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Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

July 12, 2009

8/10 Lucky Bastards

Wasn’t the best movie that came out last year, but glad it won Best Picture all the same. Always great to see sleeper movies like this just take off and take the freakin’ world by storm.

Slumdog Millionaire is about a kid whose destiny leads him to be a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in hopes to find his long-lost love that he grew up with in the slums of India.

If I had a problem like that, I’d turn to Regis Philbin or Meredith Vieira, too.

Now I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, director Danny Boyle is the man and he’s one of the best in biz out there today. I’m sure India is a beautiful country, but man, Danny boy sure gave it the royal treatment. Absolutely stunning movie to watch from a visual and technical standpoint that just reaffirms why he’s the man and that he’s only getting better. If you liked this, go see his other stuff, it’s pretty much all great.

But aside from how good this movie is behind the scenes, it’s also just as good in every other aspect. It has a really fantastic story that moves along at an engaging, beautiful pace, all the while hitting every emotional chord you can possibly aim for over a span of two hours.

And don’t give me any of that crap about how you don’t like reading subtitles. Only, like, a third of the movie is in subtitles, they’re actually put together in a fun, new way, and honestly, it’s about time you got over it. Sorry, but it has to be said.

The characters in the story are also all very relatable and genuine, probably because the movie follows them from their days as slumdogs to when they grow up and blossom into slum…hounds (?), and all the actors are surprisingly damn good, too. It’s great to see movies featuring no-name casts that have never done a lick of acting in their life, but end up kicking ass regardless.

So even if you’ve never been to India, don’t care about India, and never eaten Indian food (you’re missing out), it’s still a movie that will glue you to your seat from the get-go.

So yeah, I liked Slumdog Millionaire, but at the same time, it didn’t really stick with me the way I think it did with a lot of other people. I had big expectations going into it, and while they were definitely met, they were also kind of expected. I think if I had been in the shoes of my good buddy Fred who got roped into seeing this movie with me without any real idea of what he was signing up for, I probably would have much fonder memories of the movie as a whole.

But don’t take that as a complaint, you should still go see this movie if you haven’t already. It’s a great movie and I always smile when I replay the same amazing images in my head of Danny Boyle’s unreal camerawork in the streets of Mumbai.

These are the kinds of movies that need to get recognized more often, the ones that make you want to get up out of your seat and cheer in a dark room full of strangers. Slumdog may not be the biggest Hollywood blockbuster of the year, but it’s got the heart to match and is a wonderful reminder of the power of storytelling through film.

Pretty deep, huh?

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