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Exir
07-03-2009, 04:43 PM
Just finished watching Slumdog Millionaire, and can see why it deserved 8 Oscars. The direction was awesome. I liked the stark contrast between the game show and Jamal's childhood, and the theme of gaining wisdom from suffering. Some scenes were superbly shot and breathtaking to watch -- the chase scene in the slums ("I run so fast you can't even touch me" playing in the background) was beautifully shot and edited. The kid actors were completely authentic. The film was all over the place, but worked very well because it had an emotional center holding it together. I liked how the theme of "it is written" is conveyed without making it seem soppy and contrived -- again, because there is an emotional thread running through it (the final question being about the musketeers, which was hinted at several times in the film, and symbolic of Jamal, Salim and Latika). And the game show host feeding Jamal the wrong answer becoming an accidental secret test of character? Awesome. The final Bollywood dance number sent me chuckling to myself, and was both played straight and an affectionate parody at the same time.

Also, I can't really understand why some film critics thought the ending was overly happy. Personally, I thought Jamal EARNED the happy ending. The emotional journey pointed to that destination. It was the only satisfying, fitting conclusion to the story. And the stark contrast between Jamal and Salim, who died in a bathtub full of paper money (oh the irony!), makes it even more so.

All in all, a must watch IMO.

WendyNYC
07-03-2009, 06:07 PM
I agree--I loved this movie. I thought the happy ending was earned, and I'm not typically one who needs the ending of a movie to be all wrapped up and joyful. The movie just would have been way to bleak without it.

Plus, Jamal's character reminded me of a street kid I met while I was doing volunteer work in India. If it would have ended with him dying, I think I would have bawled!

KTC
07-03-2009, 06:09 PM
I loved this movie too. There's actually a thread about it somewhere. I first watched it on a Friday...then watched it again on the Saturday...then again on the Sunday. I thought it was beautiful on so many levels. I loved the ending too. It's now one of my all-time favourite movies.

It only carries a passing similarity to the book...which was also very good. I was shocked by just how different the two are.

Exir
07-03-2009, 06:25 PM
Oh, and I love the fact that the movie managed to be not pretentious at all (great feat for a western movie about a third world country). It explores the life of the slums on a personal and not political level. (To see what I mean, contrast Slumdog with Blood Diamond, which, though good, was totally "nyah nyah I'm better than you".) It seems Chris Doyle knows his place, and understands that ultimately he is a "tourist", so he works within the limitations instead of inflating the movie's self worth.

So, it was good on that level too.

blacbird
10-29-2009, 01:09 AM
I have a (slightly) different take on it. I just watched it, and agree it was very well made, directed, fabulous cinematography and music, and good acting. I especially liked Anil Kapoor, the smarmy game show host. In the end, I liked it.

But it didn't knock me over. My assessment would be Very Good, not quite in the category of Great.

But I'm also very picky about movies I'd hang the "Great" medal on.

caw

veinglory
10-29-2009, 02:27 AM
I enjoyed it but it had the option of a (genre) happy ending and a (literary) ambiguous or tragic ending. I can see how some reviewers might have expected the latter. I did think that the end dance sequence was a bit of an effectation more or less preventing the viewer having any kind of contemplative response.