Friday, February 6, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I didn't like it. I didn't hate it, but I didn't get anything from it. It is the yearly indie film that is supposed to be socially important, by lacks all moral ambiguity which would make it so. Hollywood has done this for years. In the late 50's a slew of Sidney Poitier movies were made to make Hollywood feel edgy and progressive, even though they were overly simplistic. The difference was that Poitier was very good. He found complexity in characters, where it did not exist on the page. In Slumdog none of these actors let us into anything deeper than the surface tensions, which were completely cliche and obvious. The gimmick of the show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" failed on several levels for me. Mostly it was beyond improbable, which doesn't bother me, if the movie has a fantasy element to it. Most films I love have this. If however you are meant to be raw, then you have to be honest with it. Like the Brazilian film "City of God", which dealt with poverty, loss of family and survival in a truly disturbing, but at the same time moving manner. The need to constantly have a good guy and a bad guy was also misused. The fat cop and the skinny one who tortured him became more like a combination Officer Krupke and Dragnet by the end.

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