Ordinarily, very strong language would not be permitted in a '12' rated work. However, with HAMLET, it was recognised that the well-known wordplay upon the phrase "country matters" said by Hamlet to Ophelia would be familiar to most viewers. Emphasis is often given to the first syllable of the first word (as in this case), and the conversation between Hamlet and Ophelia carries a double meaning.Which is about what I surmised and absolutely understandable. Again, I say, amazing. Not just for the RSC risking it, but for the BBFC to give it this level of care and attention.
HAMLET is obviously widely known and studied, and the text and numerous theatrical productions of it - as was this one - are available to all ages. Some versions of the play have been rated 'U' or 'PG'; however, it was felt the deliberate emphasis given to the first syllable in this version warranted a '12' and would not confound public expectations at this category. Our Consumer Advice also gave warning of the potential offence that some viewers may take to the wordplay.
Such comic wordplay on very strong language is not unprecedented in '12' rated works, eg THE LOVE GURU and a episode of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
You might remember I said I would contact the BBFC in relation to the 12-rating given to the blu-ray of the RSC production with David Tennant. Much to my delight they've replied: