Slumdog Millionaire (****)
I cannot believe that in the last weekend of 2008 I actually watched a movie that I can add to my must see list. The Dark Knight was an impressive movie, but the raspy voice of Batman made it lose its fourth star. I was ready to start building the post about how much this year sucked when it came to movies, when my wife went and found this gem of a movie.
Mixing a fictional story with the crude reality affecting the world right now would be impossible to execute, but this film did it. The most amazing thing is that it did it while being entertaining, beautifully shot and impeccably casted.
I loved the use of color on the movie Hero that made the frames almost look like paitings, I also was taken back by how real City of God portrayed poverty and social inequality. I never imagined that a director could create a film where every scene could be made into a poster and hung in a gallery as a photography exhibit and also paint such a clear picture of India.
I know India is a big country and trying to say that a movie can give you an idea of what goes on over there is pretentious. The globalization theme has made me interested in India beyond liking its food and watching National Geographic documentaries. Almost every single aspect of how much India is changing is touched on in the movie. The social commentary is subtle and intelligent. From everything I have written it would seem like this is a heavy movie, but that is the best part of it, the movie is not.
Even though the movie takes on themes like poverty, globalization, and entertainment, in its core this is a coming of age story. Growing up we learn things that we use later on in life. This movie cleverly mixes that idea into how moments in your life can be used to win a game show. Not just any game show, but the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
I hope all the scattered thoughts that I have posted here spark your curiosity, because it’s hard to talk about the movie without giving too much away.