Slumdog Millionaire - MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS-
Posted 23 January 2009 - 12:55 PM
The movie, as a movie, is absolutely gripping. But after I left I felt uncomfortable about watching something like this as "entertainment" and about the juxtaposition of a "feel-good" plot with such a terrible human reality.
And then later I was shown this article. Warning it does have "spoilers" in it. One could argue that a film like this is getting the general population to "notice" and think about issues we are ignoring but there is food for thought in what Alice Miles has to say.
Posted 23 January 2009 - 01:23 PM
Posted 23 January 2009 - 02:52 PM
The picture juxtaposes scenes of poverty and cruelty with comedy and fairy tale elements. It’s a tricky line to walk but I think it works. There’s no question, however, that if the picture didn’t end happily – sort of- it would be a nightmare. But I don't think a feelgood movie has to make you feel good all the way through it.
I think it's deserving too, abatt. There are quibbles, of course, but I went in to the theater with my guard up and surrendered more or less unconditionally.
Posted 23 January 2009 - 02:55 PM
Posted 23 January 2009 - 02:57 PM
Posted 25 January 2009 - 10:55 AM
Posted 26 January 2009 - 02:41 AM
The romantic part, not so effective for me, especially as they cast the adult girl way too old for the hero, and instead of getting someone with depth, they found an actress/model. (There are thousands of talented actresses who could have nailed this role, and I've seen a number of them in contemporary Indian cinema.)
Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:48 AM
Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:25 PM
Freida Pinto is indeed too pretty and well kept, but although many would have been better she didn't spoil anything (and she really is lovely). The age thing went right by me, I thought Patel and she were very appealing together.
Good point. The role of the brother is also a familiar movie type, as well.
Posted 07 February 2009 - 05:01 AM
As a contemporary movie, it couldn't completely ignore reality and refrain from portraying some of the violent realities of life in the slums. (Even romantic comedies these days make nominal attaempts to justify the time and money available to the protaginists) But - and this may say more about me than about 'Slumdog Millionaire' and Danny Boyle - I didn't think the violence was overdone in any way, and in some ways it just wasnt even credible. IMHO, the interrogation scenes were less terrifying than the average 'Homicide - Life on the Steet' episode.
There were some scenes that were very intense like the scene where the children find shelter from the rain, but ultimately everything was too by-the-book to really touch me. The happy ending was a given from the beginning, and there was no drama in the middle to make me doubt that.
The children were very affecting but I didn't feel that the adult actors were particularly good, especially if you compare them to Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, etc. from 'Trainspotting'.
All that said, I agree with sandik that the essence of India - the teeming mass of contradiction - is beautifully achieved. In 2009 India, and Mumbai in particular, is certainly deserving of a love-letter.
Posted 07 March 2009 - 02:47 PM
Posted 31 May 2009 - 08:37 AM
Posted 03 June 2009 - 10:42 AM
Thanks, EvilNinjaX. I had a feeling the filmmakers were going easy on us.
Posted 03 June 2009 - 02:35 PM
Posted 06 August 2012 - 07:38 PM
I absolutely agree with this. Some of these experiences definitely added to a different dynamic than can be found in the movie. There have also been some at first sight trivial changes to the plot and characters, as simple as the name of the main character. However, within the book, they all have their particular meanings. Taking the name as an example: As it is 'Ram Mohammad Thomas' in the book, it contains the names of three important religious personalities from three different religions. Therefore, the whole deal with his identity goes into a different direction than in the less ambiguous choice in the movie and there are some instances where this can be noticed. The violence however does really have a deep impact when seeing it visualized. I would not say it is a better way of confronting than through reading, but it is very direct.
Considering everything, I think I liked the book better for these reasons and the way the romance was portrayed, including the ending (it was indeed a bit too 'Bollywood' for my liking, as a conclusion to the rest of the movie). I personally also really like the 'dry, yet emotional' writing style of the author, Vikas Swarup. You know, the style that sounds rather matter of fact, but can make you all teary while reading. This is an old thread I see, but I'd still like to recommend reading the book. There is an excerpt from it on Vikas Swarup's website.
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