Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, which won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, and was the talk of the Times BFI London Film Festival has put off Mercedes Benz and a soft drinks company.
Both companies have pulled out of scenes that involved their products. Reason: They do not want to diminish their brand image, considering the slum associations of the movie.
Danny Boyle has been quoted as saying, “We had to take that (logo) off because the company doesn’t want to be associated with being in a slum. We wanted to use a Mercedes because… this guy, this gangster would drive a Mercedes… But if you use it then clearly you have to get permission, and we asked for their permission and they refused it.”
I personally don’t get it. So if a movie director wants a Mercedes Benz or a Pepsi or Coke bottle in a movie, you have to get a permission from the companies? What about shoes? Every car in every movie was shown only after getting an official permission? If it is so, it is retarded. The companies concerned are not displaying anything – is it even practical to remove every logo from a movie? What about billboards or shops which have posters and signs outside? Something is wrong here.
Talking about the multinational drinks company’s refusal to display their logo, Boyle said, “There is a scene where the kids are on a rubbish dump and they get offered these bottles of… a popular fizzy drink. Not only were we not allowed to use their name, basically we had to paint over the label on the bottle as well. So we ended up paying tens of thousands of pounds painting out these symbols which are meant to unite the world, aren’t they?” Boyle added.
Slum Dog Millionaire is the story of a boy, Jamal (Dev Patel), who comes from the slums of Mumbai, who takes part in the Hindi version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?, Kaun Banega Crorepati? Now, the kid wins the show but he is suspected of cheating because he is illiterate. Bollywood star Anil Kapoor reprises the role of the Quiz master of the show. Slum Dog Millionaire also stars Freida Pinto, and Irrfan Khan as the cop who arrests Jamal.
Slum Dog Millionaire is based on Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup’s novel, Q&A. It has been scripted by Simon Beaufoy, scriptwriter of The Full Monty and directed by Danny Boyle. The movie is produced by Celador’s Christian Colson and co-developed and co-financed by Film4 in collaboration with UK production company Celador Films.
The movie will be released in the UK, on January 9, 2008.