Expletives fly in 'World's End'

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One sign of the main character's ongoing adolescence in "The World's End" is his expletive-laced language. On his blog, director Edgar Wright shared his correspondence with the British Board of Film Classification in which he asked if the film could get a "15" (referring to age) certification while using the c-word in more than one instance, or if that would push the rating to an "18."

A senior examiner for the board returned a long explanation of when use of such expletives might not be acceptable and concluded, "It is possible to receive a '15' with three or four uses, provided they are not aggressive or threatening or complicated by any kind of power imbalance."

The film was released with a "15" rating in Britain, with the warning, "Contains very strong language and strong sexual references," and it is rated R in the United States with a similar explanation. The Brit board's movie ratings are U (universal), PG (parental guidance), 12A (12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult), 15 (15 and older only), 18 (18 and older only), R18 (a legally restricted age classification).

The director said the choice to use the c-word in "The World's End" was because it is used by teens in the United Kingdom, "sometimes affectionately, but it's still a harsh word."

"Only Simon Pegg's character says it, and that says everything," Mr. Wright said. "The three utterances of the dreaded c-word are all from the guy who still wants to be a teenager. So there is a sense of juvenile shock value that totally ties into that character. The first time he says it is at the train station -- he's got three guys in their 40s being greeted by a man dressed as a teenager saying, 'Look at these [expletives].' It's almost to tell the audience, oh, we're in for a rough night. It's literally in the first shot [of them together] and they realize, 'Oh dear, this is going to end in a mess.' "

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