Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker is the most complained about film of 2019 in the UK, trails The Dark Knight
Todd Phillips’ Oscar-winning comic book movie, Joker, has been declared the most complained about film of 2019 by the British Board of Film Certification, the UK’s equivalent of India’s CBFC.
In its annual report, the BBFC said that it received 20 complaints about the film’s certification. Joker received a 15 certificate in the UK, but some felt that it should’ve been given an 18 certificate, or have been banned altogether. The BBFC reasoned that the film doesn’t “dwell on the infliction of pain or injury in a manner that requires an 18.” For context, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight received over 350 complaints in 2008.
In India, Joker was given an ‘A’ rating. In the US, it received an ‘R’ rating, and became the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time, with a total box office haul exceeding $1 billion. It was nominated for 11 Oscars, winning two -- for best original score and best actor, Joaquin Phoenix.
Ahead of the film’s release, police deployment was increased in certain theatres, where authorities feared that the film might inspire copycat crimes. Phillips defended the film’s depiction of violence.
“Isn’t it a good thing to put real-world implications on violence?” he asked the audience at last year’s New York Film Festival. “Isn’t that a good thing to take away the cartoon element of violence that we’ve become so immune to? So I was a little surprised when it turns into that direction, that it seems irresponsible because to me it seems actually very responsible to make it feel real and make it that weight.”
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