Sunday, 11 January 2009

Tonight’s Lottery Ticket

Film Review: Saturday night at the Movies

To London's busy London to celebrate with E&R&R&S..... Happy birthday E

We went to the Curzon and had a marvellous time seeing the excellent "Slumdog millionaire".

I've always liked Danny Boyle's work but I think this is his most complete cohesive film for ages. It's a modern thrilling fable set in Indian charting the childhood of 3 slum kids and is set around a miraculous gameshow appearance by the main character. I won't do the plot here as you'll have heard about it elsewhere. Just give some thoughts.

Firstly Ignore all the "feel good film of year nonsense", that is if you are expecting "My best friend's wedding" or "calendar girls" it's feel good only in the way that really good art makes you feel more alive excites you, entertains and engages. It's not feel good in the general meaning i.e. rolling skating with Dalmatians tampon ad "feel good" patronising nonsense let's kick ABBA to death way.
What to say:

  • Slumdog looks great with excellent Kinetic camera work.
  • It sounds good particular the scene on the train where they start playing the M.I.A track see below (if it seems a little 2007 I think they had problems releasing the film which is madness because it so good).
  • The kids' acting especially the little kids is really good.
  • Boyle credits poor people with a rich life which although hard isn't dull or meaningless but without being tedious, worthy and wholemeal about it, it's not a lecture on extreme poverty but doesn't trivialise hardship either. One thing to mention is that it does have violence in it from the start, nothing extreme but you don't get through life in ghetto without the odd black eye, bust lip or being turned over by the cops.
  • My only complaint was that the Curzon's aircon was faulty, there must have dust or something blowing out because I got something in my eye towards eye just for a moment not for long what with my steely manly eyes mind you....

  • So in short Slumdog Millionaire is definitely worth a trip to flicks, (it won't look as good on the small screen, India is after all a big country.)

Here's Danny Boyle playing doing magic with light!!

Here's the Clash sorry MIA paper planes


Cocktails said...

I don't know what they were thinking of selling it as a 'feel good' movie. It's not at all.

Didn't you think that it was a bit style over substance? I thought the film was very well shot but the story...? it was just a trite love story. The 'interest' you could say comes from seeing poor people/poor 'foreigners' (even better!) on screen...

BLTP said...

I think if you think of it as "fable" it helps so that the main characters are archetypes and so don't need to be fully formed.
No film can tick every box .It just sits across several genres which is where the confusion begins.

Cocktails said...

I see your point. The ending still annoyed me though.

I guess it is a 'feel good' film in that the boy got the girl and they all lived happily ever after. Or at least until he gets mugged.

BLTP said...

well I'm sure the prince gets hacked off with rapunzel in the ned with her brushing her hair all the time, same goes for cinderella going on about how hard her life was, sleeping beauty narcolepsy would annoy and as for the feckless princes....
I've not seen it but doesn't shrek cover all this?

Cocktails said...

Yes, it probably does. Just having a cyncical day...