Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Brief Review: Slumdog Millionaire

I checked out Slumdog Millionaire last night at the 'Tag and was seriously impressed. Filmmaker Danny Boyle brings the same frantic pace of Trainspotting and grittiness of 28 Days Later to the film based on the book Q and A by Vikas Swarup. The film tells the story of Jamal and his lifelong search for his true love Latika. Jamal's quest culminates with an appearance on the set of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and in the interrogation room of a local police station.

Somehow, Boyle is able to capture the realism of the streets of Mumbai for children living an impoverished existence without giving up on the hope and optimism of true love. And he does this at a neck-breaking pace that engages you throughout even though you're sure you know how it will end. Additionally, it is impossible to become lost in the story despite the film's nonlinear trajectory as Boyle masterfully pieces together his own version of Swarup's story.

The film has an interesting balance of colonial India with the new, globalized India that makes for a modern classic not yet seen in the West anyway...or maybe just Misery. Either way, the film is quite brilliant and worth your money.


abby said...

here here!
loved it.

Juliet said...

I totally agree. I adored this film. I heard a reviewer blast it on NPR a few days before I saw it, and boy was he wrong.

ATR said...

This one is on the Monkey Must-See List, but, it doesn't get here to Dullsville until Thursday. I live in a cultural backwater. A cold, gray, lifeless cultural backwater. Listen to me...I sound like you.

Lauren K said...

I just caught this last week at the Ragtag as well and (for lack of a less cliche term) I loved it. I'd heard good things and went into it with high expectations, but it really lived up to the hype. The only thing that struck me as odd about the film was the final dance number during the credits. But I laughed, so all was well. Thanks for your review.

comoprozac said...

I was disappointed with the Baliwood dance number as well, but what did you expect?