Slumdog Millionaire

Posted by schnolis on January 7th, 2009 filed in Reviews

SLUMDOG_MILLIONAIRESlumdog Millionaire is an uplifting movie about a young man, Jamal, and his quest to find the love of his life despite the awful things happening around him.

One one level, it’s a movie full of cliche. Jamal is confronted at every turn with malevolent people, rotten luck, and awful timing. He’s poor, dorky, has almost no prospects, and is hopelessly in love with a beautiful girl who is herself trapped by a wealthy loveless tyrant who doesn’t appreciate her. His only family, a brother, tries to steal her from him. Even people who seem to be on his side plot against him. I don’t need to tell you how it ends up. It’s that kind of movie.

How the story gets there, though, is another matter. In the details of how all of this happens this movie really shines. Jamal is impossible to dislike. The fantastic happenings aren’t too absurd individually so long as you don’t think about them all at once. Suspense is built and released so well through the entire picture. Visually this movie is stunning. I kept staring at the backgrounds of scenes taking in the sights of Mumbai like a tourist, loving the many panoramas and amazing sights.

Ultimately if you like love stories complete with happy endings, you’re going to enjoy this picture. It takes one of the most familiar stories and imbues it with so much flair and drama you just go along for the ride.

What I liked: The interesting stories and characters. Really amazing colored subtitles. Freida Pinto, the actress playing Jamal’s love interest, is beautiful. The bright colors used throughout the film. The landscapes.

What I disliked: Implausible scenarios happen too often. A little too much back and forth with the time machine tool. The kids were too hard to tell apart, especially the boys. With different actors playing three distinct ages, and other characters besides, I couldn’t keep up. This might be a deficiency of my own as I always have trouble telling characters apart. Speaking a foreign language really didn’t help.

Rating: 8 of 10

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