Friday, January 23, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

It’s a good flick. The story’s a nice, kinda classic love story. The visuals and the music match really well, and Danny Boyle certainly knows how to direct (not that he needed to prove it anymore). The acting is surprisingly astonishing. Everyone in this movie acts REALLY well, especially the kids! Child actors tend to not be too good, but some of the kids in this movie are amazing.

That said, I am disappointed. I didn’t see one trailer or TV spot before seeing this movie. All of the hyper I got was word-of-mouth. And there was a hell of a lot of hype. I don’t think the movie lives up. It was sold to me as “the little foreign movie that could”.

1) It’s not that little. Sure, 15 million bucks ain’t a lot of dough in Hollywood terms, but it goes a long fucking way when you’re shooting in India, with Indian actors and Indian crewmembers. This is NOT an indie flick. Fox was involved in its production. Sure, it was Fox Searchlight, but it was Fox nonetheless.
2) It’s not that foreign. It was shot in India and the cast was India and they employed plenty of Indian people in the production, but it was made with American money by a British director. It’s NOT and Indian movie.

I think that this movie has had a lot of success because people are being, for lack of a better term, tricked into thinking that they are seeing a foreign movie. They think because it’s got a bunch of brown people in it, they are being smart and sophisticated by watching a movie outside of their typical purview. But they aren’t. This same story could have been set anywhere there is poverty -- which is mostly everywhere. The details would be different if you set it in the slums of L.A. or Chicago, but the story itself could remain the same.

That said, you should still go see it. It just doesn’t deserve its Oscar nominations.

1 comment:

mohitparikh said...

You are right in the sense that its not totally a 'Foreign film' for you. But in its Heart it is Indian. The story is classic bollywood, the acting style, the music is indian...whats new for us is the presentation...which was mind blowing.