
such such ged such
activities activities activitie
Exposure No comment Agreed Agreed Agreed No Agreed
helps to comment
sustain an
Increased Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed
ity of
to movies
Forbidde Didnt feel it No No Agreed Disagreed Disagree
n fruit relevant comment comment d

Table 7 (Continued)
Censorsh Ineffective Ineffective Ineffective Ineffective Ineffective Ineffective
ip by

Parental Mainly on Ineffective Mainly on Mainly on Effective Effective

responsib sexual sexual sexual
ility content. Not content. content.
present but Ineffective Needs to
needed for change
Moral Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed
ility of
Feminine Negative Embellished No Derogatory Negative Negativel
stereotyp portrayal and absurd comment influence on y depicted
es in women

Table 8 - Emergent Themes from Focus Groups Group 2
Issue P1 (MP) P2 (TK) P3 (SA) P4 (EH) F P5 (SK)
Authenticity/Realistic Contextually Agreed Agreed Has Agreed
of portrayals valid changed
with time
Cigarette smoking and Smokes and Smokes and Doesnt Has had a Doesnt
alcohol consumption drinks regularly drinks drink or drink or drink or
regularly smoke two smoke
Sensationalism in Contextually Agreed Too much in Agreed Agreed
portrayals relevant in some mainstream
movies movies
Exposure to content Has desensitized Has Hasnt To some Hasnt
desensitizes viewers to desensitized desensitized extent desensitiz
issues ed
Exposure to content Agreed To some Agreed Agreed Agreed
encourages behavior extent
Exposure helps to Agreed Agreed but N/A didnt To some N/A
sustain an existing not for drugs do any extent didnt do
habit activity any
Increased accessibility Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed
of children to movies
Forbidden fruit effects Agreed Agreed Didnt agree To some No
extent comment
Censorship by Not to good Not effective Worked Adequate Adequate

Parental responsibility Mainly on Not effective Effective Needed to Effective

sexual content. as parents change
Some for of werent
restriction accessible
Moral responsibility of Some Agreed Necessary Agreed Agreed
movie makers
Feminine stereotypes Negative Negative Negative Felt it Felt it
in India portrayal depiction depiction necessary necessary
in todays in todays
market market

Table 9 -Emergent Themes from Focus Groups Group 3
Issue P1 (AG) P2 (NA) P3 (VT) P4 (AP) F P5 (MP)
Authenticity Agreed Disagreed felt To some Agreed felt Agreed
/Realistic of movies were extent movies were
portrayals receding to improving
Cigarette Drinks Does it Does both Drinks and Does it
smoking regularly frequently regularly smokes frequently
and alcohol
Sensationali Agreed Too Agreed too Romanticized to Agreed and
sm in Americanized many a great extent felt depiction
portrayals positives or was
negatives inaccurate
Exposure to Not applicable N/A N/A N/A N/A
viewers to
Exposure to Agreed Disagreed felt Felt movies Felt movies Other factors
content other factors were fictional were fictional like peer
encourages more and it was the and it was the pressure.
behavior responsible person person decision
Exposure Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed
helps to
sustain an
Increased Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed and felt Felt kids
accessibility that children today were
of children today were getting
to movies getting exposed access a lot
sooner earlier
Forbidden Felt it was Felt other Agreed Didnt agree Agreed
fruit effects valid factors
Censorship Ineffective Not working Silly Needed to Not working
by improve and
government educate children

Table 9 (Continued)
Parental On sexual Not present Mainly on Affective and On sexual
responsibili content mainly but needed for sexual of paramount content.
ty future content. Not importance Needed to
effective change
Moral Some Felt it was To some Not Not
responsibili persons extent responsible as responsible
ty of movie responsibility they are actors
Feminine Negative Not showing Negative Accurate and Embellished
stereotypes depiction women in a depiction authentic. and
in India good light Actors acting inaccurate
and nothing

Table 10 - Emergent Theme from Focus Groups Group 4
Issue P1 (DG) P2 (MJ) P3 (SJ) F P4 (DB) P5 (DA)
Authenticity Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed
/Realistic of specially for
portrayals art-house films
Cigarette Does it Drinks a lot. Nothing. Has Drinks on Drinks
smoking frequently Smokes tried the occasion, heavily.
and alcohol occasionally activities Smokes
consumptio occasiona
n lly
Sensationali In some movies Felt Too much Agreed In some
sm in its accurate and mainstream emphasis on cases it is
portrayals depicting real movies went the activities accurate
life too far in
Exposure to Agreed Agreed Disagreed Disagreed for Agreed
content specially for hard drugs
desensitizes alcohol and
viewers to cigarettes
Exposure to Agreed Didnt agree. Didnt agree Agreed Agreed
content Felt movies depiction could completel
encourages didnt affect y.
behavior influence perception
Exposure Agreed Agree also Disagree Disagree Agree
helps to with brand
sustain an placement
Increased Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed
of children
to movies
Forbidden Some effect No effect No effect No effect Agreed
fruit effects

Censorship Moderately Not effective Effective Too much. Ineffectiv

by effective Makes it e
government unrealistic

Table 10 (Continued)
Parental Some Shown real Not present. Very effective Not
responsibilit restriction. life scenarios. Parents need effective
y Need to be to talk to at all.
accessible their kids Parents
with about need to
information content. give
Moral Didnt agree. To some Needed to be Needed. In
responsibilit Creative extent mainly responsible some cases
y of movie freedom needed for
makers mainstream

Table 11 - Emergent Themes from Focus Groups Group 5
Issue P1 (SJ) P2 (J) F P3 (KK) P4 (CS) P5 (MP)
Authenticity Changing with Agreed Accentuated Looks cool and Getting
/Realistic of time and awesome more
portrayals embellished realistic
Cigarette Doesnt drink Social drinker Doesnt Drinks on Rare beer
smoking or smoke drink or weekends and or two
and alcohol smoke socially now and
consumptio again
Sensationali Contextual Agreed Agreed and They Felt the
sm in felt negative sensationalized good
portrayals depiction but it was okay came with
will less the bad
Exposure to Desensitized. Agreed Agreed Felt that External
content But by other movies also factors
desensitizes media factors show negative
viewers to effects and act
issues as deterrents
rather than just
Exposure to No comment Didnt have an Agreed Felt it was Disagreed
content effect specially for personal
encourages younger preference
behavior audiences
Exposure N/A didnt do Didnt think it Didnt do the Helped choose Disagreed
helps to the activities did activities what to drink.
sustain an Not true for
existing smoking
Increased Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed Agreed
of children
to movies
Forbidden No comment No effect No effect. No effect. Felt
fruit effects his activities
were age
Censorship Needs to Adequate Moderately Effective. Effective
by incorporate effective if effective. DARE
government education perceived by Needs to program not
programs from children censor effective
early age content

Table 11 (Continued)
Parental Some. TV Some. Very Ratings system None
responsibilit discouraged effective. of movies
Moral Other media No comment Absolutely. Not Actors are
responsibilit like books They are responsible responsibl
y of movie already has responsible e
makers such content



Interviewer: Zain Merchant denoted as ZM in interview

Interviewee: College students denoted with initials in focus group

Interview Setting: focus group conducted in closed room at.

The Transcriptions are Verbatim. However the long pauses when the interviewee thinks or

pauses were removed. Grammatical errors were not changed, as that is how the interviewees

spoke during the focus groups.

ZM Alright I am going to start my first focus group. time is 5 minutes to 2 and the topic of the

focus group is a study in the depiction of drugs alcohol and cigarette addiction in movies and its

perceived effect on a young audience. Its a comparative study between American and Indian

cinema and its respective audiences. Right, before I show you the clips and start of the questions,

lets go around the room and introduce ourselves. What I want is, your name. your educational

background, where you studied, what are you studying now. And what else. Lets do something

fun. Give me your favorite movie, Hindi, English. Doesnt matter. Anything, doesnt matter and

give a brief description of the movie. Lets start with you.

AT Hi. My name is AT. Last year I completed post graduate in management specializing in

marketing. My favorite movie, let me think about it.

ZM Okay, we will come back to you.

PP Hi, Im PP. I am doing CEA, CES and completed my course work in M.Phil. Dissertation is

going on. I am a visiting lecturer at symbiosis institute of computer studies and research. And if

you had to take my favorite film, it would be muglaiazam.

ZM Muglaiazam? Can you give me a brief description of the film?

PP its just a love story between Saleem and Anar Kalee and the opposition they faced from

Saleems brother Akbar.

ZM and its an old film?

PP its a very old film. Its a classic.

ZM okay thanks.

AK Hello, my name is AK. I hold a masters degree in business administration, with a focus in

marketing. For my favorite film, its up in the air, released in 2009 with George Clooney. I think

its a fun film with a good mix of philosophical thoughts and its a fun movie to look at.

BB Hi, Im BB. I have completed my engineering in IT and my favorite film is the count of

monte cristo. Its a story about, you know, how life treats you and you want to hit back and you

know its about all the consequences that happen, you know even, you have the high hand and

things dont go your way. Its about revenge and how its not too important.

ZM Thanks.

TK My name is TK and Im in my final year at Law school and my favorite film would be

Satya. Its about this ordinary man who comes to this city of Mumbai to fulfill his dreams but

ends up becoming a gang lord. It shows the rise to power and to reach that level, the sacrifices

you have to make.

AW Hi, my name is AW. Im in my final year of BA right now. My favorite film would be

Tropic Thunder. Its a bit unconventional but I like it because, its not too serious. It parodies the

characters they are supposed to be themselves. Like they are supposed to be these pre madonas

and they go out there and everything that they think and they do gets changed and they get a dose

of reality and I like that, the way thats juxtaposed in the film.

ZM Thanks guys. Now, for the rest of the duration, I encourage you to focus on Indian cinema.

You can mention Tollywood or any other regional cinema in India, thats fine. So Im gonna

show you a few clips just to get you in the mood. Alright. Feel free to make notes. Any

questions, ask them. After the clips I will want a reaction from you about those clips from you.


First clip shown No smoking (about depiction of smoking in films)

ZM alright guys take a moment and collect your thoughts. If you have anything to already say

you can say it. This was from no smoking, 2006 okay.

PP This film had a character, Baba Bengali who helps him to get rid of the addiction.

ZM what do you think of the depiction, first of all of a young guy sitting in a bath tub, good

physique all his thoughts on smoking.

BB - thats the first impression you get. He thinks its cool. That was the first impression but as

the scene progressed it was more about I dont know something like

AW a form of rebellion perhaps? Because like you said in the beginning it was about looking

cool and good but later on as the scene progressed and the story is mentioned in the background

and you see the scene with the mirror and he says no one tells me what to do and in a way he

goes to the psychiatrist I think who is trying to wean him off his addiction and he has I guess a

complex where he doesnt like having people tell him what to do. So the psychiatrist tried to get

him off his addiction, so he keeps on smoking. In a way its a form of rebellion.

BB Ya, hes obsessed with smoking where he doesnt know why and he doesnt care. Thats

what the scene I thought showed.

ZM Right, anyone else?

AK Reality has been captured really well, showing a man who is addicted to smoking, alcohol.

Everyone feels thats and nobody wants to be told what to do.

ZM you made a good point when you say everybody feels that. Is that true in reality? Do you

feel, its cool and looks cool and thats one thing but in reality is everyone a John Abrahim.

AK in their mind. Ya everybody feels that.

ZM we will come back to that. Thats a good point. Anybody else. You good TK

TK ya what I feel is the sense of accomplishment he feels in smoking, there is a conflict. There

are two sides of him within his head. He feels guilty about his smoking. Guilty because his

social life is being hampered and affected by that. His partner, his girlfriend, she doesnt like it

but he still feels that sense of accomplishment and its accompanied by a sense of insecurity as

well. He is hooked on to it cause it gives him a sense of security. The moment he leaves it, hes

afraid of what might happen to him.

ZM Im going to move on to the second clip. I saw Go Goa Gone very recently and thought

this clip kinda worked. Its a song. This one is on drug usage with some alcohol consumption.

Second clip Go Goa Gone

ZM alright guys take a moment to right your thought down and be ready to share. How many

of you guys saw this film (Unanimous no). I liked it.

AW You liked it? Better than walking dead?

ZM Better than Resident Evil. Not walking dead.

BB lets get back to it guys.

ZM all Im saying is in context to resident evil. Once again this was from go goa gone, 2013,

youth again. Smoking up. Chillums, drugs, pipes, hookas, tobacco content in it. Drinking a lot.

Whats interesting and the reason I chose this was that it depicted in a fashion their sense of

being high with the kaleidoscopic images.

BB - thats one thing I liked about this song, they are just showing how they take drugs in the

beginning of the song and then being high. and you know thats all they show the feeling of

being high. They are not promoting drugs. They just showed a small how do you say it they are

not pushing it in your face, they are just showing what high feels like.

PP I disagree with you (Others agree with PP) the reason being is that the first line is Babajiki

boote that line is used and the person who hears it for the first time and wonders okay what is

babajiki boote. He would be inclined to dig it deeper. Okay let me at least try it once or let me

learn about it. Thats the basic. And then he uses frustration mein potion so okay let me try it

when I'm frustrated. That is mostly negative. 101% negative though it does not actually intend to

do it people will be inclined to try it.

TK They are showing the effects of being high in a positive way.

BB Ya.

TK as you said they are not promoting drugs but they are showing the high of doing drugs in a

positive way. So a viewer see that and he might construe that as a good experience and he might

be as P said inclined to do it.

BB Thats what I meant.

AK They are showing it in a positive way. The impact is negative

AT no where in the scene have they shown what they are actually doing. Its just that they are

getting high and in their minds its the only thing in their mind. Ganda boss ho, girlfriend ke sath

jhagda ho this is the solution to all your problems.

AK curiosity killed the cat. Its a big push for people.

ZM Exactly

TK - Because when you are a child, you are being told that drugs are very bad and alcohol is

very bad but then you see such films and teenage curiosity overcomes what you have been told

and then you go and do it.

AW - I agree with the views

ZM - (To BB) have we changed your views?

BB no. my view was that. See they dont push it in your face. They dont show it in every

scene. If you watch it again they just show the actual smoking scene, the taking it in in the first.

The rest they show them enjoying, the Asian chick dancing. They are showing negative things

but they dont push it in your face.

ZM okay fine. Thanks great. Lets move on to the third one. Sadly its not particularly

great(quality). I tried finding a better one. Its from three idiots. Feel free to give examples of

scenes with drinking in it. There was drinking in both earlier examples as well.

3rd clip 3 idiots

ZM Alright sorry about that. You guys fathom anything form it? The scene was from 3 idiots.

2009 I will make sure I get the dates from Wikipedia. The scene was of three students sitting on

the steps of their university, drunk where I think drinking is illegal.

BB Right.

ZM Drinking and talking about their life. Note their behavior, their antics, their lack of control

on their diction and ya, anybody got anything?

AK the only thing I get from it is that people talk a lot when they drink. Basically. Their

probability is very low. They speak their heart out. What they actualy feel just because they dont

have much control on themselves. I think thats in a way a good thing.

BB ya I think thats actually the point the director made with that. He didnt want to show

people that drinking is good. See the good thing I like is that he doesnt get into details about

why this guy is drinking, why the middle guy is drinking, why the other guy is drinking? Its

engineering college, people drink youll feel free to you know judge why they are drinking, you

know. We know the background of these characters, one is rich, one is poor, and one is off a

different religion. See he doesnt go into the details. But hes like its engineering, people are

under pressure. Not only engineering, any field. If People are under pressure, they drink. But, he

doesnt portray that clearly. Hes smart. Maybe he doesnt want to get caught up in all the

copyright things. He wants the viewers to think openly about how they feel or think about it.

AK another thing you see is how adventurous it is to do things that are not permitted and


ZM Like guilty pleasure?

AK - Not exactly its adventurous ke mein college mein drink le raha (I am drinking in college)

BB - and after dark. The place could be of significance you know they go to some secluded

place to drink. That could be a way of saying that people should go to jungles or

PP my view is different to it. We know the protagonists. And contrary to his career steps.

Those people might be drinking from career frustrations.

ZM it comes back to the same point about drugs, you use it to get rid of your angst and your

pain. In this case career.

PP it is pain but here it is more minute difference. Tiny difference. Here they are working and

they are not able to reach to that specific destination. And here is they are going for fun. They are

aware of their responsibilities and yet they are able to do nothing about it. The circumstances are

not in their hand.

AT koi khushi mein peta hai, koi gum mein peta hai (some drink in joy, some in sorrow) kind


PP no no.

TK it is more like the drinking brings out your hidden feelings, they might be suppressing it in

their hectic day to day schedules and everything. So they gather at night, they drink and its a

special kind of feeling.

BB&TK Opening up.

AW its interesting that in both the movies, go goa gone and 3 idiots, in both the movies the

drugs and the alcohol was a way out, an outlet out. But it seems that people accept alcohol more

than drugs. Because in Go goa gone, it was pretty obvious that they were referring to marijuana

and in 3 idiots they refer to alcohol. Now in the US marijuana is generally not seen as a hard

drug. It is seen as a soft drug. But here in this country it is looked on as a drug as essentially a

part of spectrum as such. Even if it is soft of hard, they dont make a distinction. Its a drug. Its

bad. On the other hand alcohol is more acceptable because, I dont know its a perception of

society but alcohol is way more acceptable than doing a soft drug.

ZM thats an interesting point.

AT - I have a point to add. In this film the protagonist, Aamir Khan is shown as a rebellious. He

rebels against all the problems, all the engineering students in India face and he has shown kind

of a solution how you can solve this problem, reaching excellence and everything. So maybe

people of his age doing engineering, might think that it is cool and it is a way to get out and we

need to do this. And they might be inspired by such kind of scenes. Consumption of alcohol and

the engineering student, obviously that is high.

ZM Good point.

TK I would like to conclude by saying that it shows the stereotypical attitude of the people in

society which prevails where the parents think that if the child does medicine or engineering he

will make a good life for himself and thats what shuns them from looking into the childs talent

and thats what Aamir khan is trying to convey. Hes like you do whatever you want tells the

other actor to become a photographer, the other actor to be a blogger. He tells them to do thing in

which you would be successful and you want to do. Its also showing the negative background of

the Indian society which we see everyday.

BB one point I would add to his is that even Aamir Khan, he is not showing himself as Mr nice

guy, not the perfect student or citizen. That ya, even if he does bad things, he shows that its okay

to do bad things. That people, like he said, its the mentality of the people that oh he drinks no

matter how good he does, he drinks, he is a bad person.

TK same thing like oh my son is not doing engineering, whets he going to do. Like if you are

a parent, the neighbors come and tell you, ye age kuch nahi kar payenga (want progress in life)

ZM so wait a minute, you are saying that this scene in the guise of alcohol, is actually a very

socially relevant issue that he is bringing out.

PP - in a proper way its trying to put out why do people resort to it?

ZM so you are justifying the reason for doing it?

TK &PP yes

BB - and irrespective of them showing it or not, it happens everywhere.

AT it reminds me of my post graduation days. Ke yaar exam mein to kuch bhi likh dalenge,

doesnt matter. Chal daro peeta hai, (forget the exams, we can write anything, lets get drunk)

well get the booze or whatever. There was no reason for that. We just wanted to spend that night

without worrying about the studies. And in the morning we will get up at 5 am and start of the


ZM right so we good? Lets get into the questions. What were the restrictions if any put on you

while watching movies? What were the privileges you were allowed in watching movies? What

were the censorship done by your parents in regards to these films?

PP and AK no restrictions

TK when I was a child, I was restricted from watching sexually related movies. Movies which

showed any of the private parts or anything or in the background they played sex. But I wouldnt

say it was a hardline restriction, like my parents wouldnt be around to see them. Maybe once or

twice they told me you arent of correct age to watch this. They never punished me.

ZM so you were restricted in sex but not in something like say even depiction of cigarette


PP one restriction would definitely have been please sleep on time so thats the only restriction.

AW - He is making a good point, sleep on time. Essentially you were barred from late night

movies which was when those types of movies depicting sex and drug usage used to come on.

Thats a good point. Thats in a way a restriction on its own.

AK and I dont think any family would openly discuss that this is a film you should not watch.

And if you are watching TV with your family and there is some scene going on the father just

changes the channel. That is the signal.

ZM and thats what happened in your household?

AK Ya definitely.

BB like you changing the channel and something shady comes on and you get that feeling that

you know dont let them dont give them a chance and just change the channel quickly.

AK we are watching a film for half an hour and its very interesting and next part. And my dad

is there and a scene comes up and he changes the channel and I go what the hell. And I get that

my father doesnt even want me to think about it.

ZM okay now let me rephrase it this way. You talk about sex and sex being the culminating

thing here and not alcohol nor drug usage. Say you end up watching go goa gone at home or in

the theatres, there are no restrictions in theatres even if the film is A rated and this scene pops in

of them smoking for about three minutes and the psychedelic effects of drugs. You feel that your

parents would not stop you from watching that scene? Shouldnt they? In your opinion.

TK well in the 90s when we were growing up, the censorship rules and the laws were a bit

relaxed. On the other hand as we discussed, parents, okay they were quite aware of the sex

scenes and sex related things to prevent us from seeing that, to come in contact with that. But

when it came to alcohol or smoking, they probably might be unaware or ignorant towards the

effect it would generate after the child would see such things. And nowadays, all over the world

you see the censorship laws have become more frigid and they are advertising it before the

movie begins to ban smoking and at least smoking stuff. And at least in the movies they put a

disclaimer on it. So the awareness is coming. Earlier it wasnt there. Parents were like okay he is

watching smoking, drinking, so let it be. And sex is considered a much bigger taboo.

BB and there is one more thing that, like you said they should do about it. Our parents did do

something about it. If we put a pen in our mouth and mimicked smoking, at that time, they

punished us and all that and at that time they would take action. But they wouldnt take action if

you werent doing anything, if you were watching and it had no influence.

AT I guess, smoking and alcohol is quite common in India. And socially permitable.

TK and many children have seen their fathers smoking.

AT in the remotest of the village where it is acceptable for someone to smoke not necessarily a

cigar or a particular brand of alcohol. People do drink. If you parents or my parents see me

watching such films or something happening like this in film, okay when he grows out he will

see such things. There is nothing different or unacceptable so there is nothing harm.

ZM okay that a valid point. Thats your perception of it? Okay I accept it. What I am going to

do is jump of his (TK) point about growing up in the 90s and move onto the next question. Has

there been in your opinion any change in the way the content of movies in Indian cinema has

changed with time?

Unanimous BIG time.

AT - see you can see a film being made on smoking.

ZM a film made on smoking with smoking as the central theme.

BB there have been certain movies, I forget them but movies, which depict certain cultural

differences like the smoking. What they want to show is the main theme of the movie is that its

about smoking why you do it, how do you get rid of it, who does what, what people do different

and then the same thing with 3 idiots, you should be smart about it, you shouldnt just mug up.

You should be a good engineer or whichever field youre in you know. And there has also been a

major growth in the sex sells movies. Now its clear. No smoking didnt make an impact. But

other movies have made an impact maybe negatively, you know like I didnt like kya super cool

hain hum I mean it was just pushing this how do you say it.

AK they are pushing the limits of the new normal thinking.

ZM even with drugs with go goa gone

AK ya,

PP it also depends on the person who is at the top and his perception. He is that person to get

your movie passed, is also important. I can give you two such examples. One being that of vijay

anand who was the chairman of the censor board. What he did during his tenure was that he was

very free about non-censorship. So what you see showcased on even DD national and those

kissing scenes were not censored. The controversial kissing scene of 2 or 3 minutes was not

censored during his tenure. Moving on to smoking you had this guy called amnumani ramatos of

PMK party, this is an alliance of congress. And he comes to power as minister and he was a

doctor and he was the person who introduced this concept for the first time in Indian cinema that

everything should carry a tagline and that smoking scenes should be banned and ultimately even

filmmakers for a specific period of time had to cut down severly on those smoking scenes. So

that content in cinemas has definitely altered so it also depends on the person who is at the top.

ZM so it changes with the leadership. I agree with you because in 2006 when Don came out,

the first one, they had the rule that you were not allowed to show the guy smoking. So what they

did was, they showed him light the cigarette, and then they pan down, and then they pan back in

and the cigarette was nowhere in sight and you see him exhaling. So thats a loophole that they

exploited. So I get his point that its also dependent on the censorship techniques used by the

head honchos.

TK one more thing from earlier that I did not emphasize on that P said everything carries a

disclaimer note. In earlier days they showed it as an ordinary background activity such as

drinking and smoking. And thats why I think people didnt put that much stress on it. And they

didnt think about it. But as far as you're seeing it as a normal social activity. But now that you

are seeing the disclaimer notes, we would ask, or I if I'm a child, I would ask what it is about and

if its harmful to my health. I remember one film made in 1989 called salaam Bombay. Now mira

nair, she is a fantastic director. She depicted the effects of heroine addiction in Mumbai. Wheras

she clearly showed that man was addicted to heroine and how wild he became after he wasnt

getting it and you know the very realistic affects of being an addict. That was one of the rare

movies in that era which would depict the actual effects of drugs.

AT we are talking about changing content in movies

ZM with time

AT with time. Movies in the 80s usually, they used to depict the villain or the negative

character smoking or consuming alcohol because in that period it was considered harmful. Not

considered harmful but like its a bad activity.

ZM so that became his calling card that the guy who smoked was bad right?

AT ya and movies after 80s or 90s, it will show it in a positive manner.

BB that was actually smart movie making. But these days people like villains more than


AT you must have seen this film wake up Sid?

ZM I have seen the film

AT great so the father returns home and wants to have a chat with his son, he just goes to the

bar and gets himself a drink. So its quite socially acceptable and no fuss is made about it. And

thats the change thats happened in Indian cinemas I would say. Because it is shown in a

positive manner ke yaar bacche say baat karna hain (he wants to talk about his career) have a

glass of drink with that. So that was a positive scene but showing alcoholic in it I think that was


ZM thats a good point. That works perfectly into my next question. I have written this

perfectly. Just kidding. Do you think there is an over sensationalization of smoking, drug usage

and or of alcohol consumption in the movies you have seen? Once again you can relate this with

time, your opinion, your thoughts, from the 90s 2000s you have seen.

AK what exactly do you mean by sensationalization?

ZM okay sensationalization means an added emphasis to it , they are showing more of it,

showing less negative effect of it, less connotations with it. More attributes with it like its cool

my dad

BB only one name comes to mind Deepika Padukone.

Zm no hold that thought. Deepika padukone is huge in this discussion. I will let you elaborate


BB they feel its a cool thing but ya later on.

AW I think in the movies there have been some cases where its sensationalized. Those movies

were made particularly with those themes of smoking or alcoholism. Like eg. If you see movies

like LSD or gangs of Wasseypur. The movies that have a theme of drug usage and smoking and

alcoholism. If you look at parallel cinema like mainstream cinema made by karan johar, that

would have it lesser cause that would focus on family values, more on the typical Indian family

system. So it has been sensationalized but at the same time the film that sensationalize it, have

been promoted as known for their rampant drug use or smoking or alcoholism

BB its director to director.

ZM so you're saying its contextual

AW its contextual.

TK ill put two examples. Dil dosti etc. and Delhi belly. Which show a very positive impact

which shows that at this age its quite normal to do all these things. Specially Iman shahs

behavior in dil dosti etc. that shows a very normal behavior of a college student. Now they are

going around here and there you know. There is no I mean there is no negative aspect to it. You

cannot find anything negative when you watch those scenes. The same goes for delhi belly also.

They show how youngsters behave. They think its pretty cool and its part of their normal life.

BB except for the last scene you know where he smoked the cigarette and goes into the bar and

orders a drink and that shows completely with your part. And I think that is a very significant

part. You know people focus on the ending and that depiction was completely different from

what they show in the rest of the film. I feel that way. Dil dosti etc.

ZM ya, lets play with that point. You said you mentioned 22 films, both are youth centered. So

now lets trace this question another way. Im putting it using his point of context, not with

directors but with youth. In the context of youth do you think its being over sensationalized.

TK not really. Cause with the urban youth they are aware of these things, probably indulge in

these things. But its again an excuse for them to say that its quite normal. If any other people are

telling them its normal, it confirms that okay we arent doing anything wrong.

BB when you are in college and you have friends who are non smokers and non drinkers and

then some of your friends are like chal lets drink and its okay and nothing happens and its not


AT Im comfortable to being comfortable.

Tk even the people or students who come from semi urban areas or who come from

conservative backgrounds and see this and see people from urban areas indulging, would, they

might get persuaded to do it as well. To open up.

AT I totally believe that smoking and drinking is over sensationalized in Indian films of late.

You can refer to the introductory scene of aamir khan in rang de basanti. Both cigarettes and

alcohol both were shown in this scene. That film that was supposed to change youth or youth of


ZM that was a movie with a serious social image.

BB that wasnt the opening scene

AT Not the opening scene but the introductory scene of aamir khan. And siddharth lighting his

cigarette by woodfire so that was.

BB ahhh at the dam or something

AT there was a Marathi film where there is a party going on in the house and a person comes

upto some devara

PP its like a religious shrine and you light a diya and he goes there and he lights his cigarette

on it. And an old lady goes. Okay this is a religious thing in the house and how can you think

about it.

TK this again show the taboo aspect about it. Why Indians consider smoking and drinking as


PP no you are doing it specifically where the diya(incense) is.

BB so its a taboo. Will you drink in a mandir?

Unanimous no

BB is there a scientific reason? Its a taboo.

ZM and it has become the youth image of today. The bad boy persona

PP to quote another thing, this movie released in 2002 is baba. And you know rajnikant in

every movie smokes and has a specific style of smoking. And so many after this try the action

and was also tried in ubvi bolandi where in a small appearance he throws his cigarette in his

mouth. And everyone tried that so thats an over sensationalization.

BB we can argue that they only try putting it in their mouth, they arent lighting it or smoking

it .

PP But its an activity inspired by the smoking scenes

AT Cigarette kaise pene chaihiye, boss don ke jaise pene chaihiye.

BB that was directly put

AT ya that was sensationalized.

ZM ya it looked cool and I agree it was my perspective. What I really want to do is play off of

the deepika padukone point that B made but I think thats gonna take more than 10 minutes and

we have less than 10 minutes of memory left. So lets take a 5 minute break..

ZM where we left off and where I stopped B was the mention of Deepika Pdukone whos a

Bollywood actress. The reason I stopped him was because it dealt in with another good parallel

theme of female stereotyping in Indian cinemas. If you want to start with your point first, thats


B b- I think that Deepika Padukone in every one of her movies , I think because she knows or I

dont know some people might be convinced that she does a good drunken or act or some might

feel she does it perfectly, you know. But I think thats why she is cast in the movies. If they have

a scene of drug use or alcohol use or smoking or whatever, you know she has to be there.

AT the sad part is that she has to be there.

BB for that ya for that.

AT - not just for that, she is a style icon.

AK I think this goes back to the previous point of sensationalization and its because we are

concentrating on her because in her last couple of roles she has done that.

BB no man all of them.

AK but I think its happening in all the movies showing the youth right now. If you see any

movie in which an actress is supposed to portray someone who is hip and cool and is in with the

current trends then she will be caught with a drink in her hand and a smoke in her mouth.

BB but this is in everyone of her movies. Thats my point.

AW but thats the thing, in every movie she is portraying the same character, thats her job.

Thats what she doing these days. The last couple that shes done, all have been about youth the

last one yeh jawani is about how she is closeted and then she breaks out. So obviously if you

portray that, you will portray they characteristics of drug usage and alcoholism.

AT but breaking out does not mean you start drinking or smoking.

AW ya but it is the concept of the movies.

PP thats what they are trying to inculcate in our minds.

BB I think 4 or 5 years ago some guy won a nobel prize for proving that if you're abusive it

lowers your stress . so why not show that in movies. Why concentrate on drug use and alcohol

use to reduce your stress.

AK because its a sure shit way to get people into such movies.

BB ya they are using it to get sales,

AK they are doing it because it works. And just because they do it, its working. Its a positive

impact. Thats how it is now.

AT in the initial part of the story of yeh jawani, her character breaking out, she just writes a

note to her parents and goes to a manali trek. That means breaking out. And after that breaking

out is her drinking and smoking.

BB its a very good description of the movie.

PP real life example I can also give you is of badruddin kazi. He was popularly known as

jhnonny walker. The reason I am giving this is that the first auditon he did, he had to play the

role of a drunkard and thats when gurudatt identified him and gave him the name Jhonny

walker. Thats a popular whiskey brand. And in many movies he portrayed a drunkard. Even in

his last film, which was chichi 420, he played a drunkard. And he refrained from alcohol

throughout his life. Its a difference. Whenever he went for a public meeting he would say that

whatever I do on screen, just enjoy but dont resort to such practices. But how people perceived

that is completely different.

BB ya its a matter of point of view, from the public, to the directors to the actors, everyone.

AK I guess that was not aspirational for people to be. But with deepika, she is a style icon

ZM Youth icon

AK ya and thats the level they want to reach and this is all it is. But in the case of jhonny

walker it was not like that it was a supported character

BB ya he did it cause people needed it.

ZM thats a valid point and the reason why I stopped you in the previous question was that

when I was doing my research, I came across a study which characterized alcohol in 4

categories. There was the tragic hero, the demonized user, the guy who drinks in sorrow, the

rebellious free spirit which could be contexted with deepika and then the comedic user, jhonny

walker. When I did my research, I found that this third way, this rebellious free spirit could be

characterized as the female drinking stereotype in the Indian cinema today. As you said deepika

drinks in all her movies, which can be true for all the other young actresses in their role, Katrina

kaif. Its that image where you have this lowly girl, gets drunk becomes a free spirit.

BB this is a common theme

AT that song talle ho gaye

ZM so do you think this depiction, I agree its youth depiction, is it in your opinion demeaning

to women in any way.

AT there is a scene in khosla ka ghosla. Have you seen it?

ZM ya I have seen it

AT so anupam kher wants to have a chat with his eldest son and for that he brings a bottle of

whiskey so that he can have a nice chat with him and his son will react in a friendly manner. And

in the same scene, women in the house are preparing the snacks for the drink. So his daughter

she comes and says, hame bhi whiskey chaihiye (we want whiskey too). And her father fumes at

her. and shes like fine aap pee loo hum coke shok mangalenge. So that I think is what the

common Indian household is in reality.

BB that was beforebut now we got movies that rebel that concept.

ZM my question is that in this process of rebellion have they demeaned women.

BB if they over do it , that is demeaning but some movies dont

ZM thats why you picked one name from a foray of names

BB but she over does it.

AT We can refer to fashion.

ZM fashion had drug usage.

PP and a similar contrast might be in Vicky donor where both the grandmother and mother are

shown drinking and living happily. Those scenes you dont feel sad that they are doing it

BB and they are having fun. Obviously she is alone since her husbad is dead and she wants to

have some fun.

AT actually that scene just wants to show the bonding between saas and bahu

AK a serious discussion would have been good there because liquor helps with bonding.

ZM loosener of the tongue as you put it.

AT the character in fashion. That demeans women definitely. For the first time that priyanka

smokes, shes frustrated and she needs to smoke. Thats demeaning.

AW more than demeaning, I would say thats an accurate depiction

ZM it also brings it back to the first point that ex sells in cinema across the globe, where the

shorter the skirt the darker the bitch, the more money the movie smokes.

BB it comes down to money making

AT when the film starts, fashion and priyanka says I dont drink or smoke and when she starts

smoking and drinking, what will you think about it.

BB ya I think thats demeaning. I havent seen it but from his description, they are showing at

the start of the movie a person who has no vices and after that she is shown as a person who has

vices. She gets into it. You know that is demeaning. That would show the audience that ya you

should do that to relieve stress. So its showing a simple girl and bad habits.

AT and if we look at any urban couple, whether married or not. The guy has some smoking

habit. Then any girl who is a girlfriend will say please quit it. Every girl tells the boy to quit it.

AW I dont agree with that

TK last week I was with two girls who were smoking marijuana cigarettes and I didnt do

anything about it.

AT but she wasnt your girlfriend right?

BB did she force you. ..

Tk she passed me the joint but I said no.

BB and she was okay with it right

BB we had that experience in that Chinese restaurant

ZM Uncles

BB Ya in uncles the two of us were sitting, doing something and this lady sitting behind gets

offended. She screams at us, we are at a restaurant okay. How can people do we stopped

it. But she kept going. She was a bitch going on and on. I mean okay its done. Just stop. And she

isnt directing it towards us but telling her husband. I mean shut the fuck up.

AW I think its contextual like you gave examples of fashion and deepika as contrast. I think in

deepikas case it would be demeaning to her cause she is consistently playing the same character

but in fashion it was a realistic depiction of what the fashion industry is. See if a girl does drink,

or is portrayed as a prostitute then it isnt demeaning because she is portraying character, its not

who she is. But in the case of deepika her choices are reflected in the choices she is making. It is

becoming demeaning to her to play the same character. In the case of fashion, priyanka is

playing a character but yes deepikas choice of characters is demeaning to her as a actor.

BB ya but in this the directors point of view comes. What hes trying to show is that its wrong.

AW but she is signing the papers saying that I want to act in these movies. Why is she the only

character playing these roles again and again. What is anushka sharma doing. Katrina kaif doing.

BB they are getting drunk too

AW but not in as many movies thats why we are constantly referring to deepika.

BB maybe there is a different reason. Maybe they demand more. And the audience likes it.

AW but at the end of the day its her choice. She can choose not to take the script and wait for a

better script. But if she want to make money then thats her choice.

BB desperation makes people

AW desperation really? She is one of the top actresses in Bollywood. She isnt acting in B films

or C films. She is acting in A films making good money. is she that desperate to make money.

well again thats her choice. Shes being desperate.

AT smoking and drinking is going to be sensationalized in all her films. If you take a scene in

dil chahta hai, aamir is invited for dinner and he brings a bottle of champagne. Not even in a

single place do we feel that drink is sensationalized. Thats a side part, a custom.

PP what he said is right, people can definitely select. Like after the dirty picture with vidya

balan, was smoking and drinking but her subsequent roles in kahani or even ghanchackar she

didnt resort to these activities.

AW thats a good example.

PP once you get it, you will get the same type of offer and ultimately your career slides down

and this might end up happening with her.

BB - you said she is one of the top actresses and wants to be the top most and is taking every

script that comes her way and thats her decision. Thats why I hate her.

ZM I will show a clip of an expose covering most of the points you covered

4th clip doc on feminine drinking stereotype.

BB where did you get this?

ZM a lot of searching. I chose this because I thought it was relevant. and you guys came up

with most of the points. So any final thoughts on this.

AW what the hell was that?

BB ya I was more sympathetic towards deepika because of the journalist.

ZM this is entertainment journalism. they have to make it spicy

AW agreed but its blurring the lines between characters played by her and who she actually is.

Like jhonny lever is the perfect example. He played drunkards all his life but in real life he was a

tea totaller. Who knows she might be too. Its her character that they are assassinating.

Tk something like what zeenat aman and vindu did back when they became divas. They were

also looked down by the them conservative society and she is doing the same thing. Like he said

she is not demeaning herself. In your eyes, you may think that she is demeaned but in her head

she is making a style statement and she is coming out and I want to be known for these things.

Standing out and doing what I want to do. This is who I am.

AK it might be the in thing right now.

Tk ya even Zeenat aman and vindu in their lives must have been simple and all but on screen

they were in bikinis and flirting and things that werent even imaginable by the indina folk.

AT something different from these views. A few films like new york or bhaag milka where

there is club scenes and multiple shots and beer competitions between men and women. That is

sensationalization. In new york there is a scene where john and Neil compete with each other for

who can drink the most number of shots. And bhaag milka also has a scene like that.

Tk in bhaag milka bhaag, they show an uneducated person basically unaware of the west ways

of like and he goes to Australia and initially denies the beer because he is in a new surrounding

and doesnt know what to do. Now what they show is he has five beers and that gives him the

guts to go dance and subsequently get laid. It was in a way showing that you need to do that to

open up.

AT and if we have a look at dev d

ZM ya it had everything cigarette smoking drug usage and alcohol consumption.

At Anurag kahyap depicted it in the right spirit I guess.

ZM actually that club scene and all that goes into the next question. Are the movies you see

today being influenced by other movie markets?

AW yes definitely, hugely.

ZM care to elaborate?

AW okay so I believe the Indian movie market has been on a bit of the conservative side

because its india. The culture obviously plays into the movie market. Todays youth is definitely

exposed to the movie market from the US and in Hollywood, alcoholism and smoking has

always been acceptable. Drug usage has always had a more lenient view. So when they look at

that and want to ape that, definitely it influences our markets also because they want to follow

the American trends, they want to follow the western trends. So todays directors or moviemakers

will definitely follow those trends because they want to get a share of the market as well.

Tk you missed out one point regarding the smooching scenes which right now movies have

openly which was absent a decade or 15 years back. And when we were kids and used to watch

Hollywood films, we would be like smooching is in all Hollywood films and statement like that.

Nowadays, you dont find anyone making those statement because Indian movies also have those

scenes open kissing scenes in addition to the alcohol and smoking scenes AW was referring to.

So that has been greatly influenced by Hollywood.

BB directors are fearless now to show. They arent worried about the censor board they can

have lawyers justify it for them. Like go goa gone, you cant appose that . they are fearless they

dont mind showing. Okay gangs of wasseypur, he is traumatized seeing his mother and uncle

have sex and after that he starts indulging in drugs. They arent scared of showing that. They are

like this is it. You have any problems stick to other films

ZM so this bravery is due to Hollywood?

BB not bravery. The bravery in the thing that they can get away with anything. And if they can

show it, why cant we. And if we show it, whats wrong?

AW I think the bravery is coming of age. Its not that they have not been influenced. Its just that

its about time it happened. The market has been conservative for so long now and this way of

reckoning was coming. And it has come and gone and everyone was alright with it so I think its

more of a coming of age rather than being influenced by other markets.

PP you also have to consider what type of story is being depicted. Now if the plot is set

specifically in goa or in earlier films of the 70s 80 or 90s throughout, definitely drinking would

be accepted. Its about the perception. A similar backdrop of the scene in the 70s would be set in

Maharashtra or lets say in pune and the protagonist was drinking, there would be a huge cry that

this isnt acceptable to society.

AT if you look at dil chahta hai and they go to goa. There is not a single drinking scene.

ZM that might have been due to censorship restrictions at the time.

PP earlier Julie had a backdrop of goa and ek dooje ke (song) was set in goa and throughout

drinking was there and it was socially accepted because yes in goa drinking is a part of the

culture. In that way it depends on the back drop of the story and where it is set. So it influences

the movie.

AT this thing of Indian films copying western culture or western movies is a part of Indians

fascinations or aspirations for western things or Id say white things.

AK and its not just about movies. It looks at developed nations and what their lifestyle is to the

way they are the way they life. Everything

AT and we want to be perceived as developed and we perceive those things as developed and

want to mimic it.

TK I dont agree with it completely. Coming back to the earlier point AW said that its high

time we pulled the trigger. Its just an opening up attitude. Nude scenes etc. but they arent

showing that a developed country is like this. They are showing that we should have a tolerating


BB another point is that the reason they are depicting is that they want something new. You

know. Something different . previous Bollywood films didnt have, so get western content into

Bollywood films. Thats something different. They want to make money thats the main point.

AW I disagree with that. Theres some content that always influenced Bollywood. Even in the

70s and 80s. like the example you gave of zeenat aman where she is in a bikini. That is a western

concept. A bikini has never been there in an Indian society as such. Not just her, there was

dimple kapadia in a famous scene in bobby. There were so many actresses that broke norm and

brought western idea to Indian cinema. Might not have been their personal ideas but the directors

idea who asked them to do it. But definitely western ideas have percolated into Indian cinema for

a long time.

BB okay, there is a question of depicting. Maybe in some movies they dont focus on why they

are wearing the bikinis. They just wear it.

AW thats what makes them famous.

BB in todays movies, they are focusing on that, why they are doing it? Thats what they are

focusing on. See like he said in yeh jawani, first she want to break out and then she breaks out in

a different manner.

AK what do you think about teenagers in the US 10 years back when you saw American pie.

BB fucked up

AK are they really fucked up

BB wait let me think of what I though of American pie. Cause even that has changed. Accept

for the nudity.

Ak nudity is there, the way they talk

BB when the first American pie they showed that they wanted to get laid so they want to do

something wacky to get laid. Thats their point. So what was their point

AK that just because one movie is depicting it doesnt mean every movie is depicting it.

TK you are saying that watching American pie, you would have that kind of a perception about

the American teenager.

AK exactly

TK But see in India its not about what you think but more about what you should accept

because here also earlier if they didnt show this on screen a lot of these things used to go on.

like dating and adultery. I remember back in the 90s there was this serial called hasrate. Its was

popular. And in the show they showed an adulterous scene and in the media it really came out as

no other serials would depict such things. Nowadays filmmakers, have adopted this idea that lets

accept it and show it openly. We are not showing that we are very chaste or simple people

because somewhere down the line we are doing the same things.

PP quoting a similar example, there was a serial known as junoon and that was maybe the first

time the concept was introduced where a husband and wife have a fight, they drink together, kiss

and make out. So whenever you have a fight going on, you drink and you are ultimately back to

normal. So this concept was later incorporated into movies. This was definitely a lifted

Hollywood concept but in junoon and the actress who became famous was kirtu gidwani.

AT all inspired plots come from Hollywood and you put sleaze in that.

BB and the reason Bollywood movies are showing it is because they are showing it. Anyone

has an exceptional film that does not that would be good.

AK have a look at murder, they stole the plot from a Hollywood film

TK Gangs of wasseypur also had sleazy scenes but they were relevant to the context.

AT they were not made to titillate you.

ZM and there are scenes made to titillate. DO you think movies are making money from

branding alcohol and cigarettes?

AT deepika is making money.

TK Sublime advertising. Earlier, thye used to show a person smoking Marlboro. In many films

they show these things. So you are advertising these brands.

PP adding to that example, two grown up men are like okay you have tasted country liquor

throughout your life, this is type b liquor and this has been a common theme in so many movies.

TK right since the 60s and 70s this has been a common theme. I mean even if they are not

drinking, in some Indian films, you go to a lounge party, you see a fosters logo or some other

brand logo behind there.

AK I guess its an important tool to market your product, market your brand.

AT Liquor brands cannot market their brands directly and so they have to find a way to market

their product.

ZM that is a fantastic point and I am actually going to piggy back off of that and make my next

point. So we have these youth icons and these youth icons are perceived whether they are doing

it for the money or not as smoking and drinking and doing drugs. What do you think is its effect

on people. before you answer just hang on.

BB I remember the ruckus the media had made when sachin had declined promoting a liquor


CLIP 5 youth icon branding liquor in ad.

ZM now these advertisements are a promotional thing that mcdowells has been doing for the

last 10 years. It stars saif ali khan, shahrukh khan and others. These are youth icons. They are

selling liquor. But they are selling It as soda or music CDs

AT as a brand

ZM I actually have a really good clip and I will show it. But what do you think of this

marketing move, not for the movie industry as they make their money with sex and alcohol and

other depictions. This is a tool used by not the movie industry but the manufacturers of cigarettes

and alcohol.

TK in the guise on a soda you are basically advertising liquor.

ZM is it right to use these youth icons, because we believe in them. We follow them.

AT Well I was a fan of Abhay deol until he was found advertising signature.

PP we both went to a lecture which had pranath katkar speak on and he said that those who

resort to surrogate advertising, they have no ethical values. Okay so we are like this guy is

setting some really high standards. I log onto his website and I look at his past credits and it says

officers choice and then its a big disappointment that you are telling something on one hand and

you contradicting it completely.

BB maybe he doesnt manage his website

PP- no no thats his past credit.

BB remember you had said this point that it all depends on the top boss.

PP he is the boss. He is the person who conceptualizes the idea.

BB then I have to agree with you and it does depend on the guy on the top.

AT maybe movie industry and liquor industry work together.

Unanimous agreement.

AK people who make brands want to market themselves.

PP they invite movie stars to events like kingfisher calendar shoot and wills lifestyle.

ZM I will give you an example of Hollywood. James bond and Heineken partnered for a 70

million dollar deal for skyfall where they created a 40 million dollar interactive online ad

campaign. Not only that, you notice he is holding a green beer bottle at the bar and he is not

drinking his martini. They have with 78 million dollars removed the trademark drink of James


PP- thats cheap.

ZM thats not cheap thats smart. And in return the studio get half the production budget.

AW Martini is a particular alcoholic drink.

ZM I am going to show you a parody

Clip 6 parody on brand ads for liquor.

BB I like that they showed him buying the music cd at a liquor store

ZM ya he makes a good point. Where the fuck do you get these cds.

ZM Has watching movies with smoking, drug usage and alcohol consumption desensitized

your perception towards people who smoke, use drugs or consume alcohol.

BB Depends on the movie.

TK what do you mean desensitized?

ZM its like this, Ill give you an example, if you grew up watching a lot of violent movies like

bloodshed, gory, horror, heads being severed. And then you see a dead body and you're okay

with it. Which means that through this depiction you perceived over time you become

desensitized, that okay its nothing. Your mind is used to the image. Similarly, the question is

with regards to drug usage, thats why I asked you the first question, that what were your

restrictions when you were young. With content that you perceived throughout your live, with

content that you saw that had drug usage, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption,, today in

real life, has it desensitized you?

AW I think that in terms of the 3 options youve given us, smoke, use drugs and drink alcohol.

Out of those 2, smoking and alcohol have been more acceptable because its legal and its

something that weve been exposed to since we were young. So definitely those 2 are more

acceptable than using drugs. But yes, in the time that we live in, even the use of drugs more

acceptable. Id say a bit, not completely but a bit acceptable.

TK nowadays you find a lot of people discussing marijuana openly than before. Like you go to

any college, the juniors, the 16 to 17 year olds, they find it cool.

AW agreed

PP the chillum has become more popular. Okay this is a chillum spot, lets go

TK. ya. And speaking of desensitization, it again depends on which part of society you're

looking at. The urbans, the people living in cities like us, we would be desensitized towards

someone who is smoking. But someone who is coming from a rural area, he might have a

negative view. If he sees those films and comes to an urban area, yeh log toh sab aisa hi karte hai

(everyone here does things like that) people are bad, people are vicious.

BB even in rural areas, they all go with bidi. In that case no. plus they all have those desi

(local) darus in the rural areas. So I dont think they will think in that way

Tk but still the way it is shown in the films, these people are in fashion and other films,

business man, models, drinking and smoking, that still forms a negative view. Put yourself in

their shoes and youd see what Im saying.

BB now that would come, ya they do feel something, not about smoking and drinking but

about who its applied to. Like you said in fashion whos it applied to? Women

TK see depends on. ya women

BB that will be much more. Its all about the levels you know. The first, theyd be more

offended and theyd think more about the women smoking rather than anyone else smoking

TK you're making a very valid point. And agin what I want to say is, they would be, they

would have contrary views about women and men because rural people feel they have a simple

view of life, their approach is really simple and some times they have a negative aspect of urban

life on a whole and this may just ad to that, increase those opinions, those thoughts.

AT 3 years back when I started my course, I had a group. one evening I was called for a party.

So I went there and there was a team of friends of mine and they all had drinks. Even I went

there for a drink. Who ladke (that girl) when she said, I want to drink with you, I was shocked

that koi ladke aisa bol sakte hai (that a girl could say that) but over the past 2 3 years, women in

films are shown smoking and drinking and now im quite used to it and if I see some lady

drinking or smoking Im like okay fine chalta hai.

ZM so you have been desensitized> you are okay with that image

AT ya

PP it also depends on whether you are living in a closed environment or an open environment.

Let say that whether in school, you might see it in movies or television and you might say that its

bad and maybe your parents said that this is bad and dont resort to this. Once you're out in the

open and you see the world on your own and you see that this is happening. Initially you might

say that this is not right. You might resist it at first. Once you get used to it, you're like ha this

happens. So it depends on the initial restriction you have and then you go out in the open.

AT - so all these things were depicted in a negative manner in films and it was considered bad

and nowadays its shown in a positive manner and its considere good. It is desensitized.

Tk but partially desensitized cause in the cause of women as B also mentioned, even the

teenager from the city have a contrary view if they see a woman smoking hey that chick

smokes and this happens in colleges also, amongst the educated lot also which is very bad. In

my opinion you should accept it. You should just move on

BB the question comes up about your own respective personality. My personality is that if

someone is doing it, good for you

Tk - same for me

BB - thats what I meant with my earlier thing.

AT I wouldnt say that someone smoking or drinking is part of his personality. You should

evaluate it

BB lets say a scenario where like now public smoking is banned in public place. If im in a

bustop and someone is smoking, I will tell him that look you're not allowed to do that. Ill tell

him because its against the law. I wont tell him because im getting offended. You want to

smoke, you can smoke okay. I will be offended if hes blowing smoke in my face, then ill smack

his ass. But say hes stanging a bit far off and smoking, I would tell him. And another example

would be youd be offended if a pregnant woman is smoking. Cause that is scientifically wrong.

That has nothing to do with your personality. That s the point. So in my case, its not really had

an effect. Smoking and alcohol depicted in movies has nothing to do with how I behave

AT Ill tell you an incident, a simple area. Some sitting there having chai, smoking. Someone

got offended and didnt even mention it to the smoker and called the police that he is smoking.

ZM that reaction is a bit extreme. The least you can do is give the guy the curtosy of telling

him not to do it.

AT the worst thing is, the smoker was punished as well as the hotel wala for allowing him to

smoke in his place

ZM how about drugs are we at the stage where we see a guy doing a bump or clearly smoking a

joint or as he puts it the chillum factor. Will we gawk, stare, make comments?

BB like I said, do it, but stay away from me.

PP- you will stay away from tose personalities.

BB no I have friends who do marijuana in college. They do ganjha. I have my limits and they

have their limits and when we gather at their flats to drink, we all have done that and what they

do is they all go into a room, whoever wants to do it and theyll consume. When I will be

offended when they are holding me down and forcing me to take it

PP even if you're sitting next to them, its going to give you a kick

BB there was one instance when one of my friends, who consumed ganjha, he wasnt in his

mind, he came out in the balcony and what he did was, he put on this hard metal and he was just

listening to it. Im like you know why dont you put on your headphones, cause its irritating,

specially on the cell phone where you dont get the beats. So ya I told him and he was like no

dude listen to it, its good, so I left thats when I got offended.

AW I think this comes back to the earlier point we made that smoking and alcohol is more

acceptable than drugs cause you want see drugs being smoked openly in the streets in

comparison to alcohol, which also you dont see being done on the streets but its more frequent

than drugs

TK as I said last week I was with 2 girls who were doping and I didnt do anything I kept my

distance from them and I was okay with them. And they know that I dont dope. On a general not

there are people who if they know that this person smokes, they wouldnt talk to him they would

ostracize him completely there are many people in the city who behave like that.

AT there is a seen in Mumbai meri jaan. Where paresh rawal, hes a constable. He tells his

colleague that one of the instances he faced, he got a bag of cocaine and he says that its sat and

not coke.

BB theres another thing I would say, when cops go undercover and they are inspecting the

drug, they dip their finger and taste it. You know thats irritating for me. Cause onscreen you

cant get the taste. Except for starsky and hutch, but we arent discussing Hollywood where they

use the sweetener to hide it. Thats always bothered me that how does it taste.

TK see thats again a matter of police procedure and they are not really promoting drugs. But if

you are a narcotics officer, you would go on the spot and taste it. You were trained for that its not


BB I meant that scene in the movie

TK but I think thats just to show you

BB but it does have an effect

Zm you are right that it has an adverse effect on your sensibilities and they have stopped that

now. They carry those test tube bags, take a pinch if it turns pink or blue, its narcotics. They can

no longer sample it.

BB see when they depict it, it has an adverse effect. What they want to show you and what you


ZM alright lets move on to the next. Since I asked you this question to muted response Im just

going to phrase it as a hypothetical. We are all going to become parents one day. As parents in

todays world with Indian cinema changing as it is with western influence or not. What

restrictions or censorship techniques would you use as a parent. What is a no no for your kids

with respect to drugs alcohol cigarettes

PP now you have Dish in every home and channel control. This is going to be depicted in

Indian cinema as well so no point controlling that but yes fox crime channels and related with

content related to drugs and alcohol, I dont remember. So you just block those channels and

you have the code in your hands.

BB but what about your kid gets to know about it from kids in your school and does it behind

your back

AT Id say a better way would be to not subscribe to it and just explain what is happening .

Zm those channels do show the negative and adverse effects of doing it. Say barring breaking

bad, thats an extreme, but say things like csi Miami where 80 percent of the deaths are drug

overdose, it wouldnt be the worst thing to put the fear of god in your kid.

BB thats what they are doing with the cigarette boxes, depicting the skull

AT if you ban your children watching those tv serials or

Bb if you ban it on tv and he sees people doing it in the rea world, it would be completely new

for him.

AT you have newspaper coming to you everyday and it has every kind of news and hed be

curious to know

BB what I'm saying is that if I ban all the channels and he goes out in the real world and you

cant censor that, and he sees someone doing drugs. And he will know and he will be inquisitive.

Hell be curious. And you cant control that so educate him

Everyone agrees

BB lets see hat path he takes.

AT its a tough task

TK my parents successfully persuaded me not to do drugs ever in my life. And I am anti drugs

and dont like the idea of drugs being sold. I tolerate people but im aiming more at the system.

What I would do is I would educate my child and shows li like csi show it in a negative light and

even this legendary series called the wire shows it in the negative light. And any id who watches

this show with his father would be completely persuaded that drugs are wrong. So depends on

the maker.

Zm did your parent do anything special to persuade you

Tk they showed me a couple of live examples. Like someone my father knew became a brown

sugar addict long back so he would always tells me see whats happened to him and I would see

him. So it was that coupled with another example.

ZM lets move on to government. What censorship techniques did the government employ with

such content. Now the example in the parenthesis is old.this was where they used to blur the

cigarette when they were smoking in channels like world cinema. I saw a movie in theatres and

they blurred it, I dont remember

BB I remember an episode in that 70s show where they have a smiley face over the cigarette

smoked by a child. Thats the only time I have seen a smiley face

aW that would have been blurred in any country

Zm I saw a movie where that cigarette became an animated carrot. It was the stupidest thing I

saw. This was around 2005 I saw the movie. This comes back to the point I wasnt aware of that

as the censorship leaders change, the rules change.

BB do it like how I met your mother they modified the same thing you said they made

marijuana a sandwhich.

ZM exactly, first answer what censorship have they used, are you satisfied with it. And then

answer what should they do better

TK for starters cut out the smoking scenes. They dont need it

ZM what if smoking scenes are contextual. Some of the most conversational scenes happen

over coffee and cigaretets

BB if its a really important part of the movie, what are you going to do. See if there is a bar

scene what are you going to show, them drinking milk.

PP this wont relate to Bollywood film, but have you seen the Hollywood film xxx the first film.

The dialogue is there that I told you that cigarettes are going to kill yo

BB ya ya the heat seeker missile

PP he uses the dialogue throughout the movie that dont smoke and if you do that then it is

restricted. Also in mrs doubt fire when robin Williams is dubbing a cartoon scene and out of

context he says cigarette smoking is injurious to health. And he is fired for that so maybe if you

applied such kind of practices into cinema rather than censoring it, it would have a greater


Tk I agree what you said B that you cant cut them out but you can keep them in the background

showing that someone is drinking.

BB that was my point. If you completely force it on people, they tend to do the opposite. The

solution is dont do anything, the only thing you should realize is ont over do it. Dont make it

so fancy and special. And people keep it in minds. In older movies they used to do it naturally

and to be honest if a guy is of age he can do whatever he wants. Just dont depict it as a solution.

Like if you are showing a depressed persona and he is drinking and is a drunkard. Show it in the

movie or alternate. And that is the base of the story, I cant think of how to depict it in another


TK the same thing was shown in salaam Bombay where they showed children have become

part of the rackets. There is this one boy who might be an adult around 17 18 and he is

completely into heroin and the director shows what it can cause and what the result can be . so

again they are showing the negative effects of drugs in the film and other vices as well

AW I think effective technique see above is age restriction. but it has to be judiciously applied.

And it isnt prevalent in india and if it was, it would help censorship in a huge way.

ZM lets talk about censorship being used today. They have black tags at the bottom of the

screen saying that smoking and drinking is injurious to health and in Go goa gone saif ali khan

came on screen and spoke against smking. And when I saw it I thought it was ironic because he

is a chain smoker and we know that. And today in shows like breaking bad we constantly have

the black tag. So is that sufficient, is that right

BB thats the point they force it on people, they get irritated. and takes away from the show.

Why do you watch breaking bad

Zm I watch it because it has great dialogue and original concept

BB thats what you dont get to focus on if it keeps popping up.

Zm thats true. Lets break this down you cant cut scenes cause its too important. You cant have

carrots and the stupid blurs and all cause it doesnt work. This current one where they have the

continuous pop ups is just not working. So what can the government do

BB dont do anything. Just cut scenes where they are overdoing it.

TK ya just minimize it.

PP instead of targeting more on the films, if they are the medium then the government should

produce governmentated documentaries and take it to the village and show to the kids. Or there

are some initiatives they can do like interview people who used to smoke. And rather than show

it every movie, because people come there in the cinema for entertainment.

BB who was with me when we watched that movie with borawke. I think paheli and before

that there was a half an hour documentary. On breast cancer.

ZM so you are saying that before a movie starts show us this and then dont bother us. And

dont use saif ali khan and this stupid pretension

BB now about that, the thing you said about this, it clearly hits e that filmmakers they just want

to abide by the laws and dont care about how its being perceived by the public. The government

has told them to give a message and they have give it. They dont care how it is perceived by the

public. Like you said its ironic that this guy smokes in real life and he says one thing and does


Zm and then its a film filled with smoking

BB which gives the impression that these filmmakers are just not bothered

Zm so its a loophole to them to appeal to government

AT if there is a script which has heavy content of drug usage or alcohol scenes, why not make

it necessary for these scripts to have at least one character which will educate the character about

smoking like boss, dont do it, its bad.

BB but if the director wants to go for a completely different script, in that case the solution

would be to increase the age limit. The more the abusive content, increase the age limit. If you

are post 30 and you watch that, it will have an impact. If you raise the age limit and people over

30 go to watch it. And the generalization is that people over 30 arent as influenced as people

below 30.

PP again going off of his point its implementation that we lack.

AW the system has improved abroad and they come down hard on you if you dont follow the


BB thats upto the government and upto us kids to not sneak into the movies. There is this

theatre near the GPO near ABC. And there was this news article of about 50 students underage

were caught watching a C grade film. So I dont know cops should keep a check and its a good

thing that the cops caught them and we got to know about it but what about the cases we havent

heard of so the cops should keep a check on such places.

Zm lets go around the room and ask if we the Indian society should do something to educate

the society.

Unanimous agrees

BB honestly its a domestic issue. its more on the parents. This responsibility should be more

on the parents than on the government. The government should do its own job which is to keep a

check on who enters the theatre and keeping it in check but this issue should be on parents

ZM can we establish that parents arent bothered with depictions of cigarettes and alcohol they

are alright with it. Now should the parents do something as you suggested, or are you like yo im

young, dont show me this.

AW - I think its a struggle. On the one hand , you have your parents, the government, your

school which is telling you the bad effects of alcohol and of cource the others, and on the other

hand you have all these other movies which are glorifying it. At the end of the day its going to be

the child who decides. No ones going to put a cigarette in his hand. Hes going to buy it and go

and smoke it. Worst case scenario, lets say its peer pressure and he is forced to do it he can still

deny it unless as he said he is forced to do it. Its got to be his choice. He can walk away from it.

At the end of the day, you can do as much as you want, parents can put as many restriction as

you want, he might still try it. So its upto the kid.

Zm at the same time the parents and the government still has to do their job

AW they still have to do their job and they get to sleep easy knowing that they have done all

that they can

PP - dont push it

AW short of imprisoning him, they have done all that they can what else can they do.

ZM Im just going to show you a couple of clips

Clip antismoking ad India

Okay im going to stop that, the second one is an antismoking ad that plays everyday in the us

Clip antismoking in USA

ZM so you see there are these 2 contrasting things. One, India is approaching this with more

informative commercial, the guy is smoking next to his kid and he sees his kid turning black. Its

still informative and not as gory as this. But this showing a real person, starting of with a picture

of her in her prime and 20 years later absolutely fucked by chain smoking. Its a much more

direct more gung ho approach. They dont show it in the movies, once a day it plays on most

channels and then they let you go on with your program . Its part of the tobacco free florida

campaign that they have started in my state.

PP - does it work

ZM I dont know, its still early days for me. It affects me and my roomates could india employ

something like this something more direct?

Tk there is an advertisement they show in theatres specially in inox where this boy called

mukesh hirane died of mouth cancer.

ZM I have seen it, they interviewed him before he died and in the post script they said that he

expired and thats not enough

Tk I think again they are trying to censor the gory image likeits harsh to see. And many people

would object to it.

AW but it has a better effect

Zm even if they object dont you think it will work

Tk it will definitely work but like I told you they consider the public at large.

BB like this guy has watched it and it has had an effect on him and im his friend and im a chain

smoker and im like nothing happens man, you need to address that. That too comes into play

Zm we are just splitballing on what can they do. What they have now is just irritating. Its not

working. Lets get onto the next thing. Do you think the depiction of alcohol smoking and drug

usage in these movies are reflective of the real world

BB yes

AW Id say its contextual

ZM can you elaborate?

AW okay see like I said, the depiction of certain movies is that if you want to be hip if you

want to be cool and in with the trends then you drink, smoke, at least recreational drugs. If they

showed actual hard drugs, it wouldnt be hip and cool, there are certain movies which show that

doing these things is cool and alright and those movies show that its alright but if you take other

movies that dont concentrate on that and have a different theme altogether then the depiction of

alcohol and smoking is drastically reduced compared to those concentrating more on those. So I

think its contextual. Some movies its more and some its less.

ZM anyone else. You agree with him?

TK its reflective of the view in almost all movies. Whether its businessmen or teens

ZM it comes back to the female stereotype in Indian cinema. Is it really effectively showing the

real world female today. In a world where we are growing in feminism and equality.

PP it depends on the restrictions which the Indians have

BB if im a person in rural india obviously it will offend me. But people in Mumbai and delhi

where they do it hard core. Its real world depiction.

Zm so do you think women are that loose under the influence.

AW not all of them

AT many of the rural women do smoke

Tk its reflective of the areas.

ZM you are saying that movies will always have a level of embellishment in them a


Everyone agrees.

TK in case of women in india, there is a minority of women who indulge in these things so it

doesnt reflect the nature of a woman on the whole.

BB more likely the target audience

Tk like he said in fashion, it depicts a model indulging. So that is reality. Doesnt mean that

every other successful woman will smoke and drink.

ZM okay this one is a little personal. Would you call consumption of alcohol in your peer

group normal excessive or minimal.

Aw what are we comparing against?

ZM your better sensibilities. What according to you is normal. Is 2 bees normal, is it 10 tequilla


AW I guess its frequency. If you are a weekend warrior and go out and drink during the

weekend thats normal I guess. If you are doing it every tw days, thats excessive.

PP I can give you this very good example.

BB but it also depends on quantity. In one day how much do you consume.

AW there is a limit. If you are going weekend warrior you have a limit. The way alcoholism

works or smoking works .

BB - I have seen people go crazy with limits

PP we both (AT) are live examples. We are also with this group called peth pujaries (foodies)

we were invited to two food tasting newly opened places. One is this recently truap and second

was mezona. So the first thing they asked is what would you like to drink. Here we were offered

red or white wine, I stopped in mezona it was vodka martini I stopped. In all these cases alcohol

is for free on the house. This guy will take 2 to 3 glasses okay what the big deal, its my capacity I

can take it. I always tell him, just cause you're getting it for free doesnt mean you got to keep on

consuming. okay one is courtesy part of the society its normal, this guy, refill after refill

AT there are women who dont even eat, just go on drinking.

BB one thing that happened during my uncles birthday party so they asked me what do you

think is the limit. I was like 3 pegs is normal. If you're partying 5-6 is okay. Say if you are going

for a drink, one or two, it differs according to the occasion and I made a snide comment that the

two of your capacity is off the charts and they were like even we take 3 pegs we do three sets we

do 1a b and c and then 2 abc and its like not a game.

AW the way I look at alcoholism is that you have a resistance to it. When you drink it and

keep on drinking your resisitance increases and thats how you become an alcoholic. You need to

keep on drinking more. If you are a weekend warrior your resistance remains the same. The

amount of alcohol that you drink remains the same. If you drink everyday then I consider that as

excessive. If you are a weekend warrior then your consumption is normal and if you dont drink

at all or once a month then I consider it as minimal.

TK I would prefer sitting with my friends in a pub on a Sunday listening to good rock music

and it shouldnt get excessive. I wouldnt tolerate then puking or something . you have a nice

session and enjoy yourself. The emphasis should be on frequency

AT I feel that you should be incharge of the drinking and drinking should not be incharge of

you. Unless you're not incharge of the drink.

TK how do movies approach your views on drinking, when you go get the drunk for the first

time. How do you identify with movies.

BB some movies show, shes had 7-8 shots so that number fits into your head. Okay if I do 7

shots Id be like her so I must do these many shots

AT there is this blog writer vikram karve so he has written article about knowing your limits.

He ahs given an exercise. As pick up some novel and start reading. Have a drink and keep

checking how your dexterity has reduced. Are you getting what you are reading so tha gives you

your limits.

AW thats a fantastic point cause when you start of drinking you really dont know what your

limits are and you have no idea what your reference is so thats actually a very good point.

BB quantity is a big thing for Indians cause Indians are show ofs they dont know the real

meaning of drinking.

Pp sunny deol from vamla pagla drinking from a bucket there might be some person who might

be influenced by it.

TK its like as children we ued to watch the world wresting federation and try the moves.

ZM so can we establish that this cool factor in movies has an effect on us

Everyone agrees

ZM it makes us want to do it

TK especially in the scene of go goa gone it has strong persuasive values

ZM Right. I want ot see kaleidoscopic colors

Tk people have told me that after popping lsd and mushrooms, you see pink elephants and

thats why I didnt do it.

ZM guys take 5 mins while I change the memory card we are almost done.

ZM do you think depiction of drug usage cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption has

influenced your attitude towards the same

Everyone agrees.

PP like the example I gave earlier that even once or twice I would roll paper and imitate

rajnikant and every person must have done that.

AW I think that the influence of our attitudes depends on what we have see of it like the video

you showed of the lady with the hole in the throat and obviously it would influence in such a

way that you wouldnt want to smoke cigarettes. But if you show them something like rajnikant

then they want to smoke. Its your perception its whats shown to you

TK if someone has seen anurag kahyaps unreleased flm paanch you would abstain from any

form of drug you wouldnt want to do it. But if you seen go goa gone then you would want to do


PP its based on the joshi phule murders of pune only

ZM anyone else got any comments. Now for the last one, lets just sum it up guys try to be as

succinct as you can what are your feelings, notions, perceptions on smoking drinking and doing


AT Ill talk about myself, I do drink, I dont smoke and I dont do drugs and if all in life I

would want to try these things I want that decision to be informative and everone should be able

to take a decision that is informative and not impulsive. So thats what should happen. Whatever

through movies or parents. He gets the knowledge from anywhere, it should be possible for

anyone in this country to take an informative decision, whether to indulge in such activities or

not. Everyone is wise enough to take his decision.

ZM good point. And you're satisfied with the way the governments is running censorship on

such activities.

AT not really

ZM and you have anyway they can improve it.

AT as I said through movies they can have one character which has a positive influence

TK but that cannot fit with every script

At if a script has heavy showcasing of such types. Like paresh rawal in no smoking educates the

viewer on not smoking It cant happen in every scene.

BB there is a scene where they are hanging out at a party and that scene has no significance to

the story so if the government takes your advice, and adds a character, then it wont work with the


AT whoever the character is, could be in the main story, he could just have one line

admonishing drinking

BB like in kartik calling kartik where he keeps telling them about their limit and all but if you

are really seeing movies closely. They always have different characters and not all are wasted.

There is some or the other who is sober. Finally it comes down to you dont have to impose the


AW but I find that thats an Indian or Bollywood stereotype. You wont find that in Hollywood

or british films. Take for example. Trainspotting its a Hollywood film danny boyle. Its about 6

heroin addicts all of them there is not a single judge or sober character. So that a very Bollywood

stereotype of having a character who juxtaposes the behavior of others

AT you can take the example of shaitan not one of those characters was sane

Tk it depends on the script.

AT you can see these two girls seducing the chemist for flavored condoms and the other guys

stealing cough syrups for intoxicating.

ZM the cough syrup point is valid, I was in boarding school and we didnt have access to

liquor and our only source of getting high was cough syrup another thing they did was snort tang

the powder, whitener which became very dangerous and these are 15 16 year old kids.

TK this used to happen in my school as well I did it out of curiosity once I found a bottle in my

classroom and I did it

ZM its paint thinner and these kids got this from an external source

AT its shown a new way to get high

BB and thats where you can keep tabs dont give ways to access drugs or if you give new

ways, show them getting caught.

ZM lets go with PP feel free to mention your project

PP- whatever assignment I gave to my students wherein the maximum I can see spent on

cigarettes and these are kids under the age of 21 maximum is 4000 a month and minimum is less

like 750 and average would be close to like 2500. The project was given to interview 25 students

who resorted to smoking why do they smoke. We arent concerned about how do they do it or

what is the reason and most of the answers are relieve an entire days stress so its a stress relief

mechanism. Secondly giving a live example few kids are coming to me now that the semester is

done and asking me to drink with them. I said, okay I have no issue, you drink I have certain

personal ethics I have to maintain. I dont mind drinking with them but ultimately people will

start taking me for granted and this might be in the case of whichever social group you're with

not just student teacher . so social ethics have to be maintained

Tk its very surprising that people smoke 4000 cigarettes a month

PP no no its 4000 rs a month

AQ its going at 120 bucks a pack

BB so about 20 cigarettes a day

PP average is 1500 a month.

ZM jumping off of this, is this price rising every two years, it was hundred when I left, 120

now, do you think the government would want to put a ban on this they are making good money

on this

PP I will tell about research done by my faculty that more that 44% of the shares of ITC are

held by life insurance corp of india. And now this is private information, you have seen sahyadri

hospitals, the owner is mr bapat and I went to his factory. He holds the position of managing

director drawing 50 lacks annually as managerial remuneration in 2010 thats from associative

blenders private limites its just here in hadapsar. Thats the king fisher bottling plant. So on one

hand you have hospitals while you are drawing 50 lakhs in remuneration from making beer.

TK a very obvious example is the pune manikchand hospital the day I saw this I was shocked,

PP- this is what is happening

ZM so our question of what the government should do might be a moot point.

BB it sells more, I think I made myself clear about what I think of smoking drinking and doing

drugs. I will try it. He made a point I will try it once but not as a habit so its upto each and every

one of us to know your limit and stop when it gets harmful.

ZM and about your points on the female stereotype.

BB its about going overboard dont over do it.

ZM cinema should be like enough now stop it.

And for some people smoking drinking and doing drugs is quite essential to their day like I have

a friend who cant take a shit without a cigarette

ZM ive heard that

BB and you cant educate military personnel

TK they use cigarettes like a laxative

PP this is news to me

ZM in 5 years when cigarettes becaome a big taboo they will start selling it as laxatives. You're

blocked up have a drag.

BB if they dont get a chance they cant do it. What are you gonna do about them . you can say

dont get them hooked on in the first place but there are people already hooked on them like for

military personnel they need their booze.

ZM why do they need their booze?

BB they get traumatized they see a person die or their teammate dies.

ZM they have psychological help

AW it may be a perceptions that you need alcohol to deal with death

BB thats my point not everyone does that but what about the people who do

PP have you seen born on the 4th of july he is a Vietnam war veteran

AW and I think this army drinking is a more north Indian concept south Indian really dont


AT when they graduate from these institutes, why do you need to provide them with alcohol

BB thats not my point.

ZM they want it they should get it

AW that where I get it I graduated from the military medical army school but none of those

institutes had alcohol during graduation.

BB but how do you get them off it

AW you can wean them of it if you dont provide an alternative that is the only option

BB what if there is no way to wean of it

AW bullshit how many people would kill themselves.

ZM there are drugs like opium that will eat your insides you have no choice either way you're

going to die so its a huge issue.

AT- addiction after one point is not a mental illness but a physical illness.

TK its a nervous disorder

BB say my friend cant shit without a cigarette. The country bans them and he get bowel

problems, its completely fine.

AW he can get help, refer to doctors

BB I think I took a week example. Do any of you all know of stronger example.

PP beyond a point once you're addicted to it, the body will do anything to get a fix

BB and what do you do about them

ZM I think the best solution is to catch them at their earliest Before I go to TK you didnt tell us

your favorite film

AT wake up sid

ZM thats a youth centric film

Tk what I feel is shifting the emphasis from the substance accompanied with education and

awareness like he said he wants to make a decision, it would be backed by a lot of information

that would help. Otherwise as a parent you have to make the child aware and remove that whole

emphasis dont glorify the substance on the sceen because visual has a stronger effect keep it in

the background, even though they censor it, its being glorified. If we went back in the olden

days, keeping it in the background.

AT song in kaante clearly glorifies cigarettes

ZM thats the hindi version of reservoir dogs.

AW- I think my views have been influenced a lot by what has been discussed here. because

what he said government has a stake in companies that are supposedly ruining the youth today it

seems paradoxical to me that the government would then try to wean the people of it. Another

point was of the healthy lifestyle thats a huge thing you see abroad, the promotion of healthy

lifestyle. Its becoming a huge thing. You could start that here on a small scale it would help a lot.

Education is important. But at the end of the day it comes don to personal choice.

TK the art of living organizes camps where they talk about avoiding drugs and alcohol. But the

speaker said that you have to drink to survive in iit. He explains that alcohol takes you to a state

of ignorance and you want to return to it. And when you are tipsy, you behave in a normal way

though you dont have hold on your senses.

ZM fantastic.

BB why are we saying that it is bad, why cant we say do it in moderation and thats okay.

ZM thats a good point. They banned it in Gujarat and my dad told me that when he was in

Udaipur, they travel on the weekend from gujurat to drink. So lets end with a yes or no question

do movies have a good or bad influence on the youth I know there are gray areas.

AT more on the side of bad

PP bad

BB depiction is bad. Notion is correct

TK bad

AW bad

ZM this has been great thanks.


Interviewer: Zain Merchant denoted as ZM in interview

Interviewee: College students denoted with initials in focus group

Interview Setting: focus group conducted in closed room at.

The Transcriptions are Verbatim. However the long pauses when the interviewee thinks or

pauses were removed. Grammatical errors were not changed, as that is how the interviewees

spoke during the focus groups.

ZM please speak as loudly as you can. Im gonna start my second focus group. time is about 5

minutes to 1. Before I get started with the clips, lets go around the room and introduce ourselves

. give me your name age collegiate experience and as an ice breaker tell us your favorite movie

and a brief description of the movie

MP my name is MP. Im 23 years old. Currently studying in the college of commerce finished

my 11th and 12th in science. Did my diploma in mechanical engineering. Most specific movie that

is my favorite is a few good men.

TK my name is TK, im 22 years old. Im write now pursuing my BBA degree from garware

college of commerce. Apart from that I have my own business. And my favorite movie is fast

and furious the fifth part.

ZM- why do you like fast and the furious?

TK its completely about cars.

SA my name is SA, Im doing the same too, BBA degree from Garware college and Im 20

years old. My favorite movei is breaking dawn part 2 of the twilight series. The nice part is that it

ends well

ZM the concluding chapter of the twilight series

SA ya.

EH my name is EH, im doing BBa from garvare college. I have done my 11th 12th from

ferguson college and I like Namaste london. Because I believe in love and its about a guy who

believes that the girl would finally come back to him

Zm I saw that movie, its one of the few Indian movies I have seen with Akshay Kumar right.

SK My name is SK and Im 18 years old and Im doing architecture from chartiya vidhya peth

first year and bascically I am crazy for movies, to answer a specific I cant movie, but recently I

like conjuring, its a horror movie.

ZM thats great guys thanks for being a part of the focus group. we are going to start of with

the questions. To start of I am going to show you three clipseach clip deals with one of the vice

we are going to talk about. After each clip, I want you to write down your views on it, what do

you think about it, what do you think they are trying to show. and we will just have a small

discussion on it and then move on. after the clips we will get into the questions.

Clip 1 no smoking

ZM So this was from no smoking 2006 movie, anurag kahyap directed it, he also directed

gangs of wasseypur so what you guys think about what you just saw

SA its basically an addiction movie

ZM it also depicted a young guy standing in front of a mirror and being non chalant with his

wife and saying nobody tells me what to do. So what do you think of that attitude, his persona in

front of the mirror

Sa people do smoking because they need the nicotine in it. So its not a good thing. But upto a

certain limit ya its accepted but beyond that it can be injurious.

ZM thats a good point and as an audience as yougsters whats your reaction from seeing it.

You are obviously rooting for this guy you're men. But as women what do you think about this

SK I was thinking that smoking is not as bad but after a certain number as he said it is bad.

And I dont think that we get the idea from him that we should smoke or to distress ourselves, so

thats not my idea.

ZM so you think that he isnt selling cigarettes. Fair enough. Do you have anything to add.

EH ya because once you get addicted to it, its very difficult to leave it. So its better not to get

addicted to it. To one extent its okay. But the way he smokes smokingsmoking smoking all the

time, is not good.

ZM let me ask you this, as guys us seeing this in the theatre .would it make us pick up a


MP thats not what made me pick up a cigarette. If you are talking about this movie in


ZM no not just this movie

MP if the scene demands something like this then it needs to be shown. Cause if they show a

guy who drinks or smokes because he is stressed, that just what people generally do. Its a

vicious circle, people smoke, thats why its shown in the movies and then because its shown in

the movie, there are some people who smoke.

ZM thats a fantastic point.

Mp violence has been going on since ages. There have been no games or movies to instigate

that before. Smoking goes back ages so yeah so nothing is showing people that do this. Smoking

is bad in general. Do you want to defend yourself or add to his point.

TK whatever he said, when you're in stress. People who smoke, its fun for them, whether they

drink or smoke but in my personal opinion I havent picked up smoking because of movies. It

depends on background or group circle or other people who have been smoking for a long time. I

have been smoking from 11th and 12th I was in a college called flames each and every person of

the college 99% of the college smoked

ZM so yours was peer pressure.

MP Ill tell you what I started smoking because I thought , what the heck whats the fuss about

thats why I started it

EH hes saying it happens because of peer pressure.

MP it happens, see you're in a group you try it out and everyone is doing it around you

EH- trying is a different part and getting addicted is a different part

MP listen if everyone is doing it around you and you want a sense of belonging.

EH not necessary

MP for some people it is a necessity, having a sense of belonging.

EH you mean you want to fit into that group so you have t do it.

MP exactly but some people are strong willed, they are lke okay you want to do it, go ahead.

There are people like that.

TK ya, but in my case, it was my roomates, everyone smoked daily and because of passive

smoking I got addicted, if I changed my room also, another person used to smoke

ZM thats a valid point and she made a valid point and thats the crux of the topic that as youth

are we more succeptable to be influenced and im focusing on movies, she makes a valid point of

peer we are on the right track. I am going to move onto drugs its from the only movie

I have seen all summer

Clip 2 go goa gone drugs

Tk this is completely about drugs right?

ZM this was a scene where they were getting stoned, you see all assortments of stoning

devices, sheesha, chillum there is also drinks there. whats interesting and the reason I picked this

particular one is that it also shows how their perception is when they are under the influence of

drugs, the kaleidoscopic images they are seeing the large color palate. Flying cars and the Asian

women and all that. What do you guys think of all this

TK this is for sure, as far as smoking goes that this should not be an addictive drug

Sa drugs are more harmful than smoking

TK once upon a time even I was addicted to drugs. In the same college everyone, used to have

3-4 joints daily but past 2 years I have completely stopped that trying to quit smoking, but its not

simple. Its very tough to quit smoking. You quit it for one day, the person knows whos

smoking, what happens

ZM what happens

MP withdrawal symptoms

TK I used to smoke 4-5 packs daily which has come to around 10-15 cigarettes a day. Means

from 80 ive come to 10 15. Very slowly I am trying to quit

ZM what made you stop drugs

TK it completely depends on the group I left that college, which I was studying my BBa just

because of this thing too much of addiction to the drugs and alcohol and everything so when I

left that college and the college had to take because of my dad, good college good college go go

go my friends college that it but after that when I was out of the college I left drugs and

everything away.

ZM fair enough. What do you guys think, 3 youngsters

SA its basically the age factor, which influences more youngsters to take on drugs smoking

drinking and other things

MP its not the age factor Id say, its the feeling , its about getting high in youngsters anyway

one way or another. I used to drink before, I used to get smashed like every time. Everyone used

to be puking all around me so now after a certain while you're like its okay you dont need to get

that drunk or that smashed all the time. There is a particular age. Now when I drink I make sure I

have a good drink in my hand. Rather than have half a khamba of old monk I would rather have

30 ml of jack daniels or black label I will be happy with that because now Im doing it cause I

enjoy the taste of it, I appreciate it. Like appreciating wine.

ZM you're saying that in your younger age excess was a necessity

MP it was a means to have more fun

ZM you didnt know better

MP when you're high you can do all these crazy things without thinking twice about it. Coming

back to drugs. They say marijuana is a gateway drug it is true in a way, cause they start with

ghanja and end up with coke, acid, e. I have seen some of my friends down that path , smashed

out of their skulls which is bad in a way. It is bad. So as far as its depiction in movies like I said

its a vicious circle that has formed, if youve seen entourage, if you see they smoke pot all the

time thats what they do . then again that is a reality. Theyre showing in a tv series or in a movie

so once again, it happens in a movie, they show it on tv.

ZM so its contextually valid is what you're saying.

SK but too much of anything also attracts youngsters

ZM do you think that this would attract youngsters.

SK that one specifically no but ive seen a movie just cant remember the name right now, it was

all about drug drugs drugs. So it you know also, somewhere they influence ke yaar maza aa raha

hai chal chalk e dekhte hai. The idea of seeking thrills or trying out something new.

MP doing something crazy that is what gets people into doing something like this

ZM im so sorry about the last one, the quality is not that great but im sure you can see

everything. Its 3 idiots.

ZM so the 3rd clip was from 3 idiots 2009 or 8 its considered in the last decade one of the best

movies thats come out of Indian cinemas, definite youth icon film the scene is a pretty imp one

where these 3 guys are actually pouring their hearts ort and speaking the truth

SA actually its the turning point of the film

ZM lets start of with you what do you think about this clip

SA actually as it said when the man is in the drunken state he pours his heart out I find thats

true but that has a positive side as well as a negative side. Maybe he spoke out something which

he shouldnt have and positive that a persom with whom he is speaking he get to know about his

feelings thoughts, whats going on

SK basically speaking your heart out is a good one, because for so long you keep it in yourself

and its just upto you when you are drunk you will really speak your heart out so its like you

come out of it

EH but if you speak in front of a wrong person then obviously its going to cause troubles for


SK depends with whom you're going to drink then

MP from this perspective guys are much more in touch with their emotions and feelings and

you generally tend to poke around. So ive done this drink and pour my heart out to friends but it

shouldnt be a necessity to be drunk to be able to pour your heart out.

ZM thats a very good point. Let me ask you this question before I get carried away. Was it

necessary for the director produer writer to communicate this scene where so many truths come

out with each individual lead character by making them drink.

SK it was cause if you have seen this movie before, what his name? one of their friends is not

so close to them he just shifts his room because its disturbing him and he cant concentrate on his

studies and all but after this thing they become close again so that was the unity

EH not this scene it was after the chatur scene

SK ya after that scene also they went on the terrace(to drink)

MP - I mean if you see these characters individually in the movie everyone has their secrets and

everyone is holding back. Each of the characters to some extent have their own egos so in order

to loosen them up I guess it was necessary here.

EH but according to this scene it shows that it doesnt work in everyone's case. Because aamir

khan doesnt tell his real thing that hes not rancho but the other guy so it doesnt work in

everyones case.

ZM I think this is the perfect point. I think we are all now activated with the topic and which

area we are heading into. All 3 clips had youth in it. So lets start of with the questions so were

there any restrictions on your movie watching priveleges when you were growing up

SA bascically no

TK no

ZM so you were allowed to watch whatever you wanted to?

SK I had some restriction, being a girl also and my parents were worried that I would get

addicted to all such stuff

ZM so they were aware

SK ya they were aware but upto certain limit.

ZM but how did they restrict you

SK I wasnt allowed to go to movies, the movies I could watch were at home. I was being more

focused on my study.

ZM but there was no restriction on the movies like a particular scene came up and your dad

was like yo close your eyes

SK or maybe change the channel

SA it was never like that for me but my father always used to tell me that be careful dont get


ZM did he use the scenes as a guiding tool for you guys like I dont want to see you do that

SA ya

Tk ya I once had gone with my parents for a movie neal and nikki. So my parents didnt like

that they left before the interval. So I have no such restriction about what movie to watch and

all that after I left my old college they gave me restriction, dont drink dont smoke but it didnt


ZM thats fine, im not judging. What about you

MP when it came to me, when I was watching a movie outside with my friends. It was always

a pg 13 movie

ZM you can walk into an r rated movie in india

MP that happened to me once, walked into an R rated movie once. And I was there for at least

half an hour. Ya I personally never felt like going for any A rated movie and always went for pg

13 movies. And my mind changed after 9th or 10th and started enjoying movies because of the

substance, the story, the direction and I started getting into that sort of stuff. That when my liking

for movies changed. But when I was at home its a rated movie like murder. When murder 1

came out I was at school so that used to happen. Why shouldnt I watch it. The restrictions made

me want to watch it even more.

TK once we were watching with our parents. Kissing scene comes up my dad himself will

change the channel once the scene is over back to the same channel

ZM Indian parents are stopping us on our sexual perverseness. But they let us watch things

like this. This is a pg 13 movie and 13 year olds seeing this are like hey im going to college to

get drunk.

MP but thats cause they arent ready to have the talk with their kids. It is a very important part

in the growth and development of the child. A child should be able to talk to their parents. If the

family is that open the chances of you getting into that are figuratively less cause you know what

you're walking into and you know what might happen and before something goes wrong you

know your parents are approachable which is not the case in most Indian households. So that is

a major draw back where teen smoking drinking comes into the picture.

ZM so do you think that parents should also take the remote for scenes that show drinking

MP ya they should. They should talk to them ke this is what causes this this this. These are the

harmful effects and they should be open to it. If a child does come home drunk. They should be

like okay you had it once this is not good for your health these are the consequences of it so it is

better you try and avoid it as much as you can instead of overpowering the child or forcing your

abuse upon someone. Once I experienced puking after drinking I was like bas none of that. I was

hungover for almost two and a half days. After that I was like dude I dont need this

ZM I can tell you hangover remedies later on. thats an excellent point that ya its a valid

concern that parents should realize now

Tk they should be open minded because now my parents my dad, in the night calls me to

himself, girlfriend banana hai koi problem nahi hai. (but when I told him about my girlfriend, he

lectured me for 2 hours he said samething else earlier but changed his stance. )

MP sex is again an important part of growth and that is without the talk I think that personally

that teen pregnancies will begin in india as well. Cause again the conservative nature of Indian

mentality is what is causing more problems.

ZM lets get onto the next question. Has there been in your opinion any change in the way

content in movies have changed over time. Like you used to see in Indian cinemas in the early

90s or late 90s early 2000s, today. Lets give you an example that isnt realted to the topic, the

burgeoning rise of the item number. There was one or two in the 80s but now its every movie,

even if its not contextual. Thats an example thats not related to this topic but thats an example

of how cinema has changed

MP in the 80 and 90s they had these songs in the movies where the villain and his goonies are

enjoying and drinking and then there is this random female singing and dancing and scantily

clad. Its been going on since those times. But those songs werent given as importance as today

SA its a part of publicity and marketing. This song is there in the movie though the movie has

no content or context just because of the song the movie goes on

MP in the movie kaal the last ending song, the credits thats where they play the song

ZM similarly have you seen any changes with regards to depiction like say go goa gone. Have

you seen any movie that had psychedelic representation of drugs

SA an old movie, mughlaiazam, it didnt have any such scenes but the recent movies like go

goa gone, there is a dastric change regarding the depiction of drugs and all

MP cigarettes have been there for a long time. I remember devanad gurudatt smoking them

SA im talking about the before ones. That was in the late 80s.

ZM actually hes making a valid point because depiction of cigarette smoking has reduced

because now cigarettes are a taboo and they are like hey you cant smoke in here go outside. Like

the movie don in 2006 by the censorship law that was levied that you cannot depict the act of

smoking. So the lookhole was that in the end of the film he lightes one cigarette and the camera

pans and you look down and he goes im the best. So what I found out was that all this depends

on the censor board. So the censor board in 2006 was more strict and wanted to put a stop to not

smoking , but after 2008, they were like lets show the smoking and have a small tag at the

bottowm of the screen saying that cigarettes are injurious to health. That works the same way. So

thats the governmental thing. And well get to that aspect of it . so do you guys things that

cinema has changed

SK today its according to the youth demand.

ZM yes that is the point cinema moves and adapts according to the youth demands like sex

sells today. Women are scantily clad in any movie.

SA I heard like this directors in foreign films like Hollywood films they totally ban smoking

and drinking on their movies. So thats a good one for the movies. So I like that.

MP- but then you see movies like lord of the rings, after they take down eisengard you see mary

and pippen light a pipe and sitting nicely and chilling, thats a kids movie

ZM he makes a valid point. And another point he makes is what if its contextual. What if as he

put it the scene demands it.and I put my point forward. Why are we giving in to restriction. Isnt

cinema an art form isnt it a form of expression. Should we be treated as dumb audiences or are

we smart enough to make judgemnets on our own basis and what is being depicted on the screen

is fictional

TK its completely about person to person about they would think how they going to perceive

the movie like if m watching a movie, I am just watching a story. Im not completely focusing

that hes smoking that hes drinking about that. There are some people that think ke chalo

shahrukh khan darru per aha hai mein bhi darru peyonga

MP ya some people do think that thats cool and awesome. In a way its good that the government

brought up the restriction but then again we are restricting the media. So that is wrong in a way

if you restrict the media, how are people suppose to express themselves that is the basic right of

every individual, freedom of expression, freedom of thought

ZM lets just get onto the next question do you think that there is an oversensationalization of

smoking, drug usage and alcohol usage in the movies that youve seen do you think that they are

doing it too much like in an attempt to replicate Hollywood to become the take the franch

avangarde and be inspired by it they go a step too far and indulge themselves a bit too much

throwing a lot of drugs and smoking and alcohol consumption

MP but then again they are portraying drinking in a bad light. Smoking in a bad light.

Essentially by making a villain smoke. Most of the time its the villain whose lighting up a cigar

and drinking so that gives the audience the percpective that hes the bad guy doing bad things

but as a hero he doesnt drink, or smoke, for a movie like aashique 2 the bad guy destroys him so

they have shown alcohol in a bad light

TK in the movie devdas out there also they have shown alcohol means the whole movie is

based on alcohol

MP - even if they are depicting it in a large scale they are depicting it in a bad lght as much as

they can.

ZM what about a film like delhi belly or go goa gone. Though taken in a funny context they did

say in go goa gone that the ecstacy pill made them zombies. But it was done in this goofy

manner that never really indulges like dev d or devdas.

MP you take the thing you show it in a very serious manner you show it in a funny manner.

The funny thing appeals to you its not too much on your brain its light and its right. So what

they showed in goa they showed that they are massively doing drugs but at the end they showed

that its crazy and we arent doing it again. The message comes across and was right.

ZM thats fair.

SK but that movie was for pure fun

MP but the message is valid.

ZM lets talk about educational level we being educated people in college know whas right or

wrong. We get affected by peer pressure. But we alteast know what right, we can at least read

the statutory warning. Do you think that such depiction would affect people in rural communities

not educated to our level.

Everyone agrees.

SA those who have money, they just want to match their style of urban life. So they get all this


MP- I have seen idiots wearing leather pants its one thing to wear in movies but its not supposed

to wear in movies.

SA its the cameras demands

ZM ya you see salmaan wearing a bracelet with a turquoice and then tons of guys wear that so

why cant it be true for cigarette.

Tk in movies you see someone with their ears pierced. Now on the road we see everyone with

their ears pierced.

MP so statutory warning or no warning its going to happen. People dont think with their own


ZM lets take a small break while I change my memory card

ZM so for the next section we are just going to talk about stereotyping in cinemas. In my

research when I did it I found that there were four predominant types of drunks or druggies,

comedic drunk , tragic drunk another one related to tragedy and I forgot the fourth one. When I

came here I found there was a fifth kind. There was the feminine drunk and this is particularly

true in movies In the last 4 5 years take the example of deepika you take 8 of her last 10 films

you find that she is drunk in a scene in a club and thats the only way she goes from a docile girl

next door to the party animal so essentially it depicts that she needs to be drunk to be fun. So my

question is that is it appropriate in its depiction, is it right. Is it accurate. Should it continue, why

is she doing it?

SA actually she is becoming a role model for women in that sense .

ZM feminism. Be drunk to be female. That what I got from it as an observer of Indian cinema. I

dont watch a lot of movies but she always pops up and shes always drunk

SA ive seen many of them (real life) and shes just going of the same dress theyre wearing, the

same drink they are drinking and she is a role model.

ZM do you think its a valid portrayal of women today.

MP its become a thing today that partying requires drinking.

ZM specially for women.

SK but if guys can do it, why cant women do it.

ZM but the guys in these movies are not getting drunk they are carrying the girl around . as a

man of the 21st century I felt bad for the women myself. Thats why I ecided to put the stereotype

upto you guys as women f today as well. Do you think her depiction is right

EH actually its not right when you are drunk and not in your senses, people might take

advantage and specially girls cannot handle their drinks

MP girls can handle their drinks better than most guys I ve met such people

SA in a study its mentioned that 30 % of women after guys took advantage of them they killed

themselves. Suicides.

ZM what do you think

SK talking about women, theyre emotional.after taking drinks, girls being more emotional they

just end up with some mess. Upto a certain limit for fun not for distressing yourself or getting

addicted to drinks, but just to chill out once its okay.

TK she said they end up in amess you can take it from the movie fashion.first shes a struggler,

doesnt drink, smoke nothing but after she becomes a star she starts smoking drinking and starts

ruining her career

SA and in the climax kangana dies of over drugs

ZM drug overdose

SA and in the film she was a proper druggard.

ZM ya she was an addict.

MP they were promoting the lifestyle

ZM ya do you agree that this has become a proper stereotype for women in the last 7 years in

cinemas. You have Katrina on a bar stool, you have kareena on a bar stool then you have deepika

on a bar stool. Its the same scene in a different movie with a different hero carrying them out at

the end of the song.

Clip 4 deepika doc

ZM this was a small expose done on one of those entertainment channels in india

MP this just adds fuel to the fire

ZM elaborate why?

MP she is already drinking in the movie. Then bombarding her with deepika piyakad hai its

like they are brain washing you that she is doing it. And then people who look upto celebrities,

are like well if shes doing it, we should too. So this is negative media

ZM but something warranted this channel to make a 6 minute piece on this particular thing

with one particular actress

MP again you're focusing on something that is shown in the movies people have already seen

it. But for people who look upto them that film mein bhi kar rahe hai, real life mein bhi kuch baat

toh hoeyngi. That is when the problem starts for people. they are already showing it in such a

negative way in movies, I think such pieces should be stopped.

SA the fashion world is actually providing marketing source for it see in a movie like

corporate. Maybe in a corporate meeting or a corporate party a person should have a drink. That

is the demand of the scene or the scenario that may lead to an addiction.

MP but then in a movie like jaane tu where they show people partying without a drink like that

guy goes up to the tendor and is like one coke on the rocks

ZM thats a good point. Is alcohol the ultimate destresser. The ultimate tool to have fun. You

arent even going to remember it

MP exactly

SA people are trying to prove it as a destresser. But actually it isnt.

ZM what do you guys think of this feminine stereotype being created.

SK its not good enough ya girls get affected

ZM I can understand this equality and girls need the freedom but we get the point now

SA girls going out with guys or with friends. The girl who is not drinking, she is very introvert

SK they put it as boring like cocktail.

MK she doesnt drink so shes the boring one.

ZM and see they are perfectly typecasting that role they make her pray.

MK so if you arent drinking or having a good time, then the only other thing you do is pray or


ZM lets get a move onto the next question so the movies that you watch today are they being

influenced by other movie markets. So are they being inspired by, are we borrowing not only the

plots but

MK a lot of it ive seen one movie Amitabh bachhan the man on fire version. That movie was a

word to word copy down to the dialogue

ZM and like denzel washingtons character his downfall was alcohol and he made it look cool.

So anyother example like say tarantino or guy Ritchie movies. Like delhi belly reminds me of

guy Ritchie.

MP- ya its like a classic guy Ritchie film

ZM they had a cameo from kim bodnia who did such films in his prime days kim bodnia was

the guy who gave drugs to that chick in that so hes actually a really popular character so people

who watch a lot of movies it was a huge thing for us. Any other example you can think off where

they are copying other elements like cigarette smoking or drug usage

SA the recent movie London paris new york. The girl who is not drinking or smoking. Falls in

love with the guy and once she feels cheated in his memories he starts drinking amoking. Thats

such a kind of addiction.

ZM so the next question actually deals into it. So do you think movies are making money today

from branding alcohol products and cigarettes

Unanimous agreement.

Mp they dont cause most of the time you see a censor on the brand of the maker of the

alcohol. So I dont think they are making money from branding. While they are promting brands

like coke or pepsi.

ZM maybe you know how they advertise eggs with the old man and the kid. They are

promoting eggs in general as a wholesale product. Why cant we say they are doing the same for

alcohol or cigarettes.

MP - cause there is no branding in eggs. An egg is an egg.

ZM see when you are buying alcohol the government wants tax money. lets put it this way do

you think the government is trying to place ads subliminally on the audience like hey shahrukh

khan is smoking a cigarette lets all smoke cigarette.

MP they arent promoting branding as such. There are not many players in the egg business an

egg is an egg you buy it from a chicken shop or the supermarket. But when it comes down to

cigarettes, you have Marlboros, wills, rothmans same with alcohol. So its different . if you're

promoting Marlboro. Obviously Marlboro is going to pay for it you're promoting that brand.

Specifically when they censor it, the brand doesnt matter yes.

ZM it is a huge source of revenue for the government

MP in foreign they promote jack daniels. In songs and movies they promote JD

ZM also the rules are different. The Indian law states that you cannot place ads in media about

alcohol or tobacco. So the question is are they finding amarter ways to do it

SA every law has a loophole. It applies the same here also.

MP but the people who know what a bottle of jack looks like. For people who know it works,

but for those who dont drink its just another bottle of alcohol.

ZM so its promoting to those that already do. You guys said yes. Do you change your opinion

or stand by it?

SK I agree to his point but all over if we consider, not product branding but they are promoting

the acts.

ZM okay Ill put a pin drug usage, they arent going to promote that.

MP promoting heinekin specifically ya they would make money from branding it in movies.

ZM Ill give you a specific example. You know James bond skyfall so Heineken paid 78

million dollars with which they had a 40 million dollar interactive ad that was huge in the US.

What they did though was remove James bonds traditional martini drink. So if you watch skyfall

he is not having a martini but at points you see him holding a green bottle. So thats what money

buys you.

MP- have you seen the movie thank you for smoking in that he goes to a producer to promote

cigarette. There they say brad pitt and Catherine zeta jones smoking up in space after sex.

ZM so ya this guy goes to the studio and tells them that they are launching a new brand of

cigarettes so they need to market it. It was a satire on it. The second way of looking at it is does

this put more asses in seats. Will it attract me. They are going to drink and have fun. You think

this has just become a variant to the item song but more a point of attraction

MP probably to the masses

SA this type of attraction was taken more seriously in the film blue the sanjay dutt film in a song.

SK - no idea about all this.

MP this would attract more crowd to the movie. I personally will not watch the movie cause

they are drinking black

ZM but it looks cool

MP hes drinking it. How does that affect me

ZM but say you're a 13 14 year old kid I love my tarantino. I have seen delhi belly and it is

guy ritchiesque they are doing drugs and the same shit they do in the American movies

MP funnily after I saw dev d I had quit smoking I saw that movie i came out and said dude I

need a cigarette so yeah there is this constant smoking thing happening in that movie. Same thing

happened when I watched thank you for smoking. The title track is about cigarettes

ZM ya it is

MP its an old song and they have shown packets of various brands. And I was like okay lets

have a cigarette.

ZM and it goes back to the point that to the people that already do it, its an added subliminal

thing that im a part of this group. I quit but I had to pick it up again. That shit looked cool man.

MP it brought back the memories, the feelings I relapsed. Not just it was cool. I just

remembered how it felt.

ZM has has watching movies with drug usage smoking and alcohol smoking desensitized your

perception towards people who do the same? When I say desensitized I mean if you are in a

group and not doing any of these things but you are okay with sort of being there while people

roll joints, pick up a chillum and smoke marijuana. Willpower is one thing but you are just cool

with sitting there and dont loose respect for them

SA its their wish. They want to do it im fine with it. Im nobody to tell them what to do.

MP its not cause its been shown excessively in movies but cause its been happening

excessively around me as well so im kinda getting used to that scenario. I used to be in one my

friends hostel and there was a guy who any time of the day those two buggers would be rolling

and cleaning. They would have rolling papers on the wall

ZM I think its called skins

MP- ya skins ya and I was fine with that.

SA if we told that third hand smoking was going to cause cancer and affects mental state.

MP then they would be like you're okay dude just stand over there at that distance.

SA it affects the friendship because see

MP no my school friends dont smoke so I go away smoke and come back

ZM what if the persons were a douche and he was like fuck it its your problem fuck off

MP if they have a problem they mention it to me that dude I have a problem with asthma so

please dont do it around me.

TK right now in the start of every movie they show that disgusting anti smoking ads.

ZM you guys know what im talking about even in go goa saif ali said it and im like mother

fucker smokes like a chimney. Who is he to come and tell me that this is wrong and then show a

movie that shows drug smoking for half the movie

MP the funniest part is that the smokers know we have it on our god damn packs

ZM the statutory warning.

MP theres posters all over the pan shop and I want to go to the theatres put my feet up eat a

nice plate of nachos and seeing a disgusting looking face in my screen

ZM ya they're talking to a skinny guy ya he got a cancer of the mouth and then it spread to his


MP it is good thing that they are showing such stuff

TK but come on man cut down on the timing. You are going to watch a nice comedy movie

and in the start only they showsuch things.

MP you go to watch a pg 13 movie and its still there. Im watching kung fu panda 2 and its still

there. come on man.

ZM ya master shifu is not smoking a pipe.

MP you dont scar people for lives.

ZM ya I agree with you and they arent using the proper avenues.

MP giving a warning is ok

TK in movies also theres a line smoking is injurious. But the statutory warning is dumb.

MP the audience goes aah when they see it like a big chorus

Tk if you are going to a movie in a group of 6 with 2 smokers. And when the warning pops up

everyone is looking at you

ZM im with you guys that a good point and actually saves time. Ill show you an advertisement

by the us thats scary as fuck and its what I see.

TK even in the warning they show I was 24 years old now I am not young anymore. And its

the same commercial for the last three years last three years hes just dying.

MP coming back to thank you for smoking that guy makes a valid point as well. Cheddar

cheese. Also kills people through cholesterol do they have a statutory warning for that.

SA since the censor board is censoring such scenes why do we need to see it for the movie.

MP the funny part is that you remove everything for an a rated film all the abuses, the

smoking the sex and then you still make it an a rated movie.

SA like yeh jawani, the whole movie is on the guy drinking. Then the statutory warning is of

smoking. Why?

TK the government has banned gutkas and all but the people will find another way. What was

5 rs is 25 rs now

SA they are black marketing.

MP there are a few parts of the state where marijuana is legal right now.

ZM in india


TK Amsterdam its legal

ZM medically they have shops

MP no legal like people can smoke in parks. I mean thats funny how people draw the line

between legal and illegal

SA the game san andreas is a pure marketing of smoking

ZM you're a drug dealer in that game. Im going to take the next 3 questions and make them a

hypothetical since we talked about the restrictions our parents put and they did their jobs and

kudos to them my hypothetical to you is that lets assume that in 10 12 years us all we all will

become parents too, as parents. In coming days what restrictions would you put on your kids

knowing what you went through. In your own youth and gaining the experience yourself. You're

the parent now.

SA first be able to talk to them open up share your views and experiences with them and tell

them to also to be open minded that things that we went through we do not want them to go

through as well

ZM show them the scenes like your dad and be like I dont want you doing that .

SA you should explain things properly.

ZM not the blitzkrieg campaigns in theatres do it slowly.

TK you should not bombard them with the knowledge of things.

MP if my son comes upto me that dad I want to try a smoke. He should be able to come to me

that I want to try it.

ZM he should come to you before his friends

MP I know hes doing this in front of me and after that I can tell him exclty why I dont want

him to do it.

TK that happens right now also. If you want to drink tell me so its just a part of saying but we

arent going to go to them

ZM but see heres my question you said that you have a girlfriend thats cool and then he

flipped out later. Knowing this fact im not going to go to my dad you're not a man of your word I

dont trust you.

MP thats what happens. They put these restrictions on you without telling you why you

shouldnt do this.and when they tell you you cant have something that is exactly what you want.

ZM thats fair

MP why are they telling me not to do this I want to try it for myself and do it myself. I want to

experience it and figure out if it right or wrong for me. My parents should respect that I am my

own person. I have to make and live with my own choices.

ZM anything else ets keep a move on. what censorship techniques did the government or the

industry employ to such content. As an example when I did this research in india, cigarettes were

blurred or had a cartoon carrot depicting it. Around 3 years back I was watching world cinemas

the channel they show a lot of international films. I was watching an Indian film I think it was

raincoat. Aishwarya goes out gets him a pack of cigarettes and he starts smoking. Now the

minute he puts it in his mouth, the cigarettes a cigarette but the minute he put it in his mouth it

became a cartoon carrot. So hes pretty much sucking of a cartoon carrot. And this was bizarre to

me and im a voracious movie watcher and I was enjoying the film and that little thing, like I

would have taken a blur but putting it as a cartoon depiction took the movie away

MP ya it ruins the movie.

SA it helps the movie. See because there are kids and it was on tv. And kids like it. And they

take it as a funny thing.

ZM but ya its a movie called raincoat and it has no funny moments or joy for any 20 year old. I

can understand with go goa if you get a pg version and a kid is watching and instead of weed

they are tripping on a cartoon carrot. Thats a fantastic point that.

MP thats something they did with how I met your mother, the sandwiches.

ZM yes you're not the first person to make that example. The show is popular so marijuana

becomes sandwiches. So they are like me and lily rolled up a giant sandwich

MP everyone is smoking in that series and they quit.

ZM they also use these youth icons to market their product. Ill show you a clip

MP but then again there are series like breaking bad.

ZM braking bad comes late at night.

Shah rukh youth icon mcdowells marketing.

ZM so they are marketing mcdowells mega movies. See they cant advertise alcohol or

cigarettes legally even in the early days Rahul dravid had the four square bat. They could never

do that. They stopped it.they have music cds soda bottles. My question to you is that are they not

using the youth icons of today of our cinemas to influence us.

SA miley cyrus then Justin beiber he is the biggest drug addict.

MP Lindsey lohan

ZM but they do it off camera and they get caught

SA but they are youth icons

ZM you are perfectly right

MP Charlie sheen

Tk right now who got caught vijendra singh. Drug addict.

ZM I read that he was on the news today. Whats your reaction? I mean this plays on tv a lot. I

have tatasky and on channel 0 whenever the light goes and comes back this plays, this guy and

dhoni and harbhajan singh and gambhir and all 5 are youth icons who we look upto, we watch

their movies, we adore shah rukh khan. I think hes a good actor. Hes endorsing seagrams royal

stag. Hey I want to try some. The mega movies makes no sense. What do you guys think of this

marketing tactic and can you think of any other.

SA actually its part of the loophole thing. Its a loophole. Its basically getting off the law and

going the wrong way. You're promoting something thats not right on the tv or in the public.

Thats the point you're simply promoting a thing thats not right, but in the right sense. Thats

still wrong.

MP they have chivas regal ads

ZM but as club soda.

MP chivas regal they had bravery awards and stuff I eman its funny.

SA now havards has an academy, hosla buland academy

ZM can you apply

SA and they come up with a book of people showing their bravery

ZM and here we have the manikchand hospital.

MP in the movie thank you for smoking, the first interview hes like were opening some million

dollar academy to stop teen smoking. And the guy is like but you are part of the smoking

federation and hes like these are our customers. No ehy would we want our customers to die.

SA the one who manufacters the poisons gives the antidote themselves. Whats the sense.

ZM ya its such bullshit. And this blatant thing that the government thinks its acceptable.

TK on the highway, there is a manikchand college.

ZM and I havent seen one seagrams movie or music cd at the store. At the club soda I get is

dukes man

SA same with Bacardi. I never get the cds from the store.

ZM so they are advertising alcohol and the government should be like this is stupid and the

audience knows its alcohol.

MP we know what you doing there and we know what going on .

TK government cant also say anything cause how much ever money is needed to prepare the

advertisement, half of the money is going to the govern ment .

MP The only strong stance against tobacco and alcohol is to ban it.

TK if they ban also, like right now like gutka, they are still getting it.

MP make it illegal.

TK whoever smokes, he knows how to get it, where to get it.

MP ow would you go as cooly to buy cigarettes to buy marijuana as you buy cigarettes. You

will look 10 times around you

TK whoever is selling marijuana right now, there will be 15 people standing before that.

MP will you be that careless to go to a tapir and then go to some guy to buy marijuana. If you

get caught you get screwed. There would be a reduction in smoking. Objective achieved.

SA ruby hall cancer institute, the slogan at the entrance. Manufacturers of cigarettes kill their

best customers, whats the use.

TK owner of RMD has himself opened a cancer hospital there

SA that slogan is the first thing you see

Clip alcohol parody

ZM so this was a parody that makes the points that you guys were making.alright lets come

back to you. This is more a philosophical question to you the youth of today. The leaders of

tomorrow. Are there any govermnet restrictions that you feel can be added or removed. Lets

starts with things that you want removed. Like start of with the anti smoking ads in theatres

TK ya

ZM stop it. Its not working.

MP people who smoke, they dont slow.

TK people that smoke they have seen it onece. After seeing it once or twice its a headache for

them also.

MP thats what people do , they go late for the movie. If the movie starts at 10 they go at 1015.

ZM its going to be the bomb ad then the smoking, then the national anthem and then they walk


TK now they have stopped showing trailers and all. Before the movie, they show this and then

start the movie.

ZM okay now you're older you're part of the censor board. They call you up you're young, we

want to do it right this time around we want your help. How do we put warning of sorts, a polite

request or at least small information to the audience. How do we tell them without showing the

anti smoking or remove the black tag or let that be. What can we add.

SA real life examples. But different.

MP its not financially possible.

TK to make that ad they need crores of rupees and to make different ads,

MP you have the celebrities advertising brands, instead of that we can use them

ZM say something they can do is before the movie starts pop it up with something like for

more information go to

TK if they put a celebrity also like shah rukh khan some people who like him, they think that if

he is quitting we can too

ZM but when I saw saif ali khan I thought its such bullshit.

SA hrithik roshan provides books about smoking why because they arent going to stop. Shah

rukhsaid that he cant live with out it. But it was hrithik who quit smoking. Ranbhir once stopped

but he relapsed

ZM would you say these youth icons telling us to drink seagrams whiskey.

MP exactly, anti smoking should have a similar campaign without the gory stuff. Amitabh

bacchan should come and say that smoking is bad intead of marketing maggi hungaroo

ZM ya hes never eaten maggi in his life.

MP he is an icon for the youth and the older generation. And frankly he is tarnishing his

reputation might as well make use of him for better purposes

ZM the government should approach him we cant pay you as much and they do ads for polio

and stuff .

SA aamir khan is also promoting that nourishment thing.

MP have a campaign minus the gore even if they come and talk to you people will be inspired.

SA share hrithiks experience, how he felt when he quit smoking.

ZM what about female smoking and drugs. You think the cinemas is still young. Let them

drink in a few more movies.

SK ya its just come up recently in the last 5 years

SA you can use asha bosle for that

ZM but then these 2 girls are like man asha bosle doent drink why should we listen to her. its

the best thing on warth.

SA she could explain I am not drinking my throat is clean I can still sing at 70. I made 15000

songs. I dont eat ice cream . I am just telling the example she gave in Indian idol.

ZM dont do alcohol at the same time, dont eat ice cream put it down.

MP the people who are already drinking, are going to keep drinking but the people who arent

used to that or are influenced by celebrities those people may reduce that is a possibility so the

growth of alcoholism and people getting affected by drugs that may come down. There wont be

any virgin drinkers.

ZM what else can you do to delay this virgin influx of first time users.

MP instead of scaring them you can inspire them that works better

ZM or to teach them okay lets do it in moderation stop at 1 stop at 2

MP these clubs should strictly follow the rules that no selling alcohol to people under 21

TK first it was 21 now its 25

NP at 21 you can have mild beer and wine, its 25 for hard liquor. If you're responsible enough

to raise a kid at 18 or 21 you are responsible to drink.

ZM wait you're 18 and you have a kid is that what you're saying

MP no you can get married after 18 and 21 you can have a kid.

ZM but you will be 35 when the kids start thinking about drinking

MP but if you're responsible to take care of a living thing, you are responsible to drink

ZM but what if it was an unplanned thing.

MP But you are of legal age

ZM I also think that by that age you are out of the age of excess

MP like everyone I hang out with stops at 2 or 3. Nice taste nice time.

ZM I want to remember these memories now.

SA I just met the guy who put his pics on FB with a glass he got around 3 likes. He was like I

got this much likes so I better be going on with this, which is actually a bad thing. Whats the

sense you are getting a like so you are continuing the drinking.

MP you look good in peoples eyes its become a stereotype if you drink you are a party person,

if you dont you are boring

ZM thats what movies taught us right female stereotype.

SK right now its new and it will continue for a few more years. The anti ad campaigns irritate


ZM what do you think of these shah rukh kahn types coming and advertising liquor.

SK ya they shouldnt do that.

SA the money is playing a vital role.

ZM how much money does he need right now in his career why does he have to come out and

advertise it.

SA competition.

ZM salmaan got a rolls Royce so I need to get a rolls Royce.

SA hes doing these many ads so I need to. Its about the popularity. I need to do more ads.

ZM shouldnt they rather have a moral responsibility and inspire them

MP inspire the youth with movies like rang de basanti and swades.

SK but people need entertainment.

ZM I thought chak de was more entertaining than the movie where he dances in the


MP you have directors to make such movies.

ZM do you think depiction of these things is reflective of the real world.

Unanimous yes.

MP it happens thats why its shown and before its shown, it happens.

ZM and in devdas you have to show the drinking to show his downfall. Okay. Would you call

consumption of these thing in your peer group normal excessive or minimal

EH minimal

MP drinkers cause everyone drinks.

ZM what would you call your group in flames.

TK excessive.

SK ya even I had an excessive group

ZM why did you say it in the past tense are they not your group anymore.

TK ya we arent together now and its to do with the drinking.

ZM so it did affect you

TK ya, now I drink occasionally within limits.

MP I had friends who used to smoke up daily like dude lets chill dude but then even they

realized, this is taking up too much time and doesnt lead to anything productive and they


Clip tobacco free florida.

ZM I remember when I did this with the last group, say that too scary, but sometimes isnt it

good to just scare the bejeezes of of people.

MP no it doesnt help. They should know why its wrong and not that its scary why its harmful.

Ad people tend to ignore really serios points. But if you put it in a funny way, its easy to relate to

it in a funny way

ZM how? Like the jhonny walker man or the chaplin gags.

TK they should at least show it in a way that people can at least watch it. Showing gore and all

is very scary.

MP you could laugh it off

SA recent example bhaag milka he drinks, goes out with the girl and after that loses the races..

then he promises to avoid both and then gets the title of flying sikh thats inspiring.

ZM I was just pointing out that they could do real life examples and this was one

SA this was what I was saying that give real life examples. Like this one, they could repeat it.

But repeating it would be a headache.

MP but dim the lights behind that lady and she would scare the bejeezes out of you .

ZM ya it starts with a youth picture and then 20 years later she is here. with the hole in her


MP like tony stark

ZM funny you should say tony stark. In iron man 3 disney insisted they not show him drinking

a drink. So you never see him drink, so Disney has realized the need for censorship. Right do

you think this depiction in cinema has influenced your attitudes towards them?

EH no

ZM so cinema has nothing to do with it.

SK if you are already addicted to cigarettes or drinking then it will make you relapse.

ZM if you are 13 and you see delhi belly or 3 idiots and you see them sitting cooly at the steps

of the university drinking and shooting the shit and you are like man I want ot go to college and I

want this life. As kids we have had these thoughts.

MP It didnt make me start.

ZM ya when I saw it it was in my head

MP when you drink you reach a level when you cant get higher than that. Im already doing that

and seeing something im already doing.

SA Aashique 2 had a positive effect that drinking kills and it spoils the life. And it has a

positive attitude on the people that stop drinking. It will ruin your life.

ZM lets just go aroung the room and answer this one simple question you can add an d

elaborate. Are you happy with the curren level of depiction in Indian cinema today. Do you think

it can be stopped, reduced, moderated made more artistic. Do you think the actors, parents and

goverments have an obligation to the audience and finally sum up do you think movies in your

opinion are affecting our mental setup with regards to these things.

MP I think that the censor board should be a little more liberal cause again people are like kids

, you say you cant do something and they want ot do it more. So they might end up doing it

anyway. So no being liberal but moderating. That is impt. Completely off the topic, but depicting

gangsters like heroes is something that they are doing wrong. They are bad people what they did

is wrong. You are misleading the public and they get sympathy over it.

TK like they have a sequel coming on independence day.

MP so you are depicting something bad in a good light

SA like shootout at lokhandwala. Wadala.

ZM so they should moderate it

MP show cigarettes for what they are they are bad. Open the eyes through the movies.

SA there were no controversies for shootout but for vishwarupam

ZM why was it

SA I didnt see it.

ZM irrespective of anything the movies should be better.

MP promote good movies.

TK in the movie once upon a time, ajay is drinking at a party and holding cigarette, emraan is

mimicking him. Others who are watching the movie also think it looks cool

SA and because of him the girlfriend had an attack cause she had a hole in her heart

ZM so she was more succeptible to the smoke, so do you agree about the moderation and the

government should stop this now or else it will escalate.

MP but then dont hamper the creative side of the media

ZM what about Hollywood, france british they also have these movies and they feel that since

movies are the ultimate representation of art they should have all the freedom . and in their own

way its valid

MP ya it is. Cause if you cant paint in a particular way, there is no point in painting. You are

cutting down on their liberties.

SA sense in what you depict in the art form

MP see the controversy in MF hussain painting, what he perceived in it is his vision and he isnt

forcing it on you

ZM but I get his point, if im getting you correctly okay say guy Ritchie film or gans of

wasseypur iits okay show it all but say iron man 3 or a lovey dovey movey doesnt need it and

you can drop it and for the art house film you can have all the liberties. I think thats the point

you are trying to make in sense in depiction.

SA I just want to add that parents need to be open to them talk to them freedom is one different

thing but responsibility towards children and childrens responsibility towards these things

matters the most. Teach them the responsibility dont force it.

EH I totally agree with all his points like we should moderate it and all that.

ZM and are you happy with the current censorship they have on tv with every time they light a

cigarette that thing pops up

MP I was watching game of thrones and the mose important part maybe because it had nudity,

but it has a context in the story and its cut it out.

ZM and the same thing happened with me in raincoat. The whole thing is a conversation. Ajay

is lighting up now if hes smoking a carrot Im not going to enjoy the movie.

TK people watch a movie for an item song and when it comes on tv they cut it .

SA on tv serials, they banned smoking and drinking.

ZM but they showed it in breaking bad but it comes at late at night. In America we have the

safe harbor time zones so from 10 at night to 6 in the morning they can show their content

MP with shows like roadies they have abusive language.

SA in big boss they have smoking areas but no cameras there.

ZM ya in tarantino movies, they open with long conversations over cigarettes and I agree with

you that they should not cut it. Cause this is what art is

MP and this is reality.

ZM and it pisses us off like what the fuck was that. If the cinema comes together with parents

and decides to make 2 types of movies one for the youth which doent need such content and then

the arthouse films for the older audience

MP plus they can check for ids in theatres. There are kids sitting in movies like gulaal.

ZM that is a valid ethical issue.

MP ya its the internet age and everything is available there. I can get uncensored content


ZM ya all these videos are online

MP then there is no point in having censor board to begin with lets finish it off

SK I think I agree with all the points. And im okay with the feminine stereotyping.

ZM its cool if you feel that this blitzkrieg is helping feminism and will be curtailed on its own.

MP but its anti feminist.

ZM see thats your point but to them its allowing women to be equal to men.

MP the girl is getting drunk and man is helping her. so technically its so anti feminist.

SK not necessary that every girl needs a man

MP but thats what they are showing. Starts with dil to pagal hai .

ZM I may be reading it wrong. But its allowing finally in the last five years for women to talk

to have their own opinions and they feel that it will be moderated in the next 5 years and I have

accept that point cause they are the people this really affects. Thanks guys for your time we are



Interviewer: Zain Merchant denoted as ZM in interview

Interviewee: College students denoted with initials in focus group

Interview Setting: focus group conducted in closed room at.

The Transcriptions are Verbatim. However the long pauses when the interviewee thinks or

pauses were removed. Grammatical errors were not changed, as that is how the interviewees

spoke during the focus groups.

ZM im about to start my 3th focus group, third one in India its 335 hi guys. Lets get started by

introducing ourselves. Tell us a bit about yourselves whatever you want to talk about and as an

ice breaker lets talk about your favorite movie

AG I'm AG I am 22 years old and I have studied bachelors in business administration from

sympiosis pune. And favorite movie I could say Snatch for me

ZM can I get a brief description of snatch, why you like it.

AG its got a good a really interesting storyline to it a good twist in the end its a catchy movie

when you're watching it you're like completely into it its an engrossing movie

NA my name is NA I am 25 years old I studied graphic design and video editing I completed

my marketed management I am working at a designing agency right now and my favorite movie

would be chaos theory. I really like the movie cause of the story because of the mad twist

towards the end

VT hi my name is VT I am 21 and I'm studying at symbiosis and I'm getting my bachelors in

economics. And I think my favorite movie would be apocalypse now why because its violent and

martin sheens awesome

AP Im AP Im 21 years old I'm in the 5th year of law school in symbiosis law school pune and

I dont really have a favorite movie but it would be Kramer vs Kramer because it was a really

gripping movie, its old and close to the heart and ive been watching it since I was little

MP my name is MP I'm 22 years old and I'm studying architecture in bhartiya vidhya peth and

I would say one of my favorite movies would have to be Constantine because it has an awesome

religious fictional flair to it.

ZM so we are going to kick off the focus group I'm gonna start of by showing you three clips.

After each clip we will talk a bit about what we saw

Clip 1 No smoking

ZM comments, what do you think.

VT honestly that was quite stupid. I mean the portrayal of smoking is completely unrealistic its

just acting.

NA I mean see we all smoke. I smoke but I dont see myself doing such stupid shit when I


MP I didnt quite understand what happened with the other dude

NA its a rip of of thank you for smoking

ZM no its not

AP I dont think the point of a movie is ever drugs smoking or alcohol its just made to

accentuate a character or to explain a certain influence this vice could have on the plot its not

supposed to be the whole story like how this movie was. The whole thing was about smoking it

made no sense

NA this movie is about smoking

AP I dont know which movie this is

NA its no smoking

ZM they linked it to the holocaust and it was bizarre he went Darren aronofsky not thank you

for smoking 2006 its the guy who made gangs of wasseypur anurag kahyah

VT gangs was good

ZM so what do you think was the point of the whole scene with him smoking in the bathroom

and then standing posing in front of a mirror

AP ego problems

NA because somebody asked him not to smoke and thats why he was there looking in the

mirror and he feels to cool and says no one tells me what to do

AG shes asking him why are you smoking in the bathroom

MP cause he sounds like he was going to die cause thats what the doctor was telling him or

some shit.

AG I think he was hallucinating and thats why he was at the doctors

ZM so do you think his portrayal was a false sense of cool

MP a failed attempt at it

ZM anything else from it

VT not from such a short clip

Clip 2 drugs go goa

ZM what do you guys say

NA I like the video

AP ya it was good

VT I mean whoever made that has certainly done acid

ZM this was the only movie I saw this summer hindi and this is the only movie I have seen

where they have tried to portray the psychedelic effect of being high.

AG I think this was pretty much the first movie made on zombies

ZM lets not focus on the zombies though they do say that they drop acid and become zombies

NA and they kill them with coke

ZM so what do you guys think of what you just saw

NA I liked the video the way it was shot was brilliant the effects were good.

ZM this portrayal was authentic

MP not authentic cause if I'm not mistaken this whole song Is based on smoking pot and I

dont see them doing anything else and babaji ki booti is reference to smoking pot so I mean

exactly trip balls on pot

VT I assume they dropped acid somewhere

MP I'm saying in reference to the clip I havent seen the movie.

NA they dont so the drug overthere but the thing he is saying right. They showed something


MP as far as doing the dumbshit bit goes I can understand that but it wouldnt be as

halucenogenic as that. It was slightly exaggerated but it was pretty good

AG- its not that intense.

ZM do you think it would affect a younger audience a 12 or 13 year old kid

MP its hard to say it depends on individual psyche

NA last time I did this I couldnt remember it was exactly like this. We met 4 friends and I

couldnt handle it after that I didnt feel like doing it anymore

VT but thats because you did it a movie has nothing to do with it.

ZM do you think a younger audience

A -but a younger audience doesnt singularly see this movie if you watch shaitan you see how

you have coked out kids killing people and killing each other at the end and it was just a

complete disaster so its not only that they are exposed only to the good depictionthey are also

exposed to the bad depictions of drugs which is the whole point of the free society

MP Also I dont know how you would restrict the kids because the whole U and r and A

system is complete bullshit here in theatres.

VT but I mean even the portrayals of people smoking is not too realistic you know I mean kids

are going to know its not realistic

AG ya its just portrayed in a fun way its not that intense

VT if you have a scene like where drugs are normal and the guy keeps smoking pot and hes

there in the background I think that would influence kids more than this kind of portrayal

NA but then they show them having a lot of fun I dont know

A is that the medias responsibility like the lack of involvement of a parent is what allows a

media to influence a child if you are involved enough as a parent then I dont think

VT not really I mean no matter how much there are portrayals everywhere

AP- exactly why you cant turn around and blame the media cause in the end youre the one

whose gonna win only

MP I cant speak for the younger generations our parents are fairly involved in our lives but the

younger generation not so much

AP but thats not how its perceived in our country yet till the age of 16 you are considered a

jouvenile and everything that you do is not your liability its your parents fault so till the age of

16 what you do and dont do is vicariously your parents liability which is why our parents

involvement becomes such a vital thing

MP but how much does that happen with someone say 5 years younger than us.

NA and nowadays they are too rebellious

VT thats what everyone says man every generation

AP thats true and thats how it goes and not only are they rebellious, they are also getting

smarter like you know if we are able to speak about all this its because we have been there done

that and we know how it turns out so we know how to make intelligent choices to do or not to do

the things but the younger generation is going to choose to do that 5 years earlier and make those

intelligent choices much earlier

VT thats if they make intelligent choices

AP maybe they will

NA I have seen kids in the 10th standard who are already smoking cigarettes and drinking

MP fucking go to gurukul 8th standard 9th its ridiculous

AG but I dont think they learn all that from movies one spolt brat and then everone else gets

into it

AP movies maybe accentuated but its not about movies

NA I couldnt blame my friends for my smoking or drinking I was among them when they

were doing certain things and that why I started smoking. But I wont say anybody forced me

AP it comes from us

AG thats what I said, it started because of our individual and not from movies

AP I dont think cinema has that kind of power.

AG none of them started from looking at movies

NA and I dont think there were such movies also

ZM alright lets carry on

Clip 3 3 idiots

ZM what do you guys think

NA this is rather sweet movie. There wasnt much in that

ZM okay ill ask you in this way so this is a vital scene in the movie 3 idiots considered a

modern day gem in Indian cinema considered a movie for the youth and they chose to this huge

exposition while the characters were inebriated under the influence of liquor so my question is

this did they need to do that need to have them drink and pour their hearts out

NA everyone has seen this amongst their friends also when you get drunk you become like that

and they did something stupid after that also they go and pee

VT you get that feeling of a bromance going on thats why they get them drunk

MP thats true drunk people do spill their balls every single feeling

AG and it wouldnt be that much fun watching it if they were sober

AP- no it wouldnt be real the whole point of an engineering college where you have people

coming from different backgrounds and getting to know each other and living with their fears

like that guy who wears like 10 rings aamir will never tell him dude whats wrong with you. He

tells him that because hes drunk and the conversation flows a lot easier under the influence of

alcohol. That doesnt mean it wont flow if you are not under the influence of alcohol but its a lot


NA liquid courage

AP so even things he tells his other friend I dont remember he was saying something about

wildlife photography then I dont hink he would have told him that when he was sober. The

whole point of that was to bring out that you can be more candid more free and more feerless

ZM so this once again was an authentic depiction

Everyone agrees

AP and more than anything else it was put in the most logical position in the movie like it

brought out more stuff in the movie

NA everyone when they are drunk do stupid things I think it was a good enough depiction of

people getting drunk

VT but I feel like this would have a greater danger on children their chances to start drinking

are much higher because this is shown as completely normal

MP and alcohol is not illegal

VT but its technically illegal till their 25

ZM that law didnt pass

AP well its 21 for beer and wine and 25 for harder liquor.

AG in Maharashtra and delhi

ZM were there any restrictions on your movie watching priveleges when you were growing up

MP I think the only restriction was that if you're going with your parents they will take you

AP not a lot

AG you couldnt get out in the theatre that was the only thing otherwise the parents wouldnt

mind taking you

MP I guess information wasnt available as freely back in the day so if it was A rated and

you're not of age then your parents wouldnt take you

NA ya but when I was a kid my aunt would watch this stupid show called santa Barbara and a

guy marries his cousin and obviously I was a guy and I was interested inpeople kissing and

whats going on and my cousins would close their eyes when they would see something like that

MP thats true like the talks of sex and whatever I wasnt allowed to watch friends.

NA I wasnt allowed to watch Baywatch and my mom was like what are you watching and I

was like they're life guards

ZM why were you not allowed to watch friends

MP cause they used to talk about sex

ZM but never content like drinking

MP there wasnt a lot of drinking in that besides chandlers smoking once in a while

VT and that they portrayed very negatively

AP and I think thats the difference between our generation and the one thats right after us its

just that our curiosity was limited to the opposite sex. Sex was like the first thing we wanted to

know about after which smoking drugs alcohol came in the picture which was a little later in life

so when we were kids it was probably just that

ZM okay lets put it another way similar to friends todays shows like how I met your mother

portray similar themes. The cafes have turned into a bar so do you think there would be

censorship on that show now if you were 10

MP I dont think so because now they have increased censorship on pretty much everything on

tv and so it really doesnt matter. You could watch anything and you wouldnt have a problem

with it

NA they censored punk on VH1 they played the song by little wayne bitches love me and

theres beeps everywhere

VT I was watching lord of the rings and he said salted pork but it stopped after salted and I

thought there was something wrong with the video.

MP the censorship is ridiculous I mean it doesnt really matter cause they blur out stuff on

bottles and stuff if it on liquor they blur out the labels.

ZM has there been in your opinion any change in the way that movies have changed over time

AP they have finally become more realistic like movies arent like some strange fake

pictorization of the world at least in Bollywood it has really changed

NA no I think they have become more bullshit over time

VT for every 10 movies you have 1 good movie.

AP ya there are movies that are shit but you do have directors like anurag kashyap who bring

things to the cinema dev d was path breaking for Indian cinema the way he brought drugs and

everything into the picture was insane and this started with directors who had the guts to strap on

a pair it started with chandni bar movies that could really make a difference. Page 3 movies that

actually showed stuff that we wanted to see and now weve come full circle and were doing the

same thing like from fashion which was a big deal they came to heroine which was just

redundant thing all over again just because it clicked once. So we reached a point where we

started doing well

NA but fashion hits another topic this wasnt the same

AP it was the same

NA this wasnt the same

AP it was the same thing but it had a better actor in the first movie and a worst one in the

second and thats it they just did the same thing

ZM so what was decided have they changed over time

MP basically now they just have the balls to call it just like it is as apposed to just some shit.

VT but its still a minority percentage, maybe one or two directors

NA there is one director, theres anurag kashyap theres nobody else the others made horrible


AP what was that movie with that kid with the song about kodar. You have movies like kodar

youve movies like tare zameen par we are making realistic movies yaar.

NA I agree with you but kodar was a non commercial movie that didnt do well

AG those were movies with messages and they flopped not like block busters.

AP see block busters are never going to change this is Bollywood and this is india and thats

what sells cause everybody doesnt understand off beat real cinema

NA I think one thing is there that at our age we were forced to Bollywood very early like if I

think of movies I can name 10 movies off the top of my head that are copied clearly from

Hollywood. Like saaya, that was completely copied from dragon fly kevin Costner and john

fucked the whole movie up these people have no creativity

AP I'm not saying Indian cinema is perfect but I'm saying that it has changed for the better over

the years

NA one movie that I liked was kya super cool hai hum it was very funny

VT it was like watching a stoner film

NA it was like one of the American pie stupid humor so it was good

ZM repeat question

VT ya but then thats expected to keep up with the times.

ZM so its become more organic depiction

AP its become more realistic like to some extent like the movie Ayesha. It was a commercial

movie and they were just trying to depict like a rich spoilt brat but in that movie theres a song

called sham where she s sitting and smoking pot and that realthats how it is even the rich spoilt

kids and even the poor people page 3 and that roadside movie everybody does these things and

its not some secret anymore cinema doesnt just show you the reaction anymore it shows you

what causes it

NA I know what you're talking about the song was ridiculous but I mean the whole depiction

of how everyone's having fun and too Americanized

ZM do you think there is an oversensationalization of smoking drug usage in movies thatyouve


VT ya most definitely its always elevated more than what it is the effects of smoking and

drinking either you have too many positives or you have too many negatives you dont have like

a clear picture

AP and they have romanticized it to a great extent and theyve made it like the movie is not

about smoking or drinking but smoking or drinking becomes how you define a character for

something which makes no sense

MP I guess that makes sense cause that how the older generation would create it.

NA ya like the bad guy would hold a cigar

AP but thats not how it is today a bad guy smoking or a good guy smoking doesnt make a

diff to how the youth perceive smoking either way someones smoking on screen. So if you have

hank moody smoking for 5 seasons of californication whose the lead character it doesnt matter

to me if it was him or in ER they found a bag of heroin inside a stomach and it was a acene

where drugs killed her and the whole series went to shit either way its on screen so it doesnt

matter and the youth is going to draw to it good or bad and theyll make their decisions. They

just know about it through the movie

AG one question is do you know how many are affected are more caught by a hero smoking

rather than a villain smoking because a villain smoking is a bad thing but none of there are

influenced by a hero or a good character smoking will someone who is 15 years old be more

influenced by smoking in a villain

VT I dont know about modern Bollywood cinema but in the old films the villains used to

smoke just to increase his evilness and that was stupid.

AP exactly and the hypocracy has gone today like smoking is a habit its not the character


ZM so they used these to develop the character.

AP ya to accentuate it. They wanted to show how

NA on the other hand you see once upon a time in Mumbai ajay smoking and hes too cool but

hes playing a bad guy whos a good guy. But thats another thing

MP maybe they're trying to depict something when people are drunk in Indian cinemas I dont

think they have a full grasp on how it would be I dont think anybody talks like that when drunk

VT all these Delhi people talk exactly like that

NA like another thing is what she said I have an uncle whos an engineer and I want to ask him

did he smoke because we know these people have done something stupid when they were there

you dont need movies to inform you of such things, you are already well informed

AP its lgical think with your head its engineering school theyve studied their asses of for years

they reach there its a gang of guys, no girls thats how they kill time, everybody knows

depicting on screen is just showing to the illiterate crowd that even if you spend 15 years of your

life studying this is what is coming for you, so its okay t go to engineering college

ZM you said illiterate crowd and you said we are in the youth bracket and wont be affected by

it able to perceive whats right or wrong. What do you think of the poorer crowd village crowd

people who really idolize these actors do you think they will be affected.

VT most definitely

MP slightly more I think

AP its more off a way of life in rural india. Where we are today our parents still stop us from

drinking and doing these things. In the south my grandmothers drink alcohol and its okay. All of

them do and ts ool cause thats how it is

VT but in the south the mob mentality is ridiculous when it comes to movies. Actors in tamil

nadu are not allowed to smoke on screen because people just follow them .

ZM salman khan wears a bracelet and for 4 years I'm still seeing people wear them they follow

them aesthetically so whats to stop them from following behaviorally.

NA but none of them have actually played something that stupid like smoke on screen .

ZM are the movies you watch today being influenced by other movie markets

Everyone says ya

AP for the better

NA dabaang was copied straight out of a tarantino movie and it was a horrible movie and

people loved it.

VT honestly I thought dabaang was damn funny

AG like leave your brain at home and watch

NA how do you do that I found that movie stupid

ZM but which movie was it ripped off from

NA I was just talking about the effects and the violence.

ZM I thought they followed the south Indian films

MP thats started now but a lot of movies have been ripped off from Hollywood

VT but the south Indian movies saved Bollywood.

ZM what about things like drinking

AP but whats wrong with that

ZM I didnt say there was I asked if it had.

AP you can access movies like memento but a majority cant so theres nothing wrong with

adapting it.

NA they should give them royalties. You are copying beautiful movies and fucking them up

the first was choote meyan bade meyan they copied bad boys Amitabh bachan playing will smith

I mean dialogues you copied from that

ZM see its his perception on it. But the question is not about good or bad its trying to see if

they are doing it and how are they doing it they have scenes where they sit around cafes and are

having huge rich conversations. If Indian cinema copying something like that

NA nowadays movies are becoming a little too bold if you see the trailer for masti or delhi

belly its a big thing to show a guy getting a boner and most people didnt understand the scene

and no one is laughing.

AG they dont want to laugh its embarrassing to them

NA and they are like tashi you need to shave and I burst out laughing and nobody understood


ZM so they are copying sex in 5 years do you see whos the top guy ranbir sitting in a caf,

lighting up

AP Rockstar, yeh jawani smoking through out the movie.

ZM do you think movies are making money from branding alcohol products and cigarettes.

This could be subliminally or more direct.

AG definitely I mean the only reason they would tie up with an alcohol company is so that

both of them makemoney

VT but do they depict the alcohol on screen

ZM I mean like seeing a green bottle would be easy enough for us to figure out that its


AG there are certain movies wherein they show the alcohol it was kept in a way wher you

could see that they are advertising it

NA what ive heard is that dabangg did a lot of branding in the movie.

AG what happened was they wrote the song zadubam and released the film so first zandubam

was alright thats good for our brand but then they realized they could sue them and have more

money so they did that so the second time they took permission from fevicol

AP but they do that with everything tata tea in baghban they had ertiga which was in the movie

mere dad ki maruti. Was the worst movie ever. They went to the extent of showing the whole

turning radius boot capacity and ground clearance the whole movie was a commercial.

ZM lets put it this way if you're a government guy or a movie producer and say royal stag

comes to you and says you want 25 lakhs you're like ya and they say put my shit there for 3

minutesare you going to do it.

AP if I anyway had to show a bottle of alcohol and I'm not infringing any trademark patent or

copyright by projecting that particular brand on screen then ya I would do it.

VT but I dont think its legal in india to show brands.

ZM they have loopholes.

ZM bottles like jack daniels are pretty familiar to us so just copy the shape and show it.

AG if the movie director tells you to take the money and show it for 4 minutes or then he wants

to show jack daniels and jack doesnt mindand itwill be good for both

VT sometimes they show jack daniels as the symbol of class

ZM now lets go to the point of using youth icons who sell liquor

VT ya they do that but they say buy our music cds

NA or water

MP farhan akhtar did a new one

They discuss famous actors doing commercials clip shah rukh royal stag

ZM this was advertising mega movies. How many of you caught that

VT not clear. Its okay with making more money

ZM shah rukh has money, does he not have a moral responsibility to his audience

VT I dont think so considering he smokes and drinkes

AP its not like his ad is targeted to the youth to ensure all the youth watches it and gets


MP they want people to drink

AP they do but its not about the youth.

AG the lower or the youth who cannot afford it.

AP you cannot put amoral obligation on an actor because of the profession he has chosen. His

job is to act and hes gonna do that for the money hes going to get you cant be like this is right

and this is wrong. And if they really wanted to serve the nation and have the responsibility

NA he shouldnt have done the movie don where hes the bad guy

AP ya his job as an actor is to try versatile roles.

AG there are certain actors who dont do such commercials,,

AP and I respect them

VT aamir will sell coke

MP ive seen ads in the US where they drink it and say drink responsibly but here you cant

actually see anybody drink it so when it comes to the whole moral responsibility part they arent

doing it . have you seen royal stag water, ive never seen it

VT have you ever seen music cds

AG they make those and they distribute them only in a limited number because they are

advertising liquor in the guise of the cd

AP they are advertising a brand. Not a product even with Accenture their ad makes no sense

and it plays on tv continuously and I'm like what do you do Accenture

AG tiger woods is their ambassador

AP they are just trying to get the brand through the word of mouth. Thats all they are trying to

do royal stag is going to do that by hook or by crook you're not allowed to advertise for alcohol

which is why youll advertise for whatever you can

MP the logo mainly, thats it.

NA you were allowed to advertise for tobacco and alcohol

MP there are a lot of people with a backward mindset that have been responsible

NA she said these shows like VIP on AXN were too modern for India

Clip parody music cd

ZM so this is essentially what you guys were talking about. So lets carry on when I was doing

my research I found out that in movies they charactertize drinking into 4 stereotypes but when I

was looking at Indian movies I found that there was a fifth category it was the feminine drinking

stereotype. There is always this concept where there is this docile girl goes to a club knocks a

couple and becomes fun so what are your views on that.

Everyone its true

VT I mean you go out you're going to find at least two girls exactly like that

AP ive been there its true its not like only guys drink

MP its in an Indian society where girls arent supposed to be doing so much open drinking.

ZM I agree with the equality bit but its the girl whos dropping not the guy arent they

showing the women as weak

AP I dont think so I think that a very weak periscopic view of feminism. Its being able to do

what you do and you definitely need a good choice in friends so they can take you home safe I

dont think its about being week

NA what he's saying is that why do they show the girl comes over there and she the one whose

drunk the most

AP and they also show guys taking guys home.

ZM then he falls in the comedic drunk category but with the girl shes always the one who

loses her cool and goes the extra distance.

AP the one that you're referring to with deepika, shes the one who gets the other chick to drink

that night

NA ill tell you one thing eg there is a place called wtf I was with a friend, well we know of her

and this girl was drunk out of brain and she took her top of and hes saying that why are thye

showing women more dramatically drunk

AP men are too its just women are more prone to speculation

MP its cause girls arent expected to do so much crap to begin with we are still in the rehab

phase so I mean it will always be looked down upon for at least the next couple of years. I mean

in the lower class it happens so much more and even till date.

AP women are just expected to uphold better standards of behavior and drinking is not

considered good standards of behavior

MP thats what the view is. Its that this is not what you were made to do you were supposed to

child bear, feed and sit quietly

CLIP feminine drunk expose.

NA these people are idiots first of all. This is a spoof

ZM whether or not you perceive this as spoof is your opinion but this wasnt meant as a spoof

this is an official entertainment expose

NA all entertainment channels in india are fucking stupid

ZM all entertainment channels work on slander

VT this was like the Indian version of TMZ

AP its what she does in her professional life you cannot say that this is what you are and what

you do and how you influence the youth chill the fuck out its my job I get paid for it I go home

go to sleep and she was such a drunk, she wouldnt be where she is today. Shes 23 years old

where are we shes doing well for herself. And instead of appreciating her infact this is

hypocritical you watch the movie you enjoy it and then you judge her

AG thats what I'm saying if you dont like her, dont watch her movie and stop criticizing her.

ZM but they also need to get TRP right

AP they are capitalizing on the fact that india is such a judgemental nation

ZM it goes back to your point that the older market has a weird perception of what women

should or shouldnt do. So you feel that they should change it now.

AP I dont think they have to

MP I feel like it might die out

AP whether they like it or not, we are going to outnumber them in no time that generation of

people who think that way

VT ya but for every liberal you have 10 conservatives and uneducated people

AG if you talk about age then of course in 20 years those people wont be there. but you cannot

change the class the lower class people will also think like that

AP thats fine. You dont have to change how you think what you have to change is beign

slanderous and judgemental to others. Thats not cool

NA they were showing scenes out of a movie and talking about her

VT but then its so stupid and she probably knows it,

MP its not worth the time

VT exactly

NA that channel was actually stupid for using something like that. I think now movies are

becoming more open and liberal like earlier they portrayed a woman as beign at home and

having no life. Ill tell you what happened once, we went to a friends birthday party and we

werewatching a match at 12 and the cops come there were 8 guys and 5 girls in the house there

was a complaint in the society and the cops came and they took money but then when they were

leaving and after paying the mother fuckers they tell us its 1 o clock ask these women to go

home this is not Germany basically this is india and in his head you're not allowed to roam

around past 1 and the women were dressed normally

AP you're talking about that like 4 days back everybody came home after we went out and we

live alone okay and we have our own apartment and it was a little late and we were listening to

music and talking so it was noisy so they came home and lost it and then they started making

these remarks insinuating that we are whores and at this point of night if guys come in and walk

out what kind of things are they doing and what kind of students do these things but the point is

you cant change the judgement but you can sensitize the newer people

NA but if we have such bold movies showing how oopen minded our people should be if our

society doesnt get affected by that I dont know how they will get affected by these stupid

things in movies its just something stupid you're blaming the media for it its not right when I

started smoking it was my choice and nobody forced me ya and whatever.

ZM has watching movies with these things desensitized you perception towards people who do

these activities.

VT not really I dont think

AP everyone's conflicted with this question

ZM lets get the conflict out

MP everybody does or has done at one time one or more of these activities.

VT I just thought 21 jump street was funny

ZM so that makes this a moot question. Let me put it this way when you were doing these

things did you perceive that someone didnt indulge in any of these things and just got up and

walked away

NA I remember a certain someone who said I cant handle this smell

MP I didnt used to like the smell so what.

VT ya most definitely okay maybe not make a scenebut dirty looks and judgemental .

NA at least our group did it for the first time together there were some people that chose to go

on with it there are some people that never did it again but when it came to a point where

everyone was pulling everyone to do it that was the point and that still happens and we have

friends who actually did it because they were forced and people putting acid stamps in their


AG I mean that is too much

MP I mean I have family members who do that too like my mom is too judgemental until

recently. My mom used to be like dont hang out with this person

NA but I dont think we have people who actually get up and do something stupid even though

you dont smoke I mean I dont do most of the shit and I still hang out with the people and I'm

cool with it.

AP its like those kind of jains who cant sit on a table that eat non veg.

MP ya in my uncles office you cant order from the same restaurant that cooks beef

AP so its just like that .

ZM so I'm going to give you a hypothetical since you already talked about techniques used by

our parents, in 15 years ehn we are parents do we see ourselves putting censorship techniques to

our children

MP I think it would be more awareness than censorship well you cant say dont smoke its bad

for you but you can smoke if you want to just know that its bad for you I think that would be the

most simplest way to put it. You cant technically stop them but if you are aware of what they are

doing you could probably inform them about it

AP the whole going behind your back picture comes only if you're unapproachable like you

will do something as a big secret like you cant tell your parents and if they arent going to be

receptive and willing to listen to you so if you're approachable as a parent I dont think thats a

problem and I have a younger sister and I already had an experience of parenting my sister asked

me that she wanted to smoke pot and I spoke to him about him like what do I do I'm like its

hypocritical for me to say no I cant saydont do it or even go do it so what we did was

MP we called her over and we tried it with her. and we told her do it but control still

much better than just giving the regular schpeel

AP I know by hook or by crook, what you wanna do you will do irrespective of who tells you

anything so id rather you did it with me for the first time ill take care of you and you can call me

if things get messed up.

NA I dont know many people but I never had parents who would do that.

ZM lets say 12 year old VT junior watching tv with you a tarantino flicks on or trainspottings

on and they are injecting heroin whats your conversation with your kid

VT see ill be like watch trainspotting thats what happens to you when you do heroin

NA see I completely agree with what both of them said till date I'm scared of telling my

parents like if I get drunk and meet with an accident I cant do that

AP you know its happened to me in college I was here and all my friends got arrested for being

drunk and one of them were drinking and driving and the cops were slapping them imagine in

that scenario your parents who raised you and had your back for years to come and you cant call

them whos gonna save your ass obviously your parents the point is when its that bad you should

be able to call your parents or they arent your parents. They are just strangers

MP id say thats too harsh cause we are in the generation where we cant tell our parents


AP which is why we are talking about 10 years in the future, where I would want my kids to

call me for anything.

AG even our parents want us to call them and its just there are certain things you just dont

want to bring to them they know we drink but they pretend ignorance that we dont.

MP that may be because we are sensitized and they arent and you take it from there

AP wherever your parents take it till you take it forward on that thats the whole point. You

will be a more liberal parent than them

NA I have a gujrati friend whose parents dont touch meat this fucker has had everything

possible and the day his parents find out they will die.

AP thats what cinema does even in movies they tell you when your daughter reaches the age

of 16 you're not her mom anymore you become her friend.. its all over the cinemas they are

saying the same thing be more liberal be more open be more approachable. You cant all the time

have a stick on their head do this do that you cant keep judging they are your kids at the end

ZM what censorship techniques did the industry or government employ in movie world movies


AG there is more censorship on tv then there is in cinemas in cinemas they cant let someone

under 18 enter but at home they cant do that so there is more censorship in tv. They dont say

shit or bitch.

AP they have the statutory warning and its a law that in the movie theatre the anti smoking

ads. The tar thing is the worse

NA and you can know the amount of smokers that are there everyone is laughing.

AG the worst is the images they show off aout cancer and all

MP you know your dad has done that to me a few times like do you see that

AG I dont think it affects if someone is smoking, hes still going to continue smoking

NA dude we smoke and the packets have the same picture

MP cigarette companies have put graphic images and not made a defference to anyone.

AG they used john terrys image on the packs and got sued for it

NA hes still behind they just superimposed another picture over it

ZM when I saw go goa and saif popped in the beginning and gave the anti smoking talk I

thought that was so stupid and he looks drunk and stoned

AP I mean anurag kashyap does that for all his movies

AG but he does it off screen

AP which is why his movies are unrealistic

ZM so you guys dont agree with the validityof the aniti smoking commercial

NA see the people who listen to them the most are our parentsi get a lot of grief from her.

AP there is a chance of it affecting one person its making a difference. I know that ad cant

change the world

AG one person in 100 or a 1000

AP and thats finethats still making a difference.

MP They show it 4 times during the movie

Anti smoking ad florida.

ZM they show it on tv almost daily in florida.

MP that would freak somebody out in india like here they show a guy saying ive mouth cancer

and then they cut and hes dead.

NA if they kept showing me this then fuck ya id quit

ZM so can they go scarier

Everyone agrees

ZM lets posit this question now are there and censorships that you feel can be added or


MP I dont think they dont need to remove any censorship but what they can do is like if a

movie was intended to show smoking instead of cutting out the smoking bit and if its like age

restriced material, if they wouldnt let the people 18 and below enter the theatre.

NA like take the royal stag CD who are you going to stop on the internet where everything is

availablel they cant do that the government cant do that

ZM and its part of life today

MP no no like A movies, below 18 you're not supposed to watch it if that was just enforced

cause here nobody stops

AP in Bombay they stop you and you have to show id and they pre check

AG some do and some dont.

AP we are a failed democracy but we are a democracy. There are certain limitations beyond

which in the end there is a limit to which the government can confine us and tell us what to do

and what not to . in india they completely exercise all of their rights to confine us and restrict us

whatever the way they can allowing above 18 is fair now the lack of or the inability to execute

that is the failure . but the censorship board has taken its responsibility. At 18 you can get

married and have intercourse which also means you should be able to watch a movie its fair and

it makes sense. Infact whats illogical is changing source so as to take away our prvelege of

drinking at 18 and movie it to 21 thats not fair. Its reversing priveleges and just not allowed

technically according to good legislation so I mean they are doing their job where they can but

the execution has to improve thats all in the middle they got obsessed with the whole cigarette

smoking is statutory warning. Now they stopped it when I watched yeh jawani there was no

tagline underneath.

MP they havent changed the law they put it down

ZM but some do subtitles so they have to remove it

VT even on tv when there are subtitles it just comes across the screen.

MP you remember ag when we were looking for that tapir was closed and you remember how

long we hunted and they said cigarettes and tobacco is banned and they were on strike.

AG a week ago most tapris were on strike.

NA I just think that after this whole thing movies or media would affect children I didnt do it

because of movies.

AP it has a guardian kinda role in this country instead of taking reactionary measures we

should take precautionary measures. They need to go to school and sensationalize people vs

making it this intangible subject they became realistic about sex education they became realistic

about environmental protection we write a board exam on environmental protection and now we

need to make this a part of our course they need to educate us on smoking and the effects drugs

and what is the possibility wht can you do and what cant you do and why cant you do it why is

this legal and why is this not legal they have to explain the rational you cant tag your opinion

onto people you need to explain it to them

ZM how would you do it in schools

NA I just think that at the end of the day if your parents are more approachable

AP see but everybody has different parents but everybody elects the same government that is

why the government has the power and a responsibility to educate us

ZM does the government have a right to censor content in movies

MP they have absolutely no right to do so its acting. secondly its fictional. And its art.

NA go to Ajanta alora go to the caves and see the kamasutra paintings, they arent going to

censor that

AG what the point of it being fiction then

VT and I mean they tried censoring paintings as well

AP like how you saw the deepika thing thats fiction for us. But we merge fiction with reality

which is why what these actors do on screen is commonly seen as their realistic life so what they

do your roll model is someone on screen. I think they are responsible to the greater good of the

people cause that is utilitarianism we are supposed to look for the greater benefit of everybody

like the creative freedom of one person is not equal to the good of a whole community. I N a

country like ours we will get there someday like how the US is a greatly litigious country so

tautious you can sue for anything and the worth of an individual is more. Here we are struggling

for basics and we are still a developing nation.

NA thats the point instead of censoring this crap the government should do their job and go

feed the country and do something with the poor.

AP that is again a short term solution what we need to do is educate. And education is not

maths and science its about right and wrong and this is whats happening.

MP if its the govt responsibity to stop people from doing shit shouldnt they actually help the

ability of people to actually differentialte between right and wrong

AP the whole point is go to school teach the kids the law vs arresting them when they make the


NA but the leaders we have have issues with the movies like bal thackarray

AP these are people who capitalize on our innabiliteis to understand each other and that is the

opposite of what a leader should do. Its like kinha all over again divide and rule and were still

doing that using god and religion and instead of this they should educating us

NA thats what I dont understand we have so many bigger issues in the country and we are

concentrating on movies and how they are affecting children. And this is stupid.

AP but the thing is we have started adopting the not so perfect model when we should have

clearer models. Like in Singapore with their education programs for their most gifted students

ensuring smarter political leasers in the future over here even if I was so gifted I would not serve

the govt because I would have to give up so much of my like to do so today I'm at the place

where I have the option of writing civil services exam and I wont do it cause I know what id

have to give up to be in a weird deserted village its too much to give up to serve a nation like

india what I'm trying to say is the lack of focus on our govt on the most impt issue to fight the

better leader and identify the bugger problem they will capitalize on the easiest thing cause they

look at it as a five year term and thats all they care about. A simple thing like implementing

education on all of these things so they understand. NA when my friend was caught in Bombay

72 in possession and charged with peddling cops today give you crap

AP its a fundamental legal principle that ignorance of the law is no defense to the law. It

means that somebody that is entrusted to be guardian of the law and legislature has to educate us

on the law its a flawed system the solution toyour whole project is education and you need to go

down to the roots.

ZM the study is just to get your perception there is no right or wrong. And I'm not trying to get

a solution. There is no right or wrong. We can say fuck it lets just legalize marijuana

AG if they legalize it all the potheads have nothing to talk about

VT smoking pot will actually go down

AG there was an active facebook petition saying that keeping the drinking age at 25 would

cause people to do dangerous things like drugs.

ZM do you think that this depiction is reminiscent of the real world

VT in some cases in 3 idiots it was kinda realistic but in the others it wasnt

MP ya is he actually a smoker it didnt seem genuine. Well the thing is I feel the most genuine

drunk slash cigarettesmoker ive seen is hank moody I would associate it with everyone in this

room but Indian cinemas they dont exactly have it on the spot. They try to hard

AG there are very few that actually make it happen

MP Like when you see Imran khan in delhi belly that seems extremely genuine that hes


VT and even those 2 potheads in go goa they behave like potheads

AP we havent reached the point where cinema is ahead of the market where its probably like

that in Hollywood where the cinema is ahead where the masses look at the movie and go is that

possible no we arent there yet cinemas are either going to portray whats there or past already.

ZM ya we talk about californication and wonder whether what is depicted is possible

MP I honestly would see Californians doing that shit

ZM let me ask you this do you see Indian cinema following suit in 5-10 years

NA see dude I just saw Indian cinema survive on south Indian action scenes because they

copied it. Otherwise the movies are horrible. Where we see movies like kodar

AP the more of us that graduate and the more of us that get funds to make movies the more

movies we are going to have. I believe yes in 10 years we will be there

NA when I studied editing, I had an interview and we had copied a lot of stuff and we shot a

short film we used UP as a background and we went to the on campus hiring and the first thing

he asked was am I too influenced by Hollywood and then he was like if you want to work in

Bollywood youll have to think on an Indian level

AP thats fine youve to cater to your audience right you choose your target audience, the

cheap people or the thought provoking cinema.

AG Hollywood has more realistic movies with characters and stories and the attention to detail

VT see die hard is pretty stupid but you watch it for its blowing shit up.

NA rohit shetty is the only one coming close.

AG but his actions are damn shitty

AP well be more there than we are there today. I dont know if we will be there in 15 years

ZM are we more there today than we were 10 years back

Everyone agrees

MP but see thats a hard thing to say cause now we are making shittier movies as apposed to

because back in the day there were better movies.

VT but forget all the bullshit that comes out

MP then youve reduced Bollywood to a fraction of what it is

AG like avengers and then something like milk because small movies wont get revenue.

MP if money is the main thing then I dont think we are going to be there

AG have you seen drive it didnt earn a lot of money but it made some

ZM do you consider consumption of alcohol in your peer group normal minimal or excessive.

MP I would say borderline excessive

AP we havent quite crossed the line but were getting there.

ZM do you think this depiction has influenced your attitudes towards drug usage cigarette

smoking and alcohol consumption

AP no but actually ya to an extent when I'm watching sex and the cityand every single episode

I see her light a cigarette even if I dont want to light a cigarette a part of me asks do I want to

light a cigarette

MP that way when I watched blood diamond and the departed even Constantine makes me

want to light up but then again I started smoking before I saw these movies.

NA when I had an operation I couldnt smoke for 5 weeks the thing is that when its the

forbidden fruit then ya it will affect you

MP you still feel the need to do it even when you can do it. Like at my friends place we can

light up while we watch a show its not like we cant but we still want to

ZM isee it every day and I get the point so maybe it helps sustain a habit

Everyone agrees

ZM okay lets wrap up by recapping your views on the issue.

AP it has become social protocol to smoke and drink even if its in pg 13 movies

ZM iron man 3 example.

MP x men origins wolverine says fuck of holding a cigar and whiskey

AG ya I dont think movies have anything to do with our lifestyle I think it is our own

responsibility and I dont think we start doing it because of movies to some extent they are doing

enough for pg13 movies. But when I see someone drink in a movie and I would want to do it but

its my call

MP I really want to try an adult version of butter beer

VT what are we talking of I think we went of topic

AP I think its our responsibility

NA see I agree on two points what she said about parents being more approachable and I think

the decision is upto you. The govt should do their own job better than censor movies. I feel like

we should leave things the way they are and get people educated and explain it to them

VT I dont hink movies have anything to do with people smoking I think before people get

into movies they are already smoking and already drinking. And I dont think you should have

censorship cause then you have to deal with how much censorship and why censor this to begin

with its just art and they should have free reign to do whatever they want with it .

AP I think ive said quite a lot. Obviously its clear like the times are changing and the media is

not like some random entitly sitting in an ivory tower and they are supposed to be an effective

liason so and they are doing that to the extent they can and they are trying to grow forward as

much as they can and you should let them cause thats their job

ZM and theyll make mistakes on their way and let them make them

AP they dont have to thats your awareness you need to correct them and thats how they are

going to improve projecting how we are its part of the cycle

MP everybodys put a step in the door in what I want to say. But I guess live and let live makes

sense and people keep talking how you learn from your mistakes and if you ban every mistake

what are you going to learn. I guess the idea to make movies was for entertainment purposes if

you are going to confine entertainment then it serves no purpose so heres something to make you

laugh but you cant laugh to hard at it I mean let them laugh as much as they want why do you


ZM thatnks a lot guys, you're done.


Interviewer: Zain Merchant denoted as ZM in interview

Interviewee: College students denoted with initials in focus group

Interview Setting: focus group conducted in closed room at.

The Transcriptions are Verbatim. However the long pauses when the interviewee thinks or

pauses were removed. Grammatical errors were not changed, as that is how the interviewees

spoke during the focus groups.

ZM alright im about to start my 4th focus group, my 1st one in America. Hi guys, just a quick

reminder be loud. So lets get started. So lets begin with a brief detail of your lives. Just talk a bit

about yourselves and just, this doesnt pertain to the topic, just give a brief description of

yourfavorite movie.

DG thats a hard question there. Im DG. 19 years old. Watch movies play guitar. And I dont

know my favorite movie, but a lot of them involve drugs and violence so I guess.

ZM so did you name one

DG no

ZM first one off the top of your head.

DG pineapple express. Ingloriousbastards. Theres too many.

MJ my name is MJ, I am 20 years old and Im a molecular biology major. I basically my life is

if im not at the gym, Im either playing games or watching movies. My favorite movie of all time

would be alien by ridley scott because I love sc fy. I love when things burst out of one another.

Its a really well done movie and ridley scotts amazing.

SP my name is SP. Im 21 I like playing video games and I like watching tv more than movies.

But I like movies too. My favorite movie is a catup between alice in wonderland and the wizard

of oz.

ZM the new one

SP the originals. The cartoon Disney ones.

DB Im DB. I like doing physical athletic things and messing around with music and stuff. My

favorite movie is probably school of Rock and getting into music and what not.

DA my name is DA. I am 20 years old soon to be 21 I watch porn I like to work out. My

favorite movie would have to be fight club

DG whats the first rule of fight club

DA Im not saying cause you're not supposed to talk about it

ZM thanks for the intros. So lets kick of the questions. You can make notes if you choose too.

Its not necessary. So ill just show you short clips showing each factor, smoking drinking

alcohol consumption and then well talk about what you saw in each clip.

Clip 1 james bond drinking

ZM alright just take a moment and think about what you saw in that scene. Its from james

bond, skyfall 2012. Made a billion dollars, comes from a legacy of movies over 5 decades

DB it kinda glamorizes drinking cause it shows, oh he can do this, he is a man.

DG - its not like that, as you said theres generations behind the movie. Theres the classic line

in James bond. What would you like to drink, martini shaken not stirred. You have that every


DB ya how many people do you think have ordered that just because of James Bond.

DG tons.

SP and I feel like none of them actually like it cause its probably ot awesome and cant handle


MJ when I watch that scene I think that not only is he expressing manhood, but I also think that

its a right of passage because like all the people around him are accepting him in their

community and they are betting on whether or not he can do it. So thats another thing. Drinking

is a competitive thing. Even if you are drinking with other people, even within yourself you're

competing with the other person.

DA there is also a sense of companionship and comradery.

SP hes like I love you bro.

ZM alright lets do cigarettes.

DG is it inglorious bastards.

ZM I thought about it but decided against it. You can talk about it. This is from a documentary.

Clip 2 smoking

ZM you saw a few scenes from movies what do you think

DB people just look cool smoking.

ZM thats the image

DA its manly to cmoke a cigar.

SP or its hot and womanly if you're a woman doing it. Like in the first image in the very

beginning of that clip she was the hot girl in that clip

ZM shes right it became this depiction of your social structure in cinemas in the earlier films

you had the bad guys who smoked the cheap cigar like the Mexicans in the westerns and then

you had the silent heroes smoking the much more sophisticated cigarellos

DG like in the good the bad and the ugly you always had the cigarellos.

ZM and then you had the dominance factor in inglorious bastards with the giant ass pipe

DA cruella deville

ZM thats valid too I mean if nothing else that targeted small children

DG thats the villain though too

SP but thats a way to convince small children to not smoke

DG I just feel that there is the scene in inglorious bastards its the scene where they are at the

table and their covers blown and he says I dont want to waste good scotch when he takes the

cigarette in his mouth and you see him take the last few drags you know hes going to die and

there is that moment where you look and feel I kind of want a cigarette now just because he

looks like hes having the time of his life

MJ I agree with that but saying that I never felt that ever watching a movie if I didnt already

like smoking, watching a movie would not make me want to smoke like when I was younger and

I watched people smoking in them it was never oh I want to grow up and smoke. It was more

like when I became almost old enough to smoke I was like you know what I want to try smoking

and the best thing waking up at 6 in the morning before school was having hot coffee and a

cigarette before classes it was the best way to start the morning and now when I watch people

smoke in movies Im like ya that looks cool and I want a cigarette. Id say youd have to have the

desire to smoke first I dont think the movies are going to make you into a smoker.

ZM okay thats a valid argument anything more to add

DB I feel like when they dont really feel obligated to not have smoking in films, its not like a

short term effect when you smoke, you are not going to smoke a cigarette and then like have

repurcussions from smoking just that one cigarette smoking is like long term effects as opposed

to like hard drugs they feel like they might not want to show that

SP unless you have asthma then you're screwed.

ZM for the final clip its on drug usage,

Clip 3 requiem for a dream

ZM so this was from requiem 2001 definite youth icon movie, most young people have seen

this movie, respect this movie what do you guys think

DG they sell drugs, they use drugs

ZM this scene encapsulated almost all the themes of the movie. You saw them sell drugs you

saw them partying on drugs and you saw them in vivid detail take the drugs so what was your

take away from this.

DG I think they did a good showing of when they did heroin, they were like lets shoot up again

and it kind of shows that hey its kinda addictive and its a warning against that but its not really

giving a warning it more that they shoot up they are dancing, they are high having a good time

before they are taking ecstacy and there are no bad sideeffects for that they are having a good

time so you can look at it from one side and say its influencing people to take drugs and its not

showing the bad side of doing it. Its just showing the happy times

SP its not showing the crash that comes later

DG ya im sure with heroin they would show the end result

ZM I mean to be fair those of you who have seen know that at the ending of this movie is

pretty moral justifying with jared leto losing his limbs from an infection in the syringe. And his

girlfriend having to solicit sex in a business mans party just to score some more heroin so I mean

though this movie runs like its glorifying drug usage it does morally justify the bad effects by the

end of it

DB I feel like a lot of movies are like that a lot of movies.where they are addicted to drugs and

taking drastic measures to get drugs

MJ and at the same time even though in that scene they seem to be having fun I mean just as an

observer taking it out of context from the rest of the movie, when he was on drugs just dancing

he looked like an idiot. So that kinda give you an idea that even in that scenethey are glorifying

drugs, they are kinda in a way saying if you do drugs you might like stupid

DB you end up feeling that I dont want to be that guy.

MJ like I dont want to be that guy at the party whos just giggling and dancing up and

everyone is having a serious conversation cause I shot up first

DA ya they seemed lonely almost

ZM the other clip I had was from garen state which showed taking drugs under peer pressure

and thats such a valid point. So lets get into the question so hopefully you got an idea of what

this topic coverswith regards to the three activities seen in the movies feel free to give other

examples. Were there any restrictions to your movie watching priveleges growing up.

DB well there were for me. I pretty much couldnt see anything that was not rated for my age

group or whatever so I couldnt watch r rated movies when I was younger anything like that.

SP I never wanted to I was a big diney fan. If there was Disney, I wanted to watch it.

DB I guess when you're a little kid, you dont even think about that and you dont have a desire

to watch it.

ZM ya but when you're pushing 12 or 13 in your teens.

DG ya I can say that I mean there was never a specified movie I could not watch and I

remember the first r rated movie I ever saw that my mom was okay with was assault on precinct

13 that was the first r rated movie I ever saw in theatres the remake with ethan hawke and that

was actually fantastic.

MJ Id like to counter that point from the time I was a little kid there was never any restrictions

on my movies like ive been able to watch whatever and so if my dad was watching it I could

watch it. I guess my parents were teens and in their 20s when they were raising me so I guess

maybe they didnt know so I guess they were relying more on their instilling their belief in me

DB like putting what you saw in perspective

MJ ya they taught me like oh drugs are bad and they had like drug addict friends and we would

go to their house and come back and be like this is what happens when you do drugs dont do

that and stuff like that and I could watch anything I wanted and I always did and always wanted

to watch everything I have been a movie addict ever since I was a kid.

ZM so no restrictions?

SP I didnt have any interest in wanting to watch any rated R movies like in any of those

when I was younger I didnt have any interest in watching anything gruesome and now I love

them but I remember that the feeling of restriction came when I wasnt allowed to not not watch

a movie like I had to sit through titanic. I wasnt allowed to leave everybody else was crying and

I was sitting there this is the stupidest movie ever.

ZM and I have a point of contention titanic had nudity.

SP ya

DB I still feel weird when I like watch forgetting sarah marshall and they show mila kuniss

breasts and I was sitting there with my dad and ill still feel weird even though Im an adult.

DG its weird with me when my moms there im fine with watching it with my dad but when

my moms there its so weird specially like in the HBO shows when they show someone fucking

DB you kinda peek over and make sure that are they okay with this should I leave.

DA I grew up in a Christian home. Ever since like I was in a private school for 14 years but so

I was really restricted when I was growing up except for when my father was around cause he

was like I dont want to watch your little kids shows. so I got to watch the nutty professor when I

was 6 and I grew up on ace ventura pet detective so I would watch that kinda stuff but no curse

wordsno south park nudity all that stuff was banned

DB going back to the point of nudity, if someones doing drugs in a movie that im watching

with my parents like they I dont even think twice about that like thats not as bad. Seems like its

not as bad as some of the other stuff

SP most of parents grew up in the 60s or the 70s where like they probably all did drugs Im

fully aware that my parents did it at one point. Thats ifne. So like seeing that in movies isnt a

big deal to them I think.

ZM okay just a quick jump off from your points do you think it has worked your parental


DB ya I feel like overall im a good kid

DG I think so too.

SP how do you mean its worked? You still feel werid watching nudity with your parents there.

but how would that work against drugs or things like that. How do you feel about watching a

movie, does it stop you?

DB not sure what you're exactly referring to.

ZM alright let me put it this way. Im pretty sure now you watch movies that are R rated with

themes like not only nudity but drugs or the alcohol or the cigarette smoking do you feel its

justified for your parents to have stopped you from watching these movies and its better to watch

it now.

DB yes I feel like it was fine that they censored me from watching that as I am not ready to put

it all in context.

ZM Do you want to continue the point you were making

MJ so when I was younger I didnt have any restrictions on my movies bascically we would go

camping every weekend and instead of being outside like a normal kid I opted to stay inside the

trailer with the VCR and just watch movies bascically id watch anything I could get my hands on

and my dad collected movies the way I do. I remember as an 8/9 year old watching American pie

and road trip on VHS by myself and there was nobody there to explain anything to me so

ofcourse jokes went over my head but I was there and I watched them do drugs and the nudity

and I watched a dude bang an apple pie as a 9 year old and I was like why does that man have his

penis in apple pie.

SP you know I dont think I saw apple pie until I was in the 10th grade

MJ so I mean I dont think and im sure my parents dont think restrictions were necessary for

me at least if anything I feel like I have grown to be a more open person and nothing really

affects me now and it didnt affect me then I didnt turn into a serial killer or a serial rapist.

ZM so did your parents ever like sit down and watch the movies with you and talked to you

about the movie.

MJ okay I would watch the movies with my parents and if I had questions I was welcome to

ask. I remember watching south park the first time I learnt about masturbation I was watching

south park and my mom was watching the same episode in her room 6 feet away from me, then

she comes to my room and says to me do you know what masturbation is. Then she sits down

next to me and I make the face now but it wasnt akward then just cause ive always had an open

relationship with my parents so I talk to them about anything. So I would watch movies with

them and discuss with them. Though going to the nudity thing that I heard im not uncomfortable

watching movies with nudity with my mom I am uncomfortable watching nudity with my dad

just because of the comments he makes and the way he acts towards the naked women on screen.

DG can you give us an example.

MJ I cant think of an example of what he would say on top of my head but when I was

probably 16 and by this time I had seen real naked women and yet when I was watching a movie

with my dad where they showed tits he like put his arm in from of my face, no you cant see this

you arent old enough.

DB thats how I feel with my parents I feel like they are thinking it. They want to do that

DA like I shouldnt like this.

ZM lets move on . has there been in your opinion a change in the way the content in movies

has changed with time.

Everyone agrees.

DG if you look back and watch a movie the good bad the ugly and you wouldnt really have

nightmares from that movie, you wouldnt really be scared. You wouldnt see much of the war,

the violence. I mean you would see people get shot but that was the fashion but today its a lot

more hyper realistic and gory like django and like I guess we can use django as an example like

you can imagine the scene

DB like when he goes back in the house and starts shooting everybody there

DG and one of the parts I remember like he kills the candymans wife didnt he

ZM sister

DG that would never have happened in an older movie. They would never have dreamed of

shooting some random lady in those old movies.

ZM and lets stick with the example of django and the older western lets talk about the

depiction of these three activities.

SP I think that with drugs like cigarettes okay thats gone from the cool people do it to kinda

now the way they portray cigarettes with things like the smoke free florida and everything with

the impact that cigarettes do and they are bad on your lungs. They kinda portray people who do

cigarettes now as idiots. More so than the cool kids.

DB and the more sketchy people

MJ but do we feel that thats cause by Hollywood has just changed or is it because back then

we didnt know how to introduce cigarettes and now even tobacco companies are being forced to

pay for anti smoking commercials. So I feel like that probably has an influence as well. Im not

saying that what yall saying is wrong.

ZM what were saying about the change in drug usage.

SP as far as movies Ive seen that are older there havent been as much hard core drugs like not

a lot of excessive usage. But now you have movies that are just dedicated to drugs or even

movies about the harder drugs like the clip you showed. Or scarface. But im talking like old old


ZM but if you look at it as a parallel shift of perspective of doing it. Like in scarface they

showed it in a different manner and in requiem for a dream they show it in a different manner.

MJ or even pulp fiction.

DG or pineapple express or this is the end they all show it different.

SP its become more prevalent

ZM but is it glorifying it

SP I think some of it are. Depends on the drug like pot they glorify it.

DB the whole beginning of this is the end is walk into the room and the guys name is spelt out

in joints and pounds of weed and there isnt any negative side effects from whats going to happen

from drug smoking

SP and pineapple express is about the best pot ever

MJ basically the only people who would go into this movie and be offended would be the ultra

conservative people who think drugs are the devil

ZM thats a valid point what about our perception as an audience. Do we take it as art, as

entertainment or as a serious medium for social change in our lives.

DB I take it more for entertainment

ZM and that is the end goal of movies.

DG movies are meant to be entertaining. And not meant to prove something. Thats more or

less a documentary.

DB I think that some movies are made to send a message.

DG I mean most of them are meant as entertainment. I mean you dont watch scarface and

becaome a big cocaine king pin now with cocaine on my face. Thats supposed to be

entertainment. You wouldnt do that now.

DB a vision for people of the things they are never going to do in their lives. You can watch

somebody do all these crazy drugs and not actually do crazy drugs.

DG oh fear and loathing in las vegas is probably my favorite movie. It just came to my head

right now.

DA I just grew up in that scenario. I saw myself change with those conservative people I went

to a movie 2 summers ago with my friend, he was a pastors kid and we walked out of the movie

and I was laughing my but off and that was a great movie and he was appaled by the movie, like

I cant believe they showed this, all this drug usage. I thought it was entertaing. Whats wrong

with that. Its not like you're doing it. Its not real life. DG just let it go they arent pushing it, just

watch it enjoy it

SP and I do think us as a society have become less conservative. Like being a conservative

Christian has dropped considerably today but then what it was like 50 years ago was like

Christianity and American pie and no drugs and everything is okay its changed a lot.

ZM lets go onto the next question you think there is an oversensationization of these activities

in movies that you have seen.

DG yes

MJ I think yes and no

ZM elaborate

MJ I think its more on what you're going for when you say oversensationization. I think certain

movies do it. We just watched the internship. And we watched the party scene and we said they

dragged it way too long it was nice that there were tits and everything but like 10 minutes of the

scene we were like good with the first 2 minutes and could have stopped there. other movies. Do

it casually even inglorious where they have a little bit of drinking so I think some directore over

do it and some do it taste fully

DG I think he does it when you want a person to smoke. I remember in reservoir when it

starts and you have mr orange bleeding and youve mr pind run in what happened and he has to

have cigarette. That moment you expect that to happen.

DA I thought he used it well in pulp fiction like when shes odd on the heroin and vince has to

do the adrenaline shot.

ZM lets take the most common one the factor thats most common in all movies. Drinking.

MJ I would say ya they use drinking a lot specially with movies today the fact that we have a

drinking movie

DA they showed comradery and companionship.

ZM how about the influence of the new French wave say movies like coffee and cigarettes or

similar where the cigarette is I wont call it a plot driving element but is in the genesis of the


MJ I feel like if its in the main theme of the movie and is driving the story then that would be

good. I mean coffee and cigarettes. You cant call it a movie, its a bunch of shorts. But I

wouldnt say thats overdoing it. The movie isnt focusing so much on cigarettes they just do it

during the conversations.

ZM ya its showing a more natural part of life

DB the message is more subliminal

ZM have you seen some of the scenes with alcohol like kids are alright, they are just sitting

around guzzling bottles of wine.

SP I mean that is what some people do

MJ like if you just put a video camera in this room youd probably see the same thing every

now and then.

ZM the question is is it oversensationlization.

DB I think its both, there are people who go out and drink a lot and theres people who dont

ever drink . I probably see y parents drink alcohol not that often.

DG now would you say, the reason you drink if from depictions in movies.

MJ I just enjoy drinking.

SP if that were the case, then I would be an alcoholic. And I hate the taste of alcohol.

ZM did it incite you to at least try it.

SP see the problem ive had is that I know they are really expensive. Isnt there the rule that if

you have to ask the price you cant afford it

MJ I would say when I watch a movie like james bond I wouldnt say it influences me to drink

I think it influences me what to drink because if im watching a movie I see them drinking

something and they put product placement and this star is drinking that.

DB like breaking bad you just bought that bottle just cause walter white was drinking it.

MJ so it influence me in that way.

DG I could say yes to that I love it. It makes me laugh like in pineapple express I laughed my

ass off. But there is an excessive amount. To myself im thinking thats a lot of money blown on

that much right there.

ZM and he does that in real life a swell.

SP I do think that if they are going to over sensationalize it with drug use then ya they can show

awesome it can be but at the same time, they should show the bad side effects that happen with it

otherwise somebody might think look at all of this weed or cocaine they are doing and I could do

that and have an awesome life

DA but that could deter them from the actual production of the movie.

MJ ya in a 90 minute movie you cnat really fit in everything you want and then squeeze in

somebody having lung cancer.

DB there are subtle way they can do it though like in project x they take the ecstacy and 5

minutes in movie time the guy is just sweating an clammy

MJ thats a movie centered on drugs. But if you put in inglorious someone dying of lung

cancer it wouldnt fit in but they could do the thing like in the xxx movie

DG didnt peirce brosnan do it

ZM -Ya in james bond and at that time mgm was doing an anti smoking campaign

DG I vaguely remember those when james bond smoked

ZM ya and pierce brosnan did the campaign and would use his clichd diologue like dont you

know its bad to smoke. Alright lets keep the conversation going you had something to add.

DA we were talking about specific scenes on over sensationalization I was thinking of ted the

mark Wahlberg and seth mcfarlene one. When they went to the party and saw flash gordan their

childhood famous person and even though they were smoking weed throughout the whole movie,

I feel like it was unneccassary to do all those drugs.

DG but you also make a valid point that adds to your whole argument right now about movies

influencing people. they saw him on tv when they were young and the show was going on he

offers them cocaine and they go you mean coke and they were scared to do it but wanted to join

the fan lines flash, how could he lead us wrong.

ZM actually thats such a valid point thats such a meta thing that within the movie they are

showing people being influenced by their movie idols they broke the 4th wall.

MJ another example of a movie that I can think of is dazed and confused which does drug

usage smoking and alcohol

ZM and another youth icon movie

MJ and again it shows alcoholism is a right of passage this freshman after being wailed on by

the seniors then they drink with him and give him pot and everything by the end of the night hes

so much cooler. He starts of like a nervous freshman hanging out with his freshman buddies and

by the end hes already got a date with a senior chick or whatever. He goes into his room, his

mom comes in and goes were you drinking tonight and he goes nah mom no and he puts his

headphones on and the movie ends so just awesome.

ZM like no negative connotations.

MJ I mean the only negative thing was a joke in the movie well they showed a stoner and hes

going nowhere

DG they are funny to see in real life too

MJ but I mean that his character they're at the top of the radio tower and he goes ya watch your

step man one time a guy was so drunk, he fell down and hit his head on every step on the way

down and you can still see the blood. And I mean thats like an in movie negative things can

happen when you're drunk but nothing in the movie actually really showed it

ZM alright moving on. think carefully about this. Are the movies you watch today being

influenced by other movie markets.

DG I would say yes. Because I guess I would go with horror movies because I feel like in the

past when you see a horror movie you are almost laughing at how silly it is how bad it is. And

how not scary it is. There are only some movies that scared the shit out of me. But I feel like as

time goes on and more technology gets better people are going like hey we can actually show

somebodies head exploding or have it hyper realistic. And then a movie comes out and has that

and another director sees that these guys get rave review and it had this in it and this in it and

somebody died because of this thing and thus they are going to try and create a movie that takes

things from them

DB its like a movie like saw would never have existed 30 years ago. That would have been

absolutely unheard of but now its obviously not even a thing

ZM and thats been inspired by the Japanese horror genre. I think even the director is Japanese

or chinese

DG what the origin of the movie

ZM I think its from anime how about say the popular british gangstar films.

DG like rockanrolla or snatch

ZM ya and they really sensationalized

SP everything violence and drinking

ZM and the whole selling point of those movies is how cool are we.

DG we dont fucking care if we get shot or something.

ZM do you think those movies have been influences to cinemas in the US

SP definitely

ZM can you think of examples.

MJ cant think of specific

SP take Jason statham hes in both of those take him, hes not an American actor, he comes from

that market and makes the American movie market better with movies like transporter.

ZM and hes always showing the tough guy hero

DG that because hes typecast.

ZM and its a typecast thats making millions of dollars.

DG and in all his movies hes always got the british accent too

ZM ya

DG hes never had to do an American accent. Im saying that you have people who are from

England and do American accents like hugh laurie

DB or the guy from walking dead Andrew Lincoln.

ZM how about something like say the French new wave the artistic cinema. French new wave

has definitely influenced tarantino with the stylized depictions of long scenes taking place in one

location say a diner.

DG kinda like in reservoir dogs.

ZM a good chink of pulp fiction, where they sit sip coffe take cigarettes. Tarantino was hugely

influenced b the French new wave and the directorial style of directors from france.

MJ or like the movie the master. I didnt finish but the whole movie sounds like the way you're

describing, it doesnt resonate with American cinema with me its seems to have definitely have

been influenced by something else

DA kinda like only god forgives. It was something totally different. Normal movies theres a

wrap up and you can put a finger on the symbolism .but that movie left me like what was that.

MJ movies dont do what books do all the time, instead it was like we are going to leave it

there. all neatly tied up

DG but then you can interpret it the way you want

MJ but when people go to movies they dont want to interpret it all the time.

DG and most people are too stupid to understand, not all people but a good majority

ZM do you think that this influence has been good bad not needed unnecessary

MJ I think it rejuvenates the market like oh every year theres another fast and furious which I

admit I enjoy but I think you need the creative movies like only god forgives, place beyond the

pines really any ryan gosling film drive.

DG is that a little bit of favoritism there.

MJ hes a very good actor. And you need movies like that. And this new ridley scott film thats

coming out the counselor that look like something thats not done often

ZM and you see them do all three things in that movie

MJ or the new joaquin phoenix movie I cant remember the name, the one where hes talking to

a computer, her

ZM ya thats such a valid point. They're bringing this arthouse perspective to American cinema

while keeping the blockbuster persona of American cinema alive while giving us an alterior

perspective as well.alright now this goes back to the point that M was mentioning early on do

you think movies are making money from branding alcohol products

MJ I would say definitely alcohol but not so much cigarettes.

DG because when you put a brand no matter what the brand is in your movie they're paying

you and they expect to get a payout because people who see movies go hey they're using it and I

want to drink it now.

MJ or like Michael bay who puts 30 product placements in his transformers movies.

ZM but he gets money from china. And the only repercussion is watching weird milk

commercials that we never understand.

MJ I also really like, when directors and writers make up their own brands to use in their movies,

even if they are using other real brands like tarantino with red apple cigarettes or kevin smith

making up his own brand of cigarettes I mean I like it when they do that even if it means that

they push out a few extra bits of merch and a few dollars on the side. I almost prefer that. Over

all real products just cause its kinda cool.

DB its also adds to the thing that movies arent real life.

ZM ya thats true. You say its not that much common in cigarettes. But what about something

like how you get ads for milk where you have one unilateral conglomerate. Marketing the whole

sphere like got milk is not just for one but for all of them and you see thank you for smoking and

there is one conglomerate that works for the whole US federation do you think they do

something similar to that using fake brands or unnamed brands.

MJ I guess in that way yeah when you put it that way but then you can say you dont even need

to use brands at all its just the act of smoking in movies.

ZM maybe they're pushing for more smoking in the movies. Lets have ryan gosling smoke

cause hes doing amazing movies now. That are influenced by French new wave. Anything to


MJ james bond always drinks mccaullen his favorite scotch. And then I mean tv would also

emulate that.

ZM funny you should say james bond.

Clip heineiken bond

ZM alright so what this was was a commercial made by heinekken in partnership with james

bond specifically. Now heneikken paid mgm 76 million dollars to show their products in

conjoinment with James bond. Now 2 things happened. The scotch you referred to was never

shown in the movie instead you saw him drinking from a green beer bottle second thing he didnt

order his trademark martini 76 million dollars bought them exclusive rights to his persona. It

resulted in a very popular interactive ad. So thats an example of a ad campaign with movies.

They may have used the whiskey but they definitely didnt show the martini. People were upset,

true fans.

SP but the car made an appearance.

ZM but you can see how they take our perception of a truth youth icon and they capitalized on

it. Has watching movies with these content desensitized your perception towards people who do

these activities.

DG I can say yes and no to that question cause I feel like ive seen people take cocaine before

and im not doing it and I just dont care. You shouldnt take that. Its more or less I just dont care

more so anout it I dont think it has anything to do with movies. I think its more so that its not

my problem.

ZM but have movies influenced you to become okay with it.

DG I wouldnt say so, cause its not movies theres no reason to be all sensitive or upset of

someone doing something that you are upset about

DB I know for me it hasnt desensitized me cause in scarface you see him stick his face in coke

and ive seen people do lines of coke and it still is nothing like seeing it for real it hits you like its


SP in a movie, you think this is nothing. Let them do whatever they want doesnt affect me. But

in real life you're like no dude I dont want anything to do with you and it almost always become

your problem eventually, depending on the person

DA I know movies definitely changed my perception, cause when I was growing up my dad

considered himself an alcoholic, and now watching movies and being around people im like I

dont really care that much.

ZM now you're okay with seeing someone do these things.

MJ I guess I could say I was desensitized though I dont know if it was from movies or just

from growing up around people who did alcohol and drugs but I would say the first time I can

remember someone smoke pot was last year and I walked in and they offered to me and I was

like no im good ill just watch the history channel and they did it in front of me and it didnt

phase me at all but I find it ironic though that they were watching a special on history ch on drug

lords being taken down as they were talking about dealing drugs so im desensitized to these

things. As long as they dont smell too strong and give me a drink.

SP I saw people do drugs and drink before I saw it in movies and so I think its more watching

it around people kinda desensitized me towards movies doing it

DG I think if I saw someone whip out a needle in front of me and doing heroin I would

probably say something and I would be shocked and I wouldnt associate myself with that person

SP I would probably call the cops

DB if you see someone doing crack or shooting up in a movie thats more likely to have an

impact than seeing someone smoke a joint.

MJ ive seen people do steroids in a locker room and I just walked by and I expect it to be

normal behavior

ZM so you are saying that in some ways movies are acting as a deterrent for the harder drugs.

Even if they put a lighter tone towards weed.

DG they have a really light tone towards weed

ZM but something like requiem with the amputation of the arm and thats a deterrant for you

DG I think that movies choose which drug they want to popularize

DB and I think they are more realistic than anti drug campaigns. And movies show that with

weed you arent going to die from smoking it.

ZM I dont know there is that scene in Harold and kumar where the guy smoking the weed

took a shotgun to his head.

DB and thats making fun of the anti drug commercial. Its a joke how bad they make it seem

as to how bad it is.

MJ and on that note. Its been said that the DARE campaign they had us do when we were

younger has had a zero impact, if anything it has pushed people towards drugs once they find out

how good it is Dare was something started in the early 90s its an acronym it was a government

instituted program where in school they taught you how bad drugs were and it was something

every student had to go through they spend like millions of dollars and it did nothing

DA drug abuse resistance education started in 1983

MJ so over the course of 30 years if anything it increased drug usage.

ZM so im going to merge the next three questions and im going to give you guys a

hypothetical scenario in about 10 to 15 years all of us in this room are going to be parents our

kids will be growing up in a society thats growing and as we talked about how movies have

changed and will growing, being influenced by other cinemas they will also come into come into

contactwith movies that depict Cig alc and drug usage so as parents I posit to you what

censorship tools will you employ what ways will you try and dissuade or educate them in regards

to cigarette smoking and alcohol.

DG I would kinda go with what MJs parents did and be like dont do that that will kill you

have that in moderation that will kill you in the end too.

DB at what age do you think youll start doing that with your kids though

DG that depends on when they see those kinds of things for the first time in movies. If they see

it at 5 years old they arent going to understand what those things are.

ZM at the same time they are more easily affected by it

DB those 6 year old kids who you show heroin and they will never forget it.

DG ill probably teach them when it comes up and I would persuade them too it its your life, im

here to guide you but not tell you whats good or bad.

ZM even at 6 they arent interested in this but closer to their teens they will be interested in this

peer pressure is a predomint factor.

MJ id say based on what my desk looks like right now id say im going to definitely have

alcohol around.

DG you're the first one your son drinks with right

MJ yes if I have a better job which I hope I will I will have large collections of alcohol and im

not going to hide anything from my kids and ill explain to them anything they ask and hopefully

my child doesnt make the same mistakes I did when I was younger where I accidently

consumed jack and coke. Ill be more responsible with them ill expose them to things such as

drinking, when they get around the time when people go I want to drink, ill be the one who says

here try this and then you can like it or not like it and id rather they try it with me instead of

some other kid as far as drugs go, I guess ill have to keep drug addict frends.

ZM what about movies. Youd stop them from watching

MJ I dont think ill stop them from watching any movies, I say that now I feel like ill be

watching movies every day and I wont say you cant watch this movie for any reason

DG ive got 2 small cousins 3 and 4 and I remember this so vividly we were watching saving

private ryan and as soon as those 2 girls came in the room and it was the medic whose stomach

was shot and they came into the room and started asking questions about it. And as soon as that

happened he flipped the channel it was almost like if they had seen more theyd would be scarred

for life. I dont think so. They didnt seem to like it but didnt seem to scar them

MJ I dont think I would necessarily flip the channel. But maybe im just fucked up

SP I mean as far as drugs and stuff like that, the first time I had beer, I was 4 my dad gave me a

sip of his beer and at a very young age I knew I hated the taste of it

ZM that was a good deterrent in a way

Right, it didnt work with my older sister but it worked with me and my other sister cause neither

of us can stand the taste of beer. So like he said if my kids are going to have any, cause I was 11

when my oldest sister give me my first cigarette and I thought that was disgusting too like

everyone else in my family smokes so I think at a young age, if they are interested in it then okay

ZM its about them seeing them in cinemas, in movies,

SP but if they want to try it id rather they did it with me or be there and have somebody

responsible rather than a 7th grader in the middle of the woods smoking cigarettes, drinking beer.

ZM what censorship techniques would you use,

SP there are some I dont mind. Im not going to expose my kids to movies like horror movies,

super bloody and gory and would give me nightmares.

ZM let me put it this way would you let you 10 year old kid watch flight

SP oh I hated that movie, but I would let them watch that

ZM 21 jump street?

SP ya that ones funny.

DB I would kinda go with what my parents did cause I feel like I turned out alright and it

worked dont mess with something thats not broken like I would try to keep r rated things out of

the house it would depend more on why its rated R definitely nothing scary, cause I saw saw

when I was like 11 cause I was at a friends house and it just put me in a menta state and it just

messed me up for a long time. But things like lang I dont think thats bad cause I feel thats not

detrimental to their growth and development as apposed to seeing things that will affect them


ZM all in due time

DB I feel like when they are psychologically ready to be exposed to that type of thing then they

can start to see it but until I feel they are ready for that im going to keep it away from that. And

god forbid they do see it, ill try and put it in context but that wouldnt be my first step.

Dai think Id go along the lines with him and MJs thing. And do what my parent did but not that

strict. Where like ill keep with the ratings systems what they are like if its pg 13 and they are 6 ill

let them watch a pg 13 movie thats not bad. Also keeping a line of communication open cause I

feel like I cant talk to my mom about that stuff ive seen it or done it. She just wants to feel like it

doesnt exist in my world so and thats why she kept it away from me.

DG what do you think would be more awkward watching a naked scene with your parents or

your kids

DB I feel like its off topic but id probably feel more uncomfortable with my children because

theyve never seen it, well depends on how old my children are

MJ and I think your approach depends on the child say an age is just a number. When I was

younger, I was more mature whereas my step brother was a 14 year old, I wouldnt let him watch

anything cause he would not be able to handle it.

ZM I like the points made, what censorship techniques did the industry or the government

employ with such content.

DB I feel like those sort of techniques arent that affectivecause they dont show any sort of

real negative connotations like seeing someone have a carrot, you arent put off by that. You

know it shows that they feel its bad but not bad enough to not show whats going on

DG like when they blur out the finger, you know what it is.

DB it actually increases your curiosity

SP some channels the tv adaptation of rated r movies some of them that have to do with drugs,

if its on a channel known for like rated r stuff they will blur out drug use in it.

MJ like alcohol commercials in the US cant show somebody taking a sip or drinking the


ZM an interesting fact that Disney is the obscuring the depiction of alcohol iron man example.

Any other techniques the industry the industry or the government is employing.

SP im pretty sure most of the tv shows have someone drinking, they are just drinking colored

water, they dont want the actors to drink real alcohol or its legal.

DA they did that in grandmas boy and one actor swapped it for real weed and he did 36 takes

and he was like bro I need to go to the hospital. It was the drug dealer.

ZM lets take the point of the fake cigarette brands and the usage do you think its a type a


MJ I think its more a deterrent for the director not wanting to advertise a specific brand or it

might have been a trade mark issue.

ZM but Marlboro has a fictional stipend of their cigarette called morley thats allowed and you

see it in departed so everyone wins. Marlboro gets their image and the companies dont have to

pay Marlboro for their image and dicaprio smokes cigarettes while he breakes hearts. Lets move

on to the anti smoking campaigns what do you think of that though

SP everyone in my family smokes and I hate the smell of cigarettes. I like it but at the same

time, I dont know, the made it really expensive for the people who do smoke,

ZM they do add the tax prices. In the 2 years I have been year prices have gone up by a dollar

and in india in the same period prices havent risen that much.

SP its part of the taxing but at the same time it could be partially because of the anti smoking

ads. Because if you think about it camel used to be huge and now I havent seen a lot of their

cigarettes sell since the anti smoking commercial,

ZM do you think the tax hikes are acting as valid deterrents or is it just more money in the

government pocket.

SP I think its a bit of both. Like I told you last year its cheaper to roll your own cigarettes. But

depending on if you want the kinda cigarettes you want you're going to spend the money to pay

for your addiction

DB I dont think they are really that effective. They arent hurting but arent really preventing

people from using tobacco but maybe younger kids like the rays doing anti tobacco stuff. I dont

feel it has as much of an effect as you get older.

DA thats what I was going to say, its almost comical how crazy they get the commercial like

which is worse eating dog poop or cat poop well cigarettes have both. MJ I think the best thing

from them, is that when you walk to a public space, like on campus smokers are limited to their

smoking zones, or in Washington DC where you cant smoke on the mall where kids usually are I

mean thats been the biggest effect of the campaign. And people still smoke and drink even with

the tax so its just lining the pockets of the politicians.

Clip anti smoking

DB I feel like a lot of people look at that and go well shes old and has bene smoking for 40

years or 30 years and thats not going to be me. And 10 years later you're still smoking and 10

years from that.

DG there was a commercial that scared me, a 19 yr old guy or 25 and oh he started smoking 5

years ago and now he got lung cancer and hes dead.

DA im queezy enough as it is and when it comes on tv I just change the channel. And it doesnt

affect me.

ZM are there any government or industry restrictions that you feel can be added or removed

with regards to these themes in movies.

DG stop having bad movies.

MJ I feel like there arent censorship restrictions that can be added without detracting from

movies and at the same time I mean based on movies like this is the end there are restrictions that

keep out of movies that should.

DG the director has the freedom that censorship doesnt have a hold on

MJ I mean when I talk about taking sex and violence out, the director isnt trying to play to the

ratings systems, but they got to keep to a level to keep the audience in the theatre. Like if you

have a movie completely in a crack house then most people are going to walk out of the movie.

ZM unless its tarantino dialogue

DB drug use should be a means to help tell the story as apposed to.

DB but there always are exceptions like requiem that is on heroin. And people say thats a

fantastic movie it can revolve aroung drug or alcohol and I dont think restrictions have anything

to do with it

MJ so you agree with my point its the directors choice to keep the limit.

DG ya

DA I think when the restrictions take place depending on the ratings they go for like if its pg13

then they arent going to do as much with the drugs like this is the end and lower it down for

their target audience.

SP or if they go for a g rating, they arent going to have a person smoking or drinking in the

movie and I guess you have to play it towards the audience as well because like how the

government says 18 for cigarettes and 21 for alcohol. They're trying to kinda limit exposure of

minors to those at the same time, in movies, they are trying to limit the exposure to minors

MJ but at the same time you're 17 and watch r rated movies but cant buy cigarettes or alcohol

at 17.

SP but you're only a year away

MJ from cigarettes 4 away from alcohol.

DB not really I dont think theres much censorship in movies and I dont think there needs to

be any its more a discretion of. I mean its not like its on tv going to a movie is like a process.

MJ about their rating board. I dont like how they sometimes go oh this movies deserves an x

rating and then also the stigma oh we cant make r rated movies as it wont make as much money.

hampers the directors.

DA I mean, ditto. I dont want to add anything I can think off

ZM id imagine youd want to remove the anti drug, tobacco free florida commercial. What

would you replace it with

SP make shows better and longer.

MJ Its not that commercial annoy us some of the money spent on the ads can be spent on better


ZM do you think the government has a responsibility to censor the content of films that depicts

these activities.

MJ I think realistically, if you keep it away from kids, who wont understand it and again its

parental responsibility. But its also upto them to inform the kid and make sure they know, oh you

see the guy injecting heroin in his arm, you shouldnt do that cause what the movie doesnt show

is this this this this and he gets his arm cut off which most movies dont.

SP I think to some extent for foreign relations, the US makes a movie about Iraq or Iran and its

all about hardcore drug use and there could be repurcusions with foreign governments. Cause

they will be like these americans say that all we do is smoke crack and dope up and all that and I

bet the government should stop that cause its showing us in a bad light.

DG I dont think thats true cause I mean if its a known problem in a country like I know there

are foreign countries. Like I saw a movie by a Persian director of a man with a heroin addiction I

dont think it paints a bad image they are just telling a story of someone who lived here cause

theres a bad addiction there. I think theyd be pissed off if there was some violent thing there.

SP or the government leader

DG I think they are fine if its a true story

DB I think it depends on the director of the movie then where its coming from

MJ not all countries are thought of by americans as being American haters. Like kazak student

dont hate borat and they really are happy about borat even though its completely innacurate. At

least now people know its a real place and they know about it. So last year in my class I got to

talk to a lot of kazak students, kirkhi student al were like we watched borat and thought it was

funny. This wasnt us but hey at least people know we are real

ZM do you think such depiction in movies are reflective of the real world

DG I think in certain cases ya cause there are people who live their lives like that like in

requiem there are people who sell drugs and take heroin for their entire lives. Then you can take

it to the fictional avenue with this is the end with the drugs

ZM there is this clear divide in depiction of movies of at least drugs

DG there has to be a person in that state before.

MJ I think it also depends on the movie like inglorious I feel like the amount they were

drinking is a realistic amount and somebody going to a bar to not seem suspicious would

consume that much. Or the lieutenant celebrating his sons birth is expected to be hammered as

celeberatory drinking is dangerous drinking so thats reflective. But then something like beerfest

where they put a warning before the film and the scene where he starts sucking beer to survive in

the tank and so I think it depends on the overtones of the movie and the directors discretion.

DB also in this is the end at the beginning when they smoke all that weed they wouldnt be

functional after smoking all that. You wouldnt be able to have normal conversations.

MJ and they wouldnt fully enjoy the 3d tv

DB so its not a 100 % reflective of real world scenarios.

SP some movies are a combination of the two like in 21 and over ive seen people get black out

drunk and do ridiculous things and pass out. So that happens and the movie embellishes a fact.

But then even with the drug use that movie shows stoners innacurately. Cause they are sitting on

the couch completely zoned out and not paying attention to anything in the world and when they

come to like whos this guy so its like thats kinda more realistic oh we are going to smoke

massive amounts of pot and be fine

DG in pineapple express the entire time when they are getting high and at the end when

everything is going up in smoke and you imagine hes getting high, but everything is in calm ness

and he is walking through it.

ZM would you call this consumption in your peer group normal, excessive or minimal

SP totally minimal sarcasm

MJ I think its entirely based on perception and SP would sa DA and I drink to excess but we

say it can be excessive at times, but mostly its normal specially because when you drink in the

course of months your tolerance grows and you can drink more. So thats the whole thing they

tried to scare us away from. As you do more and more, it take more to get that feeling so my

excessive drinking is what it takes me to where one drink would get SP which one drink is

minimal and when I watch someone with a higher tolerance, A im impressed and B I think its


DG id kinda go with him on that id say that question can be answered that it really depends on

who you hang out with I have seen people before just smoking pot blunt after blunt and they're

fine and they keep going after every blunt and it really depends on that.

ZM what do you think about this?

DB in this group its a lot more than what ive been exposed to being around other groups but I

wouldnt say its excessive to a point where its like a problem thats where I draw the line so id

say its pretty normal on the borderline.

DA id go with micah and the perception thing. I feel like for us if its not everyday then its

minimal and a lot of people would say its excessive.

MJ and also we dont always drink to get drunk I drink cause I like how it tastes.

ZM what do you think of the responsibilities of actors in terms of depicting these things. Do

they have a social responsibility to the audience

DG I dont think they have any responsibility let them be as they are let them do what they


DB im going to have to disagree with you. I feel like if you're gonna put yourself in situations

where you have the attention of millions of people you have some sort of social responsibility to

be a somewhat responsible person. Even though you arent who you depict in movies people are

going to look upto you.

SP in real life, I know theres a big debate in athletes on whether they can be judged on how

they act off the field and you're getting paid a lot of money to be a specific brand for your movie

or agency and if you go against that you're going to be in trouble.

MJ I would go sort of middle of the road for that because I do agree that we do put them on the

spotlight, we cant expect them to be perfect like I look at Michael fassbender and wish I was him

I dont expect him to be like dont drink, though I hold him in higher regard then some bum on

the street. Like if I were to read tomorrow that fassbender was arrested for drunk driving or

caught with 10 pounds of coke then that I would be upset about.

DB you feel like you know these people you put in so much time, seeing them building a


SP that like with the Amanda bynes going bat shit crazy. We thought she was the one who

finally made it out of the teen stardom. Other than Hillary duff she was the person of our

generation, but she ended up going through it and she is human and it hurts how people see an

actor when they do crazy stuff like lohan her whole deal, since then I have no interest in the

movies shes been in

MJ she was in a soft core porno

SP she is doing a doc on her life.

DB you have a level of respect for them and once you see them not living upto that you are not

gonna watch them anymore.

ZM if they sell us clotes and perfumes, its safe to assume we listen to their lives and their

actions. do you think such depiction has influenced your attitude to these things

DG a little bit. Its kinda like when you see someone smoke on tv and you feel like having a


SP I feel like it hasnt cause I dont like drugs alcohol because half my family is alcoholic. The

other half did so many drugs.and one had to go to a mental hospital cause he went crazy but ive

never like it even seeing it on tv or in movies. Its not something that I agree with and I never


DA it has for me. Seeing in a movie I kinda wanted to try it. I didnt feel the need to but like at

worlds end and doing the pub crawl, I want to try it when I was younger, and saw someone

smoke, I felt like I wouldnt mind trying one.

MJ ya when you watch a movie like beerfest you go I wish I was drinking a beer while I was

watching this but like one or two to last me throughout the film

DG its like the perception thing we talked about. And it doesnt have an affect on SP

ZM lets just go around the room and give final thoughts whether you agree or disagree.

DG I really think in some aspects its yes and no in my opinion a person makes their own

decisions in the final run. Theyll see a movie and thats kinda cool and I want to try it someday

what it comes don to, should I really put that in my system and thats their final choice, they

could try it and hate it and put it down forever. Or have it as a habit. It depends on the person.

They may be influenced slightly by these movies towards these things and it is their final

decision. And the restrictions work as well as they can

MJ I think there is an inherent desire in just about any person to try everything at least once in

their lifetime and whether famous people influence you or not sort of depends on the person and

not so much government restriction, I guess the values our parents instill on us or dont instill on

us and has a heavy effect on us and even if the parent is willing to sit down with the child and be

like here try this with me instead of going out in the world and not knowing what to do and

trying it on your own and hurting yourself. I think that for me personally movies dont make me

do bad things just like video games dont make me do bad things and I think a lot of the time its

pushed on a medium that caused somebody to do a bad thing thats someone playing a blame

game cause we dont like ownig up to our own decisions, being our own.

SP like I said I dont like the smoking and stuff other people can do it if thats what they want

to do okay but like seeing it in tv movies all that most of the time it does nothing but reinforce

the fact that I dont want to loose that much control on myself cause not only do I think this stuff

tastes disgusting I like being in control so seeing someone dancing like an idiot after doing a

bunch of drugs does not make me want to do them and like MJ was saying a lot of its on the way

your parents raised you and owning up to your mistakes when it comes to doing drugs and

watching it on a movie but I think the way the government has it now, the ratings system has

changed since it was first created and its probably going to change soon and isits getting more

lax with what they are allowed to show.

DB I have to agree with all that it goes down to how you were raised and the type of person

you are you're the one responsible for your life not government responsibility. I dont want to be

repetitious. And the focus is on parental censorship

DA ditto but also movies influenced me to where I saw it on the screen, the college movies like

van wilder and I want to do some of this stuff and smoke marijuana and I also have to look back

to how I was raised I was so sheltered, its kinda like the forbidden fruit, you cant have it so you

want to have it more, so I saw it in the movies and I was like I wouldnt mind trying it and that

pushed it forward. So now im an alcoholic.

ZM no you're not. Were done. Thanks a lot.


Interviewer: Zain Merchant denoted as ZM in interview

Interviewee: College students denoted with initials in focus group

Interview Setting: focus group conducted in closed room at.

The Transcriptions are Verbatim. However the long pauses when the interviewee thinks or

pauses were removed. Grammatical errors were not changed, as that is how the interviewees

spoke during the focus groups.

ZM im about to start my 5th focus group, second one in America its 5 o clock hi guys. Lets get

started by introducing ourselves. Tell us a bit about yourselves whatever you want to talk about

and as an ice breaker lets talk about your favorite movie

SJ Im SJ and im majoring in psychology and minoring in physics and philosophy. My

favorite movie is good will hunting.

J my name is J, im 19 and im majoring in criminology and psychology and my favorite movie

is now you see me.

SJ it was really well made it has really good plot development and the main character played by

robin Williams was depicted as a character who went deeper into other characters

J I like now you see me because the whole point is of people who use their talents to rob banks

and there is a secret organization.

KK my name is mr. pink.

ZM no your real name please.

KK my name is KK I major in mass comm in advertising. And I ve never seen a movie before

because movies are evil

ZM alright can I get a serious answers

KK okay I saw the one movie that had jim carey and zooey deschenal called yes man and I

really like that movie I felt that jim carey relly performed well and zooeys character was great

and it was a nice little film that wrapped up nicely

CS my name is CS and im an alcoholic I major in computer engineering and my favorite movie

is Superbad. Because they get laid at the end. It was funny they have great actors

MP- hi im MP and im majoring in IT my favorite movie is star wars 4 over 6 4 or 6 because the

empire doesnt win in those movies. I love sci fy star wars is what got me into sci fy.

ZM what im going to do is show you brief clips and well talk about them and your perception

on what you saw.

Clip bond drinking

ZM what do you think of the clip you just saw

MP it made drinking look really cool

CS hes my hero because hes like the life of the party

KK because he was able to drink the alcohol

CS ya. He didnt just drink alcohol he had a scorpion on his hand ive seen anyone do that.

MP he faced death

KK he could have faced death without the alcohol.

ZM which is the premise of the story. This scene was just raw masculinity.

J I agree with the masculinity comment

ZM do you think it was necessary for them to depict this scene in the movie. And what sort of

an image do you think they were showing with craig define death while drinking.

SJ I really think the drinking part was inconsequential it was about the way he had to take the

glass and drink without disturbing the scorpion I really think what he was drinking was


ZM anything more

KK they were kinda advocating the death defying and showing that drinking is super cool and

its not super cool and people die all the time.

Clip 2 smoking blood diamond.

ZM this whole montage was from one movie, I think its blood diamond 2006 so what do you

see from this little bit

SJ it depicted aloofness specially when hes confronted by the one guy behind him whos

obviously someone of authority and di caprio was aloof and took out a cigarette and smoked

right in his face and he showed it in every scene he was doing it in by just ignoring people and

not showing people any respect at all

ZM he actually incorporated the smoking as a trait for his character in this movie. To show his


MP he dies at the end of the movie

ZM but that has nothing to do with the movie

MP tomato potato.

ZM just like james bond they showed this cool swave good looking fellow not giving a fuck


KK kids want to be that cool and I want to be that.

ZM if I have a cigarette between my fingers I can pretty much take on the world

KK I see you smoking and I want to be like that.

J but seeing him smoke that much made him unattractive

CS but that one girl says nothing.

J hes blowing smoke in peoples faces, its annoying

CS the guys a bad ass

Clip 3 drug usage requiem

ZM this was from requiem a very obvious youth icon movie, im sure youve all heard of it

2001 this movie depicted on pretty much all levels from the gateway drugs to the harder drugs

but to also the drugs you think are irrelevant the fatburner pills that his mom takes and it shows

the adverse effects of drugs but also shows the good times you can have with drugs.

MP none of those people have a great time at the end of that movie.

ZM this one I agree with you here they definitely suffer because of their drug addiction

MP this is not a happy ending movie,

J I havent seen it so I wouldnt know

ZM in the ending the girl she prostitutes herself at a sex party to score more heroin the guy

loses an arm the black guy just ods and his mom taking the pills is hallucinating I think she goes

into a mental institute and so no one has a happy ending at all

Mp they show the sideeffects of drugs in this movie

ZM its such a complete package where they show the procurement of drugs, the usage of drugs

in grave details.

KK I think it was irresponsible of them to show how to use the drug

ZM like a learners guide

KK ya like I didnt know anything about this thing but I feel like I can do that now. It didnt

seem that bad. Its defninitely bad. Kids can be watching this

CS well if you're smart about using it you should be okay right they were using it irresponsibly

KK there is no responsible way of using it

ZM thats addiction

CS is it bad to be addicted to fun, come on.

ZM fun is good but not if it kills you

KK ya and not at the expense of our youth.

SJ if you look at that clip alone, they went from really focused and they had a plan to make

money and be profitable and as soon as they took drugs their ability to focus went away. And

while they were having fun, it completely ruined any possibility of profitability.

ZM with these clips you at least get an idea of what the focus groups about . were there any

restrictions on your movie watching priveleges when you were growing up

KK R is bad

ZM can you elaborate

Well theres a rating system.

ZM no about the restrictions on you alone.

KK- it was very important that I was shielded from all this drug use because it definitely if

influential they would monitor what tv channels I was watching. Always even pg13 was iffy and

had to be parent approved. They just had to make sure what things were in it oh this one has a lot

of drug usage and sexual thing. But if it was like this one has mild humor and my mom was like

you can watch that

MP dont you feel you were too sheltered then, you missed out on a few things

CS when I was growing up my parents restricted everything for me. Couldnt watch pg 13

movies till I was 13 I grew up watching march of the penguins and I wasnt okay with it cause all

my friends were allowed to watch all this and have a lot of fun and I would sneak out and watch

the movies at their place and sneak into R rated movies.

MP I was let into R rated movies my uncle would let me in.

ZM alright and there were no restrictions otherwise.

MP no none, I was watching adult swim when I was 8 and watch whatever I could find.

ZM and do you think it had an adverse effect or positive effect on you

MP im in college now so I think Im doing good

J with me my mother vetted any rated R movies and my father as long as there was no nudity

or sex in it, it was alright

ZM nudity and sex was a nono but everything else was allowed

J as long as it wasnt too hardcore

ZM so he would let you watch lock stock and not

J I didnt watch a lot of movies like if my friends wanted to watch a movie and it was rated r at

their house and I just wouldnt tell my parents I was watching it at their house like with my sister

now its more strict and my parents look at the internet movie data base and see what it has and

then decide whether she can see it or not

SJ my parents didnt care about content but they wouldnt let me watch tv or movies because

they let me read anything I wanted and these themes of smoking drinking alcohol and all were in

the books reading count of monte cristo and agathat Christie and Sherlock holmes and all that so

while they didnt care about the content they dont care what I read, they just didnt want me to

watch tv when I could be reading instead

ZM the medium restriction is valid cause its cool if its in books hey thats art and literature.

SJ ya they were very narrow minded, I came home did homework and book reports so why

would they let me watch tv when I could be reading books instead

ZM and how did you feel about this level of restriction

SJ I didnt think there was anything wrong with that so it didnt bother me at the time looking

back on it I wish theyd have let me watch movies and tv because I got teased and pick on in

school and didnt know any pop culture references.

ZM has there been in your opinion any change in the content in movies have changed over time

KK absolutely they're way more liberal in the practices of not just showing sexually explicit

scenes but also drugs alcohol and cigarettes. Drug use used to be so taboo specially in the movie

industry and now its in every movie and its so like they make no big deal out of it all seth rogen

films are like smoking and its all cool and its not even a big deal

ZM they're sensationalizing it to the point of being cringe worthy. Like in the beginning of this

Is the end hes got his name spelt out in joints

KK and people are doing cocaine and stuff like that and you go to high school and everyone's

like oh yeah thats no big deal seth rogan does it, hes fucking hilarious everyone should do it. In

older movies theres definitely cigarette and alcoholism and they are also not as studied as they

are today on the adverse effects of those things like now we know cigarettes are bad and yet we

still advocating the message.

MP in older movies they didnt portray drinking and smoking as bad, they were just calmng

things in a persons life. Drugs are still bad. That was just branding and marketing. Now its

actually portrayed as something bad. Have you seen flight drinking was a big factor in that

SJ its not that they show it in a negative way, its more that they show it in a symbolic way

where in Casablanca everyone smoked and its no different from everyone drinking coffee now

now its shown in a more symbolic light where usually its bad but at times its good like in the di

caprio movie it showed that you're cool and can act aloof

CS I think movies changed for the best well like back in the older days couples wouldnt even

sleep in the same bed they didnt initiate contact or they wouldnt do what real people would do

in real life so like now whats wrong with showing what people do for fun. And I dont see what

the problem with that is

J I guess I can understand that its good for movies to depict something from real life and see

how they change but its also very influential

ZM but we all agree that there has been a change

Everyone agrees.

ZM do you you think there is an oversensationalization of such content in movie s that youve


J I dont really watch a lot of movies like that im not really exposed to that I guess.

ZM in the movies that you did see and im sure had that content did you feel that they were

doing too much and not necessary to depict that or did you feel that its a more organic depiction

of natural life today.

J I feel that in the movies that ive seen today that they are depicting a natural world and its


MP if they have the right rating.

ZM what do you mean by that

MP its okay for adults to see the movie cause they understand whats happening and thyell just

think its part of life and theyll probably end up doing it as well

ZM do you think that the depiction of such content was excessive or minimal, its free speech

its art.

MP I grew up with alcohol and drugs around me so it depicted real life to me. And I never did

any drugs so im okay with it

KK I dont think that free speech is a good enough argument to endanger peoples lives.

ZM how about saying that its an expression of art is it any different from books and plays

KK why should my child drop out of highschool and then burn out and die at 23 from OD so

you can enjoy your movie a little more

SP maybe you're a bad parent

KK maybe if he wasnt watching project x and throwing the best party ever

J ya I agree with that statement it goes back to parenting.

SJ if he stayed up all night and watched tv.

ZM lets take the parental and the youth context out for a minute. Right now you at 19 watching

these movies, this is the end pineapple express and when you see these movies and you see these

guys do these cool things. And you see di caprio smoke pack after pack of cigarettes. You see

Jason statham snorting coke. You see chris evans downing multiple beer

KK theyuse them as symbols and ithink they could use alternate symbols for similar things. I

think they turn to drugs and alcohol too quickly you can be cool without cigarettes, of cource you

can be cool with cigarettes from the movies point of view. He could have had

CS a cup of tea

KK you're making a joke of it I cant think of a good example off the top of my head im not a

writer im just a concerned citizen but seriously its excessive

CS I feel like directors should have the freedom to depict whatever they want in the movies. Its

not like they're forcing you to watch it. You have a choice. And when you paid for that ticket,

you pretty much chose to watch whatever they show you

MP they have ratings, you have trailers, you know what going to happen in the movie

ZM they have the freedom to do it and they are doing it but do you think they are overdoing it.

CS how can you over do it.

ZM like putting it too much in your face. Like take an erotic thriller has to have nudity it could

be done in a classy way like say lust caution or it could be done in a very publicity oriented way

like in basic instinct 2

KK vulgar

ZM ya where its just a soft core pornography so they are missing the medium they are hitting

at as a genre because they are over indulging is my point

CS good directors, they dont like to play it safe dont they like to push the envelope or try

something new I cant think of any off the top of my head.

MP m night shyamalan,

CS I havent seen that movie

KK its not a movie CS

ZM its a director. You dont see chris Nolan use these things. He could have easily done a

meth head angle in memento.

KK you can push the envelopes in alternative ways.

CS why do they have to push it in certain ways. We are just trying to restrict their speech.

ZM so you're okay with it

CS ya

KK I hope its clear that im not okay with it.

ZM but do you have EGs in your opinion of movies that were oversensationalizing

KK project x

CS that was based on reality

KK but they made it seem, okay like

SJ the only movie that I ever saw with a really heavy focus on drugs is goodfellas and it was

very clearly the subject of and depiction of when you're on drugs, bad things happen he ends up

losing his relationship with the mafia to losing his kids and family and having to go to rehab

where hes going through withdrawal.

MP well you showed us a video of requiem for a dream and that was nothing but drugs and

then we saw what happens at the end of that movie and I feel they do push the evelope, we do

see onsequences of what happened.

ZM now that movie depicted a genre that showed excessive usage.

SJ the only movie I can think of that showed heavy heavy depiction of drugs end really really

badly but withsmoking and drinking I can think of Sherlock holmes books where he smokes and

nothing bad happens. I can think of Casablanca and gone with the wind and ssound of music and

good will hunting where everyone smoke but its not a status symbol, its not. The rich smoke, the

poor smoke its just a culture thing. The only movies I can think off that are really heavily

depicting smoking or alcohl use are ones that end really really badly.

KK but. I dont think thats the case in comedy movies. Like theres a slew of comedy movies

where drugs and alcohol are just party things cool crazy things happen and theres just no

repercussion or consequence.

MP I dont know about that I mean in hangover they pretty much fuck up

KK and then these cool crazy things happen and then everything is great.

MK the guy lost a finger.

KK and they were able to get there on time.

ZM any more points

KK I thought in this is the end it was innecassary.

MP the whole movie was about the end.

KK the whole movie was about the world ending and the 1st 45 mins was about the drugs

MP I was thinking of the wrong movie nevermind.

ZM you were thinking of the worlds end

KK exposes us to cocaine and all the other stuff Michael cera was someone young people

could look upto.

MP and then look what happened . he died

KK it wasnt because of the drugs or the alcohol.

ZM ya why do you keep pointing out examples of a guy died from another reason

MP no he was high on cocaine .

K he got impaled

MP because he wasnt focusing on his sorroundings.

ZM but was it necessary for that film to depict the 1st 15 mins

CS they were just trying to enjoy themselves.

ZM why was it necessary to show this by drugs or alcohol.

KK cause its funnier.

MP because they have the money to do so.

ZM alright, are the movies you watch today being influenced by other movie markets. By this

I mean british cinema, French new wave. Has an international presence permeated into

American cinema today, to change it, to make it depict these things more, less. In a more or less

tasteful manner.

MP I think its Hollywood thats been influencing everyone else. Weve been the only ones

throwing shock and swe into the movie industry.

KK im not efficient in international films

ZM but say the craze of the gangster the youth gangster cinema, rockn rolla lock stock, snatch.

KK but what ive seen of 2 french films, theres a lot of excessive smoking and its very casual it

definitely wasnt depicted in a negative manner and I thinkthats definitely spread throughout the


ZM thats a good point like the French new wave definitely inspired. Most of tarantinos films

the concept of sittin aroung a diner and having long conversations over nothing . something like

coffee and cigarettes has the aura of French ne wave in it.

KK are the cigarettes necessary

ZM it could just be coffee and conversations another c&c

SJ part of this and going back to culture and French its just what they do there drink more

wine, smoke more and theyeat Parisian food. And they live longer cause they're more active. So

to them its no big deal. In America where we dont advertise as much its a lot more dangerous.

Its influenced American films its been taken out of the original context.

ZM and heres my question, this taking out of original context do you think it might have an

adverse effect on American movie goers

SJ I think that everyone's exposed to cigarettes and alcohol and drugs on tv and video games

and I think its so prevalent everywhere that who cares at this point.

ZM are becoming desensitized to it.

SJ absolutely.

J I definitely do agree that we are being desensitize

ZM and we are getting artsy now and lets do what the French are doing and lets put a cigarette

in di caprios hand for every scene and do you agree with it

J ya

ZM its okay

J no no I dont think its okay but I feel we are being influenced by it.

ZM so its not okay

MP I am not fluent in foreign movies.

ZM but you feel that it is influencing other markets. Thats true cause when I did my focus

groups in india it was pretty prevalent where most people said that western cinema has had a

influence on at least Indian cinema

MP Bollywood has been affected by Hollywood.

ZM and in india also we have take it to a stupid height where its in his hand but it has no

purpose in his hand its just in excess just not needed. Do you think movies are making money

from advertising and branding cigarettes and alcohol product.

KK yes no mistaking it every time you see they pull out a carton of cigarettes and drink a beer

you see the labels placed towards you,, you know what they are drinking and they have a distinct

color to them and whatever their unique aspect is it might not be straightforward but subtle but

its definitely there and they have been doing it for a long time now

CS its product placement.

MP I mean indirectly and directly both they dont necessary have to put the product there but

the could still be, their proft could be affected by showing the movie brand

ZM not even showing the brand just showing the activity something like how you have the got

milk commercial, there is like no one brand thats advertising it. Its just the milk conglomerate as

one so why cant there just be one big tobacco industry or alcohol industry like thank you for

smoking and the PR endorses smoking and drinking.

SJ I really cant think cause most of the movies I watch are older are indie movies or are from

foreign places. So im really not that sure

J movies could just depict or use this certain type of beer in a movie and thats the beer that

they are going to be drinking and people are watching.

KK thats true I know this friend specifically who saw this one movie and it had flaming dr

peppers and then he was like hey I want to have flaming dr peppers too and that was like really


ZM ya its not only endorcing drinking but its also endorsing what to smoke and what to drink

like watching mad men makes you uy Canadian club whiskey even though that whiskey sucks.

But becaue john hamm did it, youd do it.

MP drugs are bad

CS well why cant they market their product there

KK cause its unethical.

CS but they are pretty much in a rated R movie or a tv show so why cant they do that

KK because kids still have access to them

CS you cant punish the company just because they have something selling for a certain group

KK but they are definitely gaining profit off of it

MP have the mature channels advertise it and have the parents just block those channels. We

have that ability now.

ZM what do you feel about this, is it ethical or unethical

MP depends on how they do it. Is its only for adults then sure its ethical but if children are

watching it then no its not. If people dont know what wrong or right yet

KK so you're saying your 8 year old kids on a plane and they're playing a movie up there and

you dont have common sense when you watch that movie. And you're saying that if you're

being exposed to that you dont have common sense.

MP no im saying the people who dont have knowledge of what right or wrong and are

watching it, its unethical for them to be watching it.

Clip Heineken ad james bond.

ZM do you know the details behind this commercial.

KK wasnt it a james bond train sequence

ZM so what you saw were a few iconic characters from james bond, you saw Daniel craig, dr

no. it hinted to the Russian cold warstory arcs of the movies this was a tie in between heinekin

and mgm for the release of james bond skyfall Heineken paid 76 million dollars to sponsor their

product in the franchise so in the movie you see him holding a green bottle in the movie you will

not see him drinking his traditional martini. So the 76 million essentially got them exclusive

rights as james bonds drink of choice. A beer and this was an interactive ad on their website and

was very successful. It also got a lot of negative press where people were upset. And comments

like he has a physique that says he doesnt drink beer and wheres the martini and other dirident

comments either way even the negative comments made it a success as an example of product

placement. What do you think of this commercial

KK I think this showed no adverse effect whatso ever. They didnt show over drinking and

getting in car crashes. They only showed people having a good time drinking Heineken and

specially a lot of people do look up to james bond as a hero and now that hes only drinking

Heineken you like make references like thats the beer james bond drinks

MP at least hes not drinking hard liquor as he usually does

KK I mean its still

ZM but you see they paid a lot of money because they are aware of the iconography of the

series and everyone knows about the martini and each bond having his own brand of martini but

to be so capitalistic to use that information and to push your product this blatantly what do you

feel about that

MP Its capitalism. I have no feelings towards it at all and thats like any company and brand.

Im unbiased. Im okay with it in a capital point of view.

KK I dont think that that should be a standard. And it shouldnt be okay. I dont agree with his


CS I am only upset that he doesnt have the martini

J I dont think its okay to change the traits of a character to push a product

ZM is watching movies with these themes desensitized your perception towards people who do

these things.

MP ive actually seen it in my lifeso its already desensitized me and I saw it before I saw it in

movies about drugs and alcohol

ZM there wouldve been content in movies that you wouldnt have seen in real life

MP my brother overdosed and almost killed my dadso im pretty desensitized with that.

KK I think for society on a whole it has definitely desensitized them because I remember pre

high school how they pushed the anti drug stuff and then as you get older and start to watch more

movies and tv and pg 13 and r and they show you more drug usage and alcohol in that and the

people are also doing it in real life and it makes it less of a bad thing cause you're seeing it

everywhere and think it may not actually be that bad

CS well when I watched flight with denzel and his life was just miserable and he was just

drinking his problems away movies dont just show you that they're okay

KK but I feel like, you're still being desensitized to everything just the more exposure good or

bad, were still getting desensitized to it. I dont think theres as much of a negative thing . like

crazy things happen to them and its not just because of .

ZM so you are saying that there are embellishments provided by movies that we perceive as

truths and sheer content depiction has left us desensitized to it.

KK ya theres just so much of it both good and bad but theres not enough bad that outweighs

the good and I think thats definitely desensitized us

J growing up I think I was desensitized because my mother smoked and chewed tobacco so I got

desensitized like that and movies just add to the desensitization

ZM what about things like the clip on drug you saw

J I dont think I have been desensitized by drugs and I havent seen a lot of movies that have

had such hardcore drug usage but ive been desensitized to the other things

SJ not necessarily movies but growing up reading classic literature where everyone smoked but

it got me thinking that until it gets to the point that they are trafficking it and where they are

focing it on other people and they are getting hurt for it I just dont care what anyone does to

their body anymore because ive just been reading it everywhere in classic literature.

ZM and you feel like reading all that literature has left you with a perception that its okay.

SJ there are many instances where people are addicted to drugs and they die alone so as long as

the habit stays to that one person,

ZM im going to give you like a hypothetical scenario in about 10-15 years all of us are going to

be parents and have kids, as parents what censorship techniques would you employ towards your


MP what happened to me like I mentioned my brother it steered me away from drugs. Maybe I

can hire an actor. Shock an awe.

ZM thats one step

MP theres plenty of ways to block content all the technology we have its easy. Nothing was

ever blocked for me so im not sure. I think ill block it cause things are getting more and more

crazy as the world goes on.

ZM or imdb the movies for your kids

MP exactly something like that. Hes doing that because hes wrong. But ill tell them afterwards

explain it

CS as a parent id probably follow the rating and tell my kids that what you're watching here

isnt real this isnt stuff that will happen just because someone takes this or does this they dont

show the full consequences of what happens.

KK I think its much more impt to keep close attention to the people your kids look upto for the

most part it might not be the dad or mom it might be a cousin or something like that. I was very

exposed to my cousin playing violent video games and watching very vulgar movies and it

definitely desensitized me and I was very impressionable and not as informed as I was. I think

that for a lot of people, the fdiff role models they look up to whether it be real people or

celebrities and its important as parents to know who your kids admire either try and steer them in

a different direction or like just CS said explain the benefits and the real life assertion of it.

J having a young child id want to block them from things that can be impressionable to them

but as they get older, I want to ease them into what goes on in the real world and also that they

are informed what people would say would be the positives of doing and what the negatives

would be as well just because a parent wants to block something from a child doesnt mean the

child is not going to have accessibility through other means whether it be through other members

of the family or through peers or anything like that so making sure the child is informed about

the situations is impt because they will have more knowledge about whatever they are getting


MP ya just show them Disney channel

ZM and when they grow up just show them what happens to the Disney channel kids

SJ if you expose a person young enough to any concept in a neutral or negative setting then

any positives they would possibly get from it would be dampened so be incredibly factual and

straightforward. The negative sideeffects have been proven to have increadible sideeffects in

dissuading kids over time for not doing those. But studies have shown that its more effective if

you did it between the age of 5 and 6 so if you start really early and are really careful how you do

it then the chances, of them doing any kind of illicit stuff is almost non existent when they get

older. Thats what they do in European country from the time you are in 1st grade through high

school and their pregnancy rates and others are close to zero. They talk about drugs in a factual

straightforward way and the only thing thats still dominant there is violence

ZM what censorship techniques did the government or the industry employ with such content

J sometimes with drug usage there is a heavy implication on shows where a cut version of a

movie is played on tv it will just be implied that its happening and you know its happening but

we dont see it and that person is about to do some sort of drug.

MP I know in alcohol ads you never ever see a person drink you know they are drinking but

you never see it from the can

KK I think the distinctions important that they have those versions because specially as a

young kid or whatever, that distinctions required like the implications are more for the adults

when you're a kid you generally dont know exactly whats happening, and for them to show

them to you instills a more vivid image in your mind, whereas a kid you see like a crack head

guy itching and going about his day you dont really know as a kid whats going on because they

decided not to put that image the FCC left that part out where he goes and smokes crack

ZM so are you okay with the censorship

KK im saying the censorship is needed

MP maybe its too much maybe its okay to show them what they are doing so that kids know

not to do it

ZM like the shock and awe of it

MP I guess I mean like he just said you see a crack head walking around and scratching and

homeless and stuff and you dont know why. Maybe showing the kid the why will help them

understand and not be homeless and itchy.

CS well there is like a cartoon I watch one piece and ive seen both the Japanese version and the

American version one of the characters in the American version he has a lollilop and hes always

eating a lollipop. In the Japanese version its a cigarette.

ZM why do you think they did that

CS I guess they just didnt want to show it to kids. Cause hes a pretty cool character. And a lot

of guys look upto him. They just didnt want him to be referenced with smoking a cigarette

KK and thats what I said about cigarettes and coolnes. You're still a cool character in the

American version you arent any less cool just because he has a lollipop

CS they also censor the language as well like he says a lot more curse word

ZM so are they more conscious on censoring content in movies and tv shows that are focused

on kids

CS its weird cause ive seen In quite a few movies for kids, they have adult jokes asthey have

sit there and watch it with their children

J you can go back and watch a lot of cartoons from your childhood and now youll understand a

lot of the implied subtext

ZM iron man example .

KK and people look up less to iron man aww hes not drinking

ZM but at the same time he s making dick jokes

KK but dick jokes are funny

ZM thats not the point im making

KKi dont think that ever ruined anyones life as apposed to drinking alcohol.

ZM what do you feel about the social responsibility of the actors the directors when they depict

these characters performing these activities in the movie like say di caprio in blood diamond.

CS well how much freedom do they have on the script.

ZM they have freedom to create their own characters, they have a say. Specially in todays

climate when we are aware of every activity that these celebrities perform

MP I dont think di caprio cares. As you said its a paid gig. He smokes and drinks alcohol in

all his movies and is seen as a cool character. I think its just him developing his characters and I

dont think hes mindful of what children are watching.

ZM but as a general perspective do you feel the actors have a responsibility

MP oh definitely. Cause they are role models they are people that children look upto. Specially

like Christian bale kids love batman and Christian bale has to take his duty as a role model


KK but then you see him in films like American psycho

CS its a rated R movie, its not like kids watch it

KK but they do that hether they like it or not specially for films targeted for the intermediate

age group kinda like teen area where films start to get raunchier and adding more explosive

content I think they should be more vary of the things they put into it. The actors should always

keep their, like if they do things like drugs, should keep it more behind closed doors cause

people do look upto them and there definitely is a persuasion factor for a lot of kids

SJ I think they are free to live their own lives the only reason why we even know about it is

because of social media. Like leave them alone and let them do what they want to do you have a

kid restrict the access to social media dont let them watch the TMZ or mtv or V something and

dont let them watch those stupid channels and dont let them read tabloid papers if you are

careful what they are exposed to then they wont know it.

ZM what do you think about something like smoking specially now that we have so many ads

and programs placed around smoking do you think there can be any censorship techniques for

smoking in any medium

J I think they have the no smoking commercials the tobacco free florida where they are

showing the negative effects of it. I remember this one commercial they showed this one guy

who went to chemotherapy and died and they showed his life during the therapy.

KK the only problem I have with those commercials is they show extremes and people tend to

see these cases and are like well thats not going to happen because thats like crazy. People

smoke and I see them smoking in the movies and so I feel like though they leave you with vivid

images thay arent that effective I dont think you ever go I will never touch a cigarette. They are

trying but its not as effective as it should be

CS- I know there is commercial where they make it disgusting and she is smoking and looking at

the mirror

Clip anti smoking

ZM so they are obviously going for this shock and awe

MP it works for me

KK you see that but you end up not seeing that in real life. Most of what you see is a lot of

media stuff and all that. Since we arent exposed to that, we tend to not take the extremes as


MP its hard to advertise the non extreme one how are you going to put the slow degradation of

life on the commercial

KK I'm just saying how its not effective. Im not saying they shouldnt like of course they

should keep trying to put more efforts into making smoking not an appropriate activity but Tv

and movies, are kinda being counteractive towards it.

ZM are there any government restricitions that you feel can be added or removed

MP They can definitely censor alcohol a lot more

ZM how do you go about doing that

MP I dont know but they can like they do with cigarettes they can put more commercials

about dont drink but I feel like alcohol has a grip on the American culture.

SJ things can easily be controlled like when your commercial goes on commercials for alcohol

are between 9am and 5pm thats when kids come home and watch tv I dont htnk they should

but they can. But the biggest thing they can do is start education like at pre school rather than

middle school. This is wasily the biggest thing they can do

MP I didnt have it

KK you had dare all the public schools had it

ZM do you think dare works.

KK i think its like he said

SJ it should be implemented when you first start school

KK when you start understanding more in tv and movies by the time you're in middle school,

you're already apprised to a lot of what you see in cinemas I think the earlier they start the more

beneficial it would be.

ZM would you acceptsomething like say a movie begins and a small black screen says

cigarette smoking is injusrious to health.

KK I dont think thats effective enough. I think little kids arent going to take that into

consideration I think they're not even if they cant read, a simple warning label is not a sufficient


J little kids would have a concept of the fact of the longer effects afterwards.

KK ya like hes so cool but I have to remember that little thing they said in the beginning and

probably shouldnt do it.

ZM maybe it could be time apprpiriate or ratings

KK ya or what channels they put it up on different like films. I think they are pretty good

about it with the rating system in films and stuff like that. But when they import it to TV I think

sometimes its loss in translation about what movies get put in what channel the content and

appropriateness of itand specially easier for kids to access channels on tv so I feel like they could

easily find drug use and all without them realizing it from just a normal channel they watch

ZM do you think the government has a responsibility to censor the films

SJ nope

ZM why not

SJ because not their job films are made by private companies by private citizens that are being

shown to private citizens who have parents. Government has absolutely no role in any of that it

has a role in saying that if you smoke this pack of cigarettes you can get sick so you get a

surgeons warning on it . they have the right to educating people they have the right to general

knowledge but they dont have the right to any censorship made by private citizens for private


MP I didnt think about it like that but now that you mentioned it before I was like ya sure but

now my opinion has changed and we are capitalists

SJ if you want to look at Pepsi, every single person here would never drink coke ever the

government is not allowed to say that ever. If you work at google and they say every person has

to smoke at least one cigarette everyday the government is not allowed to do anything about it,

its a private company with private workers doing private work and the government has

absolutely no say in it.

KK but the government does have responsibility for

SJ education, which is outside of that and you teach the parents how to incorporate the

education to daily activity and if they cant do that thats basically it the government has no other


KK but they do have the ability to infringe upon things that are in the government interest and

creating a hostile society that allows for illegal activity is in the government activity.

SJ if you want to go that inefficient than yes they can infringe upon private citizens and private

property but if you want to do it accurately and efficiently then every study has shown you do it

with education and nothing shows that censorship works better than education

KK but censorship does work in a way.

SJ inefficiently

KK it works not as efficiently ill give you that but it does work.

SJ it works in the absence of education

KK why not have both why wont both be effective.

SJ ya I just told you every study has showed

KK ya but an effective thing and a not so effective but still effective thing I see a lot of

progress right there

SJ this isnt physics 101

KK this is math 1+1=2

SJ no this is not physics or math what happens is you have an effect and what this effect does

is in a way affect education if you have education that you incorporate then this nullifies the add

on these are a very set effect and they work better through education

KK I bring this to the table

SJ you're probably wrong but go on

KK well kids are smarter than you give them other kids are just as easily influenced regardless

of what they are told

SJ again every study that has ever been done shows that children in that situation are not taught

early enough

KK but so you're saying that but im saying that if censorship saves the life of one kid not

oding on drugs dont you think censorship should be implemented.

SJ no

KK youd rather that kid died because you want to see a cigarette instead of a lollipop

SJ why should that one kid be far more valuablethan the billions of lives that a movie

companies charity can save

KK because that one kid is actually lots of kids and they are all dying

SJ but that number is increadibly minimum compared tha.

KK that still means theres a need for it

SJ compare that to the amount of money used by movie companies who are donating it to

cancer research and that will save an astronomically higher number of lives. Why are the lives

you talk about more impt than the greater number

KK because censorship is a lot easier to employ than cancer. And why isnt cancer fixed.

ZM alright I like both points and its your perspective

KK the better one

ZM this study is not meant to have a right or wrong.

SP mine is scientific.

KK one side is scientific opinion, one side is right. Continue.

ZM lets move on. do you think such depiction in these movies are reflective of the real world

KK absolutely not, there are these two comedians names cheech and chong. They go around in

their van smoking marijuana and they have fun and go on all these adventures. And they dont

really show the negative things in the end its all happily ever after and there is plenty of negative

things that can be associated with marijuana that arent showed . and they dont always depict

that like comedies primarily that tend to depict drugs and alcohol

ZM also modern day comedies are relying on the drug based slapstick humor.

KK ya exactly, its like smoke some weed and it will be funnier.

CS no I dont think it depicts what really happens when you do these. It will mostly show you

the fin sideand never shows the consequence after youve done it. It never shows the long term

effect, just the short term

MP the 2 egs you showed showed me that drugs do have consequences and things happen so

ya I think so. Even with the movies that show a light hearted side to it like project x the kids had

consequences at the end the house got destroyed at the end they still have consequences of what

happened. Even if it isnt a dire consequence

ZM and things with alcohol and cig are organic

MP ya its what happens in real life. Shown In a film

J I do think its reflective of the real world but in other aspects maybe not depends on which

movie it is. Cause there are some movies where its overly excessive while there are others where

its more realistic. I dont have egs but.

SJ movies that set out to show alcohol and all and are based around it are pretty realistic I their

negative sideeffects movies that have them just by happenstance are very unrealistic. So

goodfellas which was focused on drugs was realistic, Casablanca monte cristo they all have

drugs and all by happenstance and there was no distinct downside and it was unrealistic

KK well there was the movie fear and loathing in las vegas very heavily centered around drugs

and they took many illicit drugs but by the end everything is going their way even though crazy

things happened but anybody who took the amount of drugs they took would not be okay so I

think its not depicting the real world.

MP im going to go with what they said like 2 and a half men. And so sometimes it depicts it

realistically and sometimes it isnt.

KK even when they do depict the negative aspects of drugs they I think even the fact that

you're seeing it happen so quickly and then the movie ends it doesnt leave an impression in your

mind of the actual life long consequences. You see it and you like see the good thing happen like

they have a good time I feel thats a bigger impression than when you see the negative

impression movies.

ZM would you call consumption of alcohol in your peer group normal, excessive or minimal.

Cs- ill go first. You should have an option that says none.

ZM minimal.

CS we are all very responsible college students so I dont see a problem with ours.

MS we wouldnt walk to the counters there and find something

CS im 21 leave me alone.

MP I dont appreciate that cigarettes isnt mentioned

ZM it should have been mentioned.

MP I think you smoke too much.

KK there has to be a reason

MP dont smoke.

KK I think its beyond excessive. I think theybe been to too exposed to the media through

television and movies and it makes them go crazy with drinking like they watch the movies like

project x and then they become animals and shed their restraint and its definitey a problem and

its a detriment to their health. Its really sad.

ZM so when you perceive these activities whats your reactions.

KK I feel sad that they were so easily influenced and they watched those comedies where they

have a good time and all this drinking happens and dont realisze the impact it happens on them

and people around them and specially the under age ones who dont know what they are doing.

They are good people at heart and have made bad choices.

J in my peer group as far as booze I believe its excessivebecause there is certain way its

portrayed in media, college students as partyers its usually about being on spring break and going

crazy and having experiences that involve alcohol and drug usage. So these kids feel they will

party all the time and thats what makes it excessive.

SJ first of all define peer group by age

ZM people you hang out with

SJ well then mine is non existent like almost zero

ZM just the people all around you

SJ - a recent study at usf showed that under 50 percent of student actually consume alcohol.

Among people I hang with they drink moderately but ither than that most of them dont drink

ZM do you think depictions have influenced your attitudes towards these activities.

MP I dont do any of those so

ZM no your attitudes.

CS I really havent been influenced by drugs and cigarettes in movies I cant stand cigarette

smoke so watching on tv doesnt make me like it I just feel like I choose what I want

KK I think otherwise I was watching euro trip with my friends they were starting to get into

marijuana and they were like actually wanted to make those (Pot brownie)and perpetuates the

thing one of my family they are into hardcore drugs and the movie s they wanted me to see are

also very drug oriented. I think it has an influence in not only perpetuating the activities but also

introducing them into the culture.

CS so are you not okay with drugs or pot cause your prime eg was pot brownies.

KK do you want me to use an alcohol example. The flaming doctor pepper. Watch the movie

hot rod and my friend was like oh they set a drink on fire.

CS but wouldnt it be the same as when they saw a friend doing it

KK thats the friend they chose to have. You're watching pineapple express and you're like oh

its going to be a movie about fruit markets that was a bit extreme but my point is they definitely

the great part of smoking marijuana and its influential and it has to be.

J because of things ive already heard of like my mother she would raise me around things like

that and I was informed about stuff and experiences that happened with her friends to deter me

from those situation. Because of what I grew up learning those depictions seal the deal for me

SJ its really just made me think that everyone free to do whatever they want to do as long as it

doesnt impeach on anyone elses thing. Its your body have fun

KK I feel like if I want shielded as a shield I could have easily fallen to the depths of becoming

an addict in some sort of sense. It made me a better person and gave me a better perception of

like the real things that come from drugs and alcohol.

ZM for the last question lets have final thoughts recap your points on the whole issue the

censorship and whatever, and if you feel that this depiction has an effect on the youth audience.

SJ drugs etc have definitely have an effect on the youth so far going backwards and going out

of the way to prevent it in the future eith education at an early age will help. As far as movies go

I really do feel its the parents responsibility and parental control. I hate the idea that there are

restrictions, its your own body do what you want have fun as long as it doent effect anyone.

J I do think that the depiction of these are affecting the minds of children and I also think that

being informed and having that information before the child is subjected to and see how they

portray those things. I think its imp to know beforehand and know what the public is going to say

and know the negative effects.

KK I think in general the depiction is innacurate in how its diff from the true effects. And its

excessive and its not benefitting society as a whole because not everyone's smart enough to

figure out right from wrong and thats harming to everone else as well and I think the

government does have an interest should have an interest and I think the film industry should

also have an interest in censoring and reducing the ativities they put in as it has a detrimental

effect on young impressionable children

CS what do I think well I feel like when it comes to these things I feel like people need to be

responsible on how they use them and you cant just blame like films and everything for showing

a certain aspect of the drug. When I watch a movie and someone drinks a certain kinda drink im

not affected by it I know what happens I dont want to see myself do shrooms, I feel like

everyone should be able to make a responsible choice even if you're being exposed to it is very


MP I think it comes all the way back to parents I dont think censorship matters. I think its upto

the parents to take what the children have knowledge of whether they know or not I think it

comes down to parents teaching their children whats right or wrong

ZM do you think theres an effect on youth perspective if they see content?

MP well ya but its still the parents job to teach the children about those things. Once the

children see it the parents have to tell them what is wrong or right about it.

KK I think the movie industry is so irresponsible for desensitizing our society from marijuana

like specifically over the years. They made it less of a taboo and made it socially acceptable and

just a misdemeanor and its just all benefit. I think they are responsible like all Seth Rogan

movies there have just been a stream of movies, that have made it okay to use it

ZM Alright that wraps it up thanks


June 24, 2013

Zain Merchant
Mass Communication
Florida, FL 33612

RE: Expedited Approval for Initial Review

IRB#: Pro00012895
Title: A study on the depiction of drug, alcohol and cigarette addiction in movies and its
perceived effect on a young audience. A comparative study between American and
Indian cinema and its respective Audiences.

Study Approval Period: 6/22/2013 to 6/22/2014

Dear Mr. Merchant:

On 6/22/2013, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviewed and APPROVED the above
application and all documents outlined below.

Approved Item(s):
Protocol Document(s):
A study on the depiction of drug, alcohol and cigarette addiction in movies and its perceived
effect on a young audience. A comparative study between American and Indian cinema and its
respective Audiences.Ver#1

Consent/Assent Document(s)*:
consent form. Ver. #1.pdf

*Please use only the official IRB stamped informed consent/assent document(s) found under the
"Attachments" tab. Please note, these consent/assent document(s) are only valid during the
approval period indicated at the top of the form(s).

It was the determination of the IRB that your study qualified for expedited review which
includes activities that (1) present no more than minimal risk to human subjects, and (2) involve
only procedures listed in one or more of the categories outlined below. The IRB may review
research through the expedited review procedure authorized by 45CFR46.110 and 21 CFR
56.110. The research proposed in this study is categorized under the following expedited review


(6) Collection of data from voice, video, digital, or image recordings made for research purposes.

(7) Research on individual or group characteristics or behavior (including, but not limited to,
research on perception, cognition, motivation, identity, language, communication, cultural
beliefs or practices, and social behavior) or research employing survey, interview, oral history,
focus group, program evaluation, human factors evaluation, or quality assurance methodologies.

As the principal investigator of this study, it is your responsibility to conduct this study in
accordance with IRB policies and procedures and as approved by the IRB. Any changes to the
approved research must be submitted to the IRB for review and approval by an amendment.

We appreciate your dedication to the ethical conduct of human subject research at the University
of South Florida and your continued commitment to human research protections. If you have
any questions regarding this matter, please call 813-974-5638.


John Schinka, Ph.D., Chairperson

USF Institutional Review Board