Earlier this week it came out that the much buzzed-about (and rather tame) Slumdog Millionaire had received an R-rating from the MPAA, and, well, some folks felt that was just more than unfair. (Read Eric D. Snider's fabulous rant on the subject over here.) Well, Cinematical just got off the phone with Slumdog director Danny Boyle, and during our all-too-brief conversation (I could seriously spend all day chatting up that brilliant man), we asked him how he felt about the rating and whether or not he expected it. Here's what he had to say:
Danny Boyle: 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.
Cinematical: Did you try to fight it at any point?
Danny Boyle: Oh yeah, we tried to fight it, but the response was the same.
Cinematical: That's a real shame, especially when you have films like The Dark Knight which was pretty graphic and violent.
Danny Boyle: 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.
We'll have much more with Danny Boyle as we get closer to the theatrical release of the very moving and intense and real Slumdog Millionaire on November 12.