Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire
Directed by Danny Boyle.
2008. Rated R, 116 minutes.
Dev Patel
Freida Pinto
Madhur Mittal
Anil Kapoor

Jamal (Patel) is one question away from winning it all on Mumbai's version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" He's also uneducated and poor so the police are questioning him to find out if he's been cheating.

The screenplay is exceptionally written. It weaves the gameshow, the interrogation and Jamal's life together beautifully. Each flashback is a harrowing adventure for us to get caught up in. The movie also causes us a bit of a moral dilemma as we try to decide how we feel about Jamal's brother, Salim. Director Danny Boyle does a masterful job of pulling things together, and went on to win Best Director at this year's Oscars. It's right there with Trainspotting as my favorite movie of his. And his lead actor is a charmer.

The ending is ultimately predictable and a little too fairytale. Also, since the movie covers most of our hero's life there are three sets of actors playing him, his brother and Latika, the love of his life. Visually, it works splendidly but it robs us of any real chemistry between the actors that play them during the present.

That we can predict the ending is only a small drawback to our enjoyment. This movie is much more about the journey than the destination, and what a wonderful journey it is. By the time we realize we've been tricked into a chick flick, we're totally immersed in the storytelling and thoroughly enjoying the ride. And yes, I did call the winner of the Academy's Best Picture award (and 7 other Oscars) for 2008 a chick flick.

MY SCORE: 8.5/10

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Ottley, I believe I'm an old friend of yours from Army days. :) We were roomies along with a guy named Eric Stith. If this is you, give me a holler at this email: