Slumdog Millionaire gets R rating
Although I have yet to see Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, and everyone outside the UK seems to be getting to it first, the MPAA have deemed that it's just too much for most audiences and given it an R rating in the US.
That, Filmstalkers, is a rating up from The Dark Knight (Filmstalker review), which received a rating in the US of PG-13. Let's have a look at those ratings and hear from someone who has actually seen the film.
First up, The Dark Knight received a PG-13, on the MPAA site that is described as:
“Any drug use will initially require at least a PG-13 rating. More than brief nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating, but such nudity in a PG-13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented. There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence. A motion picture’s single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context. The Rating Board nevertheless may rate such a motion picture PG-13 if, based on a special vote by a two-thirds majority, the Raters feel that most American parents would believe that a PG-13 rating is appropriate because of the context or manner in which the words are used or because the use of those words in the motion picture is inconspicuous.”
I like that last bit, it basically says here are our rules, but if we decide otherwise we can choose what we want.
Then there's the R write up:
“An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements...”
What's interesting is that the definition of this category is under half the size of the PG-13, and actually reads similarly to the PG-13 rating. It would be hard to say a film fell in either, which I think is the point here.
So The Dark Knight with it's explosions, threats, kills, menacing threat, psychotic killers, and the out and out evil characters of Two-Face and Joker, gets a PG-13, while the romantic story of a young man who tries to win the heart of the woman he adores by trying to win the Indian version of “Who Wants to be A Millionaire?”, get's an R rating. Surely it must be pretty serious stuff?
Well according to /Film it isn't. They suggest that Slumdog Millionaire has a scene of a shooting but with no blood, that the only scene that could be described as nudity is a child running to the shower, that the camera cuts away before the key moments of violence in the film, and is a film that would appeal to teen audiences.
According to the story from The Hollywood Reporter Slumdog Millionaire receives an R rating for:
“Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language.”
Well let's hope the more adult, less zealous, BBFC don't classify this so harshly when it comes to the UK, or your country's equivalent board are a bit more realistic about the world we live in.