Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone starrer “Fighter” has faced an unexpected obstacle in its release in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The film, which initially avoided bans in other Gulf countries, has reportedly been suspended in the UAE as well. The narrative of “Fighter,” revolving around India’s response to the Pulwama terrorist attack, raised concerns and led to its prohibition in various regions. Earlier reports suggested that the film was denied release in all Gulf nations except the UAE. However, recent reports now claim that the UAE has also banned the film, with confirmation from the film’s UAE distributor.
Trade analyst Girish Johar confirmed the setback, stating that “Fighter” has been officially banned across Middle East regions for theatrical release. The film will only be released in the UAE with a PG15 classification. The exact cause of the prohibition was not initially disclosed.
The film’s trailer faced criticism, particularly for its depiction of the Pulwama attack. Some sections in Pakistan accused the film of promoting an “anti-Pakistan” agenda and exploiting a sensitive issue. These critiques, combined with the film’s controversial theme, likely influenced the decisions of the Gulf censor boards.
Director Siddharth Anand addressed the concerns, urging viewers to watch the film in its entirety for context before forming an opinion based on the trailer. He emphasized that “Fighter” aims to raise questions about terrorism without instigating animosity towards any nation. The lead cast echoed this sentiment, highlighting the film’s message of unity against terrorism.
Despite the bans and suspensions, “Fighter” will continue its theatrical run in India. Alongside Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone, the film features Anil Kapoor, Karan Singh Grover, Akshay Oberoi, and Sanjeeda Shaikh. It is jointly produced by Viacom18 Studios and Marflix Pictures.