Thursday, February 19, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire is a flawed film

Last night we decided to see a movie, and after the hype I'd read about this new film, we watched 'Slumdog Millionaire'. There were many people in the theatre for a Thursday night and they all stayed during the credits which were over bhangra dancing at a railway station!

It certainly was an enjoyable film, except for some gross scenes which I want to forget about. It was Bollywood a little - story of poverty to riches - boy and girl in love - well, that wasn't the usual singing around trees, and wonderful cinematography. However, the characters were not developed. The scene stealers were the children in the first third of the film - three children who were actually from the slums and still live there! By the way the word 'slumdog' is an insulting term to Indian people.
Anyway here are my notes:
As in 'Who wants to be a millionaire' here is a question with four possible answers.
Is the movie Slumdog Millionaire
a. poverty voyeurism?
b. another Bollywood plot but done by a Westerner?
c. exploitation of child actors?
d. a superlative movie but flawed?

The child actors were paid very little money for their acting – mainly school fees, etc. so that's not okay when the film will make millions. First half well done, second half many coincidences and unbelievable. (Of course it's meant to be fantasy.) The leads - both rather dull acting. Female characters as victims. The early scenes were often spectacular particularly the race riots. The blue Krishna was a lovely touch.
Language - Hindi should have been used in the police interrogation scene, and other places. The English accent and language seemed incorrect for a young man who lived in Mumbai slums and his schooling wouldn't have given him that accent. One little glitch - the young woman has scars on both sides of her face in one scene, one scar in other scenes. As a whole, the film didn't have credibility for me, though it certainly was an excellent movie in many respects.

Check out some of the websites, especially those where the opinions of Indian people are aired.
(later - Tuesday morning.) Well I am surprised at the accolades to this movie. Eight Oscars! Some aspects well-deserved but best picture - I dunnno. It was the only film we wanted to see out of eight last week, some others had Oscar winners for acting.
Anyway, good luck to the makers of this British/Indian movie.

Best picture award even though the film had no stars.
Best director - Boyle, the British director who found the film of his career in the streets of Mumbai.
Best adapted screenplay award for his handling of Vikas Swarup's novel.
Best score.
Best song for the upbeat "Jai Ho," the movie's finale which kept the audience (in our case) still in their seats till the very end.
And what else?

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home