Look at the marketing campaign for this movie. Critics have been calling it, “The feel-good movie of the decade” and “Two hours of unbelievable happiness” I’m sorry, what?
I came into this movie knowing perfectly well about the dance scene at the end and expecting the feel-good movie I was promised, But when I watched the movie, most of it is just a lot of people suffering. It is simply unpleasant to watch. At least Crash had the hard-to-watch-but-hard-to-look-away vibe. Much of Slumdog Millionaire was something I simply did not want to look at.
To the point where at the end of the film, when the dance scene comes, it feels ridiculously out of place given the tone that the film was trying to express. I understand that the ‘everybody dance’ ending is very popular in Bollywood, but come on. It’s like if Schindler’s List had the ending from Footloose. Some things just don’t fit together.
In fact, I’d have to say that the number one problem with this movie is the tone. The overall setup of the movie is that a guy knows all the answers to the Millionaire questions because of events in his life. That’s kind of a Forrest Gump-style premise told in a very gritty and dark style with an insanely happy ending. Starting to see the problem here?
But with all that said, Slumdog Millionaire isn’t a terrible movie. I think that the movie does have solid writing and acting, but the problem is in the direction and tone. I’m glad that I saw it just to say that I’ve seen it, but I highly doubt I’ll be watching this one again.
So the question becomes; how did this film win Best Picture in a year when WALL-E and The Dark Knight weren’t even nominated?