March 29, 2009
Review - " Slumdog Millionaire " - (in Theaters) By Roland Hansen
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I saw this movie several weeks ago. Long before the Oscar ceremony. After
putting it off I finally decided it's time to offer my two cents and write a review.
My first reaction when I watched SlumDog Millionaire was that it only highlights
the plight of the people of modern India. It is a case of good concept but poor
selection of clips. When a movie wins Oscars people all go gaga. They praise
the film and shower praises. Even Bollywood stars have come to praise the
film after the award. Surprise! Surprise! The bottom line is Danny Boyle's has
cashed in on starvation, genocide, child prostitution and overwhelming
oppression. Well done. Would there be the same reaction if the movie did not
win an award? The government of India must have a committee to screen
movies that are shot in India. It must be assessed by specialists and then
granted permission for release. Director Priyadarshan is one of them who has
correctly hit the nail on the head.
Well, after reading about slumdog for ages,and all that hype and publicity over such a long time-when I actually sat down
to watch this piece of brilliant filmmaking, well, I was .......Underwhelmed, is the only word I can think of. In the movie theater,
there were no oohs or aahs amongst the audience - yes it was riveting, yes it was dramatic though implausible
- but why was I left unemotional, unexcited, and strangely detached - maybe it's the mid life crisis, maybe it's that I
just don't enjoy downer films that try to be uplifting but fail. "Slumdog Millionaire" may yet win all the awards BUT a
good film ? Certainly. A GREAT film....NO.
It took a few days considering this movie before I could really figure out if I *actually* liked this film or not and I think I've
survived the hype machine and have been able to find "Slumdog" as a good movie but not a classic movie and not a 10
out of 10 by any means. On one hand it has a timeless fairy tale feel to it (and please, let's not confuse this for a story
based in realism, it very much is a fairy tale) and on the other the story telling is fundamentally and sometimes insipidly
plain. It's a good film with some great direction but I wouldn't rank it as the greatest film of the year.
"Slumdog" won best picture due to heavy Hollywood political reasons, and I don't really have an issue with it because it's
not a bad film and it seems to mean a great deal to a lot of people, but it's not as great as it's made out to be and certainly
not the best movie made last year, an eight maybe but no ten.