Comments on watching and making films.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

It's been on everyone's "best of" list for the year, and has been heaped with praise. Now, Danny Boyle, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated director's working right now. He seems to get very little attention or credit for his amazing body of work. Almost everything he's done has been great, from the 90's drug staple Trainspotting, to the movie that rebooted the zombie genre 28 Days Later, to the (in my opinion) SEVERELY underrated sci-fi thriller Sunshine. Boyle continues to amaze in everything he does, and while Slumdog Millionaire is an enjoyable film, it is, in my opinion, one of the least of his films, and definitely not worth the massive amounts of praise that is heaped on it.

The story concerns the life of Jamal, a young man who gets a chance to make a million dollars on India's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. He makes it to the final round, but before he can take the stage, he is abducted by local police who try to torture him into confessing that he is cheating. Instead, he recounts his childhood, and how (almost) every question that is asked of him has some sort of personal story from his life attached to it, and how, ultimately, he is only trying to win the game so that he can rescue the love of his life, Latika, from a ruthless gangster. Jamal's stories range from when he was a young boy, with his brother Salim, to his current situation as a "lowest man on the totem pole" at a customer service call in center.

Don't take me the wrong way, Slumdog Millionaire is a great film. Although it's destiny driven message is, at times, a little heavy handed, ultimately it is an uplifting film about humanity and the power of love. That being said, I think there are a lot of other BETTER films that have come out this year that deserve to be called the best of the year. Boyle delivers something entertaining, but not amazing. Personally, I think Millions was just as good, or possibly better, but that's probably just a personal thing (seeing as how everyone seems to hate Millions but me...)

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