Afraz - My BBFC Film Diary

Our Youth Panel member Afraz, has kept a diary of the films he watched in a particular week.

The White Tiger (2021)

The first film I watched this week was The White Tiger starring Adarsh Gourav and Rajkummar Rao. It follows a man called Balram Halwai, who is raised in poverty in India. Using his wit to become a driver for a rich family, he then starts his journey as an entrepreneur. The film explores multiple themes such as corruption, social class and freedom, and it is a thrilling watch with a cynical narrative.

Having read the book by Aravind Adiga, I was very happy that the visual imagery was portrayed in the movie through the stunning cinematography. The film perfectly encapsulates the oppression of the working class, and I truly enjoyed every moment of it. 

The White Tiger is rated 15 for strong language, violence, sex references.

If you enjoy social issue dramas such as 8 Mile (15) or The Pursuit of Happyness (12), then The White Tiger (15) is a great watch for you.

The Hurt Locker (2009)

The second film I watched this week was The Hurt Locker, starring Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie. Set in Baghdad, it follows a bomb disposal team tasked with defusing some of the most deadly explosives during their rotation. Sergeant William James’ (Jeremy Renner) reckless approach towards the job causes strife in his relationship with his fellow soldiers, particularly Sergeant Sanborn (Anthony Mackie).

For the duration of this movie, I was on the edge of my seat. The tense moments –  especially the bomb disposal segments – did not fail to make me flinch, squirm and gasp. Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie delivered two compelling performances showing the agony of war. One part that stood out to me the most was Sanborn’s (Mackie) speech about not wanting to die. The calibre of his acting was so effective it made me sympathise with the character. The Hurt Locker also won six academy awards, one being the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2010. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, as I do favour war movies very highly.

The Hurt Locker is rated 15 for strong language and gory images.

If you enjoy war movies like Zero Dark Thirty (15), rated 15, or American Sniper (15), rated 15, then The Hurt Locker (15) will not disappoint. 

Ratatouille (2007)

The third film I watched this week was Ratatouille. It is about a street rat called Remy who has a dream of being a great chef. Remy has a heightened sense of smell and taste, unlike the other rats in the colony who eat whatever they can. After being separated from his family, he ends up in Paris at his idol’s restaurant, Gusteau’s. There, he befriends a young garbage man called Linguini, with whom he builds a close alliance in making exquisite food.

This amusing movie brought comedy, romance and a very positive message. Remy, a determined rat, was always shunned by his family for wanting to be a chef. But throughout this movie, he followed his dream and he showed that he could do whatever he wanted to do – no matter where he came from. It was a delight to watch with such an original plot line and characters that you can resonate with. Ratatouille is a visual masterpiece of a movie.

Ratatouille is rated PG for comic violence, mild bad language. 

Fun fact: Ratatouille was originally rated U when it was first classified in 2007. However, it was resubmitted to the BBFC in 2014 and classified PG in accordance with the updated Guidelines at the time. The BBFC’s Classification Guidelines – which all film rating decisions are based on – are updated every 4–5 years following research with more than 10,000 people across the UK. When the Guidelines were updated in 2014, one of the big changes people told the BBFC they wanted was a stricter approach to bad language at the U rating. Ratatouille contains a use of the swear word ‘bloody’ which people, particularly parents, felt was a term best suited to the PG rating. As a result, the film rating was raised from U to PG, to ensure the film’s classification was in line with what people told the BBFC they wanted to see at U and PG age ratings. 

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

The last film I watched this week was Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The film tells the story of Butch Cassidy (played by Paul Newman) and Sundance (played by Robert Redford) who flee to Bolivia after a train robbery goes wrong.

The movie’s cinematography, for being a film made in 1969, is simply stunning and the chemistry between the late Paul Newman and Robert Redford is something that can never be replicated. The soundtrack makes this one of my favourite western movies of all time. 

This movie has an interesting classification history. One of the things that the BBFC has to consider when rating movies is whether there’s any illegal material. There are lots of pieces of legislation that they have to take into account, such as The Cinematograph (Animals) Act 1937, which prohibits the cinema exhibition of any animal cruelty happening in a film. Unfortunately, in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, there was a scene which clearly showed a horse being deliberately tripped by its handler, causing it to fall over. In accordance with The Cinematograph (Animals) Act 1937, this is considered to be a cruel practice, and is illegal to show on film. For this reason, the BBFC issued a cut to this scene when the film was last submitted for classification in 2018. You can read more about this decision here

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is rated PG for moderate violence. 

If you are a fan of other western movies such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (15), or the remake of 3:10 to Yuma (15) then Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a great movie to watch.