Saturday, February 14, 2009
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Three reschedules later I finally was able to see this one. And I'm probably the last person I know to do so. Hyped up? Yes. Deserving? Also, yes.
I liked the public-facing storyline of Jamal, the Indian teen who winds up on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. But if you haven't seen this one yet, know that this is pivotal on the surface but irrelevant to the underlying story.
Flashback story telling is hardly novel but the use of such in this film tells a broader story of not just the main character's life but of mainstream life for the underpriviliged in India's largest city. If you haven't been to India yet, this film will give you a very small glimpse of what most Westerner's perceive as an almost impossible contrast in lifestyles. Each question asked on the show yields another flashback to how he knows the answer, another glimpse into modern day Indian life and another fragment of what becomes the actual story and message.
I had to laugh out loud at the end. Even though this film is shot more in the style of City Of God and definitely resists the conventional path of Bollywood, there was however the obligatory, if not parody of Bollywood, group dancing scene at the end. Nice though that they wove it into the credits rather than after every scene.
Definitely a whopping success for director, Danny Boyle, who managed to tweeze out what will likely be this year's best film from a cast of virtual unknowns. Dev Patel, who plays the lead, along with the two kids who play him at younger ages definitely steal the scenes. While I don't think any of them will nab acting awards this go 'round, they all put forth one hell of a performance.
It seems from Slumdog Millionaire, what we should know, what they deliver in Buddhist tone wrapped up in slick production, is that the final answer for eveything is fate.