"Fifty Shades of Grey" is more like pornography than a movie.
This was how the Malaysian Film Censorship recently described the highly anticipated erotic drama as it confirmed the banning of the film in the Southeast Asian country. The movie is set for wide release in the U.S. on Feb. 13.
Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid, chairman of the Malaysian Film Censorship Board, said the film was unfit for a Malaysian audience.
"[T]he board made a decision in view of the film containing scenes that are not of natural sexual content. The content is more sadistic, featuring scenes of a woman being tied to a bed and whipped," he said, according to the Star.
The United International Pictures, the local distributor of the film, has confirmed that the film would not be shown in Malaysian cinemas, the Malaysian daily added.
The ban on the film, which was based from a best-selling book by author E.L. James, came as no surprise considering that Malaysia is a predominantly conservative Muslim country.
The country earlier banned the film "Bruno" for promoting homosexual lifestyles. It also banned Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" for depicting a prophet and also certain showbiz personalities such as U.S. pop singer Ke$ha from playing in the country.
The movie that will premiere on Valentine weekend is the first instalment of the hoped-for Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy that traces the deepening relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young business magnate, Christian Grey.
It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism, or BDSM.
Fans of the books will get to see an ending of the film, which favored the preference of James, a British author, over the version favored by director Sam Taylor-Johnson.
Citing sources, the Hollywood Reporter said Universal granted James with exceptional control after the studio bought the rights to the material for a reported $5 million in an auction in March 2012.