What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Branded is a bizarre, futuristic satire on marketing and advertising set in Russia. It will definitely get older teens thinking about the effects of marketing and advertising and how people can be made to believe that they "need" certain products. But at the same time, it's strange, humorless, and unpleasant, with some violent events (such as beatings) and lots of blood in certain scenes (including a cow being sacrificed off screen). Strange, unsettling monsters litter the skyline and battle each other during the movie's final third. Characters have sex on more than one occasion, but the only nudity is the male lead's backside in a non-sexual scene. Language includes several uses of "f--k" and "s--t," and characters drink and get drunk in a few scenes. Fake products are used in the satire, but they sometimes resemble real products, and real products are also occasionally mentioned and/or shown.
- Families can talk about what Branded has to say about consumerism, marketing, and advertising. What's the connection between fast food and images of beauty? Does that connection exist in real life?
- In the movie, marketing gurus manipulate people to the point that they actually commit violence. Do you think it's easy for people to get caught up in a kind of mass hysteria? Can you think of real-life examples when that's happened?
- Did this movie make you want to eat fast food or buy any kind of products? Or did it make you want to avoid them?
- What is a satire? Is it supposed to be funny, or can it be serious? What did this movie satirize? Was it effective?