Best Picture Reviews: Slumdog Millionaire

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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?

**1/2

One thought on “Best Picture Reviews: Slumdog Millionaire

  1. I was not a fan of this movie at all. As a fan of Bollywood, I can say, it’s not Bollywood (and in fact I believe it was made by a British production company). Because of that musical number at the end and the country it’s set in, a lot of people were calling it Bollywood.

    The storyline was relentless, which normally I wouldn’t mind depending on the movie. But I think you’re right on this movie: The lives of these kids are so severe, that to pop in this notion of coincidences helping this guy out on a game show is just too hard to swallow. He just happens to know the answer to this question cause he was in this situation two years ago. He just happens to know the answer to that question cause he was in that situation five years ago. Too convenient. (Come to think of it, I wasn’t a big fan of Forrest Gump either).

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