Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Everybody has been salivating over Slumdog Millionaire, which was based on Vikas Swarup’s novel, “Q & A.” This is the latest film from Danny Boyle along with his co-director Loveleen Tandan. This movie has 86 on the Metatcritic and it has been nominated for 4 Golden Globes awards. People are saying that this is the best film of the year. I would strongly disagree with that.

I want to list the good things about this film. The direction of this movie was great. The visuals of the slums in India, the jailhouse and the studio were awesome. To me, I think that the flashback of younger Jamal, Latika and Salim were great. The Hindi parts were genius. I was fine with the subtitles. It was very effective to the narrative. The way that the Muslim people were treated in the slums was heartbreaking. There were some cringe-worthy moments in this film, but not tough to watch.

I loved Anil Kapoor as the game show host, Prem Kumar.

However, I need to say that I have problems with the film. There are an abundant amount of Dutch angles in this film. Is that necessary? The reason why Jamal goes on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” is so stupid. Just so he wants to know that Latika is watching. Are you kidding me?

When Jamal is suspected of cheating every question he knows the answer to, even the ones that he has no idea, he gets right. For example, he was asked how does he know who is on the $100 bill and he flashes back to his blind friend telling him the answer was Benjamin Franklin. Yet, he doesn’t know who is on the currency of the $1000 rupee bill. I call bullshit.

Some of the dialogue was hard to understand with the police officers (Irrfan Khan and Saruabh Shukla). There was one part in the film when a couple of officers pass by the camera. One of them says, “Stop filming. Stop filming.” Shouldn’t the editor, Chris Dickins or Danny Boyle catch that? Lastly, when older Jamal (Dev Patel) confronts his estranged brother, Salim (Madhur Mittal) and punches him, when he yells you can hear Dev’s British accent come out in full force. That took me out of the film.

Some people compare this film to City of God. Personally, they are not in the same league. Yes, they have to deal with kids that have to live through insurmountable odds, and have to turn to violence in order to survive, but that’s where the similarities end.

I think that this movie’s biggest disservice is that it was based on a book. If you based a “romance” from a book, then the romance would feel forced and disingenuous.

It was a good movie. Absolutely, but I’m not going to shower total praise on this film.

My rating: *** stars.


About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on December 29, 2008, in 2008, Academy Award Winner, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, Best Picture, Crime, Dark, Drama, Independent, Romantic, Running Feature, Top 250 of All Time on IMDB and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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