Saturday, 24 January 2009

#11 Review For 'Slumdog Millionaire'

Danny Boyle
Loveleen Tandan (Co-Director: India)
Dev Patel
Freida Pinto
Prem Kumar
Simon Beaufoy
Running Time

Life’s never been so brutal in Danny Boyle’s new flick ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. Boyle is already known for giving the world some great films such as ‘Trainspotting’ and ’28 Days Later’ and he has done it again. To be honest when I first heard about ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ I wasn’t that bothered about it. However after picking up four awards at the 09 Golden Globes (Best Director, Best Picture, Best Original Score and Best Screenplay), I started taking notice to it. With some people hailing it as film of the year and it being nominated for twelve Academy Awards, it would be stupid to miss such a film. So here is what I thought of 'Slumdog'

Well firstly, I agree 100% with what people are saying about it. It is one of the films of the year (I don’t think anyone could call a film ‘film of the year’ so early into the year) along with Aronofsky’s ‘The Wrestler'. Bursting at the seams with colour and culture, audience really pay attention to the beauty (and lack of) of India’s slums and urban cities. The film has a lot of chase sequences but Boyle keeps the audiences alongside the characters by using a handheld camera. Even though the camera is going as fast as someone who is being chased none of the beauty is lost. And on a note of beauty, there is a brilliant Bollywood dance over the end credits which leaves the film on a happy note.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is a story about love and greed. It follows the life of Jamal, Salim (his brother) and Latika (his err… life partner I guess) as life keeps separating them during the course of their unbelievably sad childhood. If you have heard anyone calling ‘Slumdog’ a feel good movie, it certainly isn’t. With touchier, ethnic/racial conflict scenes with an added just bad luck, the movie in my eyes wasn’t so much a feel good flick as it was a documentary of how harsh life is for people living in slums. With all this negativity there is a good mix of comedy and romance to keep the audiences happy. Plus with the added joke of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ thrown in for a good laugh of how cheesy the program is.

As Boyle himself said in the cities of India it seems to go in fast forward so he had to be quick in the choices camera shots. He intended for the film to be subjective instead of a western for example where you are just there watching, with Slumdog’ the audience see the situations as Jamal (the protagonist) sees it. I thought this was definitely a good idea so that the film wasn’t flooded with scenes because the film is two hours long when it is following just one persons view. Thinking back on it there are very few scenes with out Jamal in, the ones without him in were there to push the story along.

Dev Patel is known through out the country for his performance as Anwar in Channel4 controversial and groundbreaking series ‘Skins’. He only played a supporting character but really ‘Skins’ didn’t show audiences what he can really do with a good role. First with ‘Skins’ and now with ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, what does the future hold for this promising young star? But he alone can not be credited for a outstanding performance. All the child actors who played Jamal, Salim or Latika though out the film where fantastic. Even the smaller characters did an amazing job bringing the screenplay to life.

On a final note, I want everyone who reads this to the very least watch the trailer for it as it is scooping up so much press and awards. It’s one of those films that will be remembers for many years to come for its beauty. Along with ‘The Wrestler’ and Van Sant’s ‘Milk’ it’s looking to be a great film for cinema, strange though that it so many brilliant films are being release so early in the new year. Well hopefully we haven’t seen nothing yet.

* * * * *

Oliver Hunt

No comments:

Post a Comment