Saturday, 17 December 2011

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire, 208
Directed by Danny Boyle
Nominated for 10 Oscars, Won 8

Synopsis: Jamal Malik is an eighteen year old uneducated boy from the Slums of India. And he's one question away from winning India's Who Want To Be a Millionaire. But how could a boy, who's uneducated and from the slums, know answers and get farther than doctors and lawyers have? Jamal shows us, exactly how every question is answered, showing us his life growing up.

I'm going to start this off right now and tell you that my favourite film of 2008 was David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Yes, that long one, with Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt, who aged backwards. While it was my favourite, I know and accept why it didn't win Best Picture, and why Slumdog did. Even if I think The Dark Knight or Doubt were way more deserving (and subsequently not nominated)

The film was well-done in the way of telling Jamal's back story. The little boys who play him, and his brother Salim, were most excellent and I thought they were quite brilliant. They were hilarious, but they also dealt with the hard things in life, and saw so many things that many of us will never see in our lives.I appreciated the fact that, while this was sort of a story about Jamal's life, we saw the significance in everything. While I felt the love story line to be slightly detracting about from the film, overall it was well balanced between focusing on Jamal's life, and showing us how he knew all the answers.

The cinematography was quite excellent. Similar to The Hurt Locker, is was shaky, and "unprofessional" looking most times (especially when in the slums), and made you feel like you were there with Jamal and Salim. It creatively and beautifully portrayed the slums, the cities, the Taj Mahal, and everything in between. We see shots us children digging through trash, and being abused by cops, and just playing and having fun, not having much of a care in the world.  The colours were beautiful, and the use of Indian music in the film was great. 

This film gave so much interesting insight to the culture of India; the living conditions, the poverty, and exactly what people (children and adults alike) will do for money, including lie, cheat, steal and murder. It's an uncomfortable look that forces us to evaluate and certainly appreciate what we have, because there are so many others around the world who don't have what we do. It has such a strong story about real life poverty. Not the poverty we see on the TV ads, or read about in an article then don't look at again. It's a story of one boy's life, and how he deals with it, all the trouble he gets into, how awful he life really was, and how he still came out on top, knowing most of the answers on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? However, the fact that all the questions on the game show happen to be in chronological order to Jamal's life is extremely unbelievable, and I felt it very much detracted from the story. The film didn't shy away from too much, though often times it felt cliche and over-done. Like I mentioned before, the love story was a major detraction and the film would've been much better without it. The tension and relationship between the two brothers was far more fascinating.

This film definitely opened my eyes up to the rest of the world, and how fortunate I am to have the life I do, while I shall continue to pray and help other less fortunate than I am.

While this film wasn't my favourite of the year, many of the films I did enjoy from this year simply weren't nominated. While this may not have been the film I picked, it was a good pick for diversity-sake, and admittedly, a more mainstream and popular choice than it could've been.

Acting- 8.5/10 
Directing- 7.5/10 
Screenplay- 7.5/10 
Visuals- 8/10 
Music- 8/10 
Emotional Connection- 7.5/10 
Entertainment- 7.5/10 
Rewatchability- 7/10 
Overall Enjoyment- 7/10 
Overall Package- 7.5/10       

Total: 76/100

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