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Director on Slumdog rating row

SlumdogMillionaire.jpgWe heard last week that Slumdog Millionaire had fallen a little foul of the almighty ratings police. Instead of the planned PG-13 rating, it's been given an R.

To a studio I guess that spells disaster, and Danny Boyle the director is none too pleased either. He has talked about the decision, and what he thinks of it.

Slumdog Millionaire tells the story of a teen from a poor background, who becomes a contestant on India's version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? His reason is not so much money, but is an attempt to win the affection of his friend who is a fan of the show.

Hoping for the ever popular PG-13 rating, they have been left disappointed and lumbered with an R rating. And some people who have seen the film think it is a little overboard. Maybe not the first film to be harshly rated, and probably not the last. Danny Boyle has spoken about the decision, and is not happy with the outcome.

No, actually, I was very disappointed. What happens is when you make a film, you sign a contract with the studio or whoever is financing it and there are several stipulations -- like it has to be under two hours or what have you -- and one of the things that's in there is that it has to be a certain certificate (aka rating). And we all agreed that it would be a PG-13 or less. And so I shot the film very deliberately to achieve that certificate, and I'm very disappointed because there's very little actual violence in the film at all. But the response was that the journey of the film was too intense -- and then you think, but that's the job! What's wrong with somebody wanting to watch an intense journey? But yeah, I was very disappointed.

Boyle also told Cinematical that it is all the more confusing, considering what The Dark Knight contained.

Yeah, see and that's what I thought was wonderful about The Dark Knight -- because it was so real. And their argument is that's fantasy. No, actually, the reason the movie is so effective is because it's extraordinarily real and Heath Ledger's performance is extraordinary. Just an extraordinary performance

I think to say The Dark Knight (Filmstalker review) is fantasy, might be pushing it a little. And when I went to see it, I was a bit surprised at the age of some kids watching it. I have no idea if Slumdog Millionaire deserves one rating or the other. But for me the PG-13 rating just muddies the water altogether. The MPAA, and whoever does it elsewhere might want to clarify exactly what it means, and exactly what you can expect. And for film makers, how you can make sure you receive it.



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