Last night we went to see what the fuss was all about. While Slumdog is fairly entertaining, I found the overall package to fall far short of an "instant classic". My main gripe with this film was that the plot mechanisms were very contrived, in many cases incredibly predictable. By the time we got to the second flashback, the scene was pretty much set. There will be some horrific disaster or injustice; and then, there will be some miraculous turn of events to contrast with the evil. This formula was repeated again and again; I suppose the thinking was that this was an analogue of the Indian experience itself. I thought that it was simply clumsy and self-serving. Another annoyance was the injection of Western arrogance into the film; for example, the "three musketeers" scene which of course was just a contrivance to set up the dramatic final question. Two Indian children whose mother had just been brutally murdered, who had just seen a man burned to death in front of them, would be prattling on about the characters in an Alexandre Dumas novel? Really? What in the world was this director thinking? Did he really think that anyone could watch this scene with a straight face? The subplot with Salim as a gangster was quite unbelievable and discontinuous with the rest of the film. This could have been a good concept for a different film, where this plot could have be more fully developed, but it did not fit well in this movie. Another contrivance, and one that did not work well, I thought it was very awkward. With that being said, there is still enough entertainment value to rate this film 6 stars. It was worth the matinée price that I paid, but I am not certain it would have been worth full admission. Best Movie of the year? Spare me. That outcome simply shows how meaningless the Oscars have become.
Drama / Romance
Drama / Romance
A Mumbai teen reflects on his upbringing in the slums when he is accused of cheating on the Indian Version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"
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April 12, 2019