Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire

Life has happened, and I've run out of time to blog. (Gasp) So, because I promised, and because I can riff on movies until I'm blue in the face, I give you my take on Slumdog Millionaire.

What a ride.

This is a journey we all take together, and what a ride. What a treat. The colors are spectacular, from the opening chase sequence to the final scene's scarf. It enriches us culturally, taking us on a journey of survival of two young boys that become victims of India's own religious wars. We view their plight through their eyes and, as such, we are prone to the same dread they feel when fate frowns upon them.. and also when it smiles.

This is a story for mankind, that begins in Mumbai, India. The plot is fairly simple: a poor young kid from nothing goes on an Indian game show, and does really well. Too well. How he does this is the story behind the title, behind our collective conscience, behind our labored human experience. Nearly every sense is treated: our ears to the pulsating rhythms of Indian baselines and drumbeats, our eyes the beautiful bright oranges and blues of saris and panoramas alike, the near ability to feel the ground under our feet as we run with our young protagonists.

We learn an amazing tale of survival, of the poorest and the fittest. Survival itself begins to take on various forms, morphing itself into sacrifice, betrayal, and ultimate redemption. And as we begin to cheer, to look forward to destiny's sly smile on this unlikely candidate, we're just not sure if he can pull it off.

If I have a modest complaint about the film, which I give an up-enough thumb for you to see it in the theater, it would be that Bollywood emulates Hollywood a little too much for me. A little too "two by four", if you will. However! I'm not the typical Hollywood audience, and one generally likes it when one feels good upon exiting.

You will certainly do that. It is written.




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