Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I watched this film last night. What a bunch of manipulative, melodramatic pap! I was really rather shocked. Not at the film itself, mind you, but, in retrospect, at all the hype and critical praise that was heaped upon this thing when it was released. People were falling over themselves to say how fantastic it was. I found it exploitational in the extreme, and, while I have nothing against exploitation cinema, let's call it what it is, shall we? The film lurched from one lurid set piece to another, mostly involving the endangerment and abuse of children, all within a cynically-packaged dual frame story of game show/police interrogation. Then, in a final fuck-you-you'll-watch-anything gesture, they tack a Bollywood dance number on the end.

While competently made by the once-great Danny Boyle, I have to say I was never engaged by this movie, much less moved. It was just too obvious. I can only assume that the avalanche of critical love for Slumdog Millionaire was either a simple case of monkey see/monkey do, or that Westerners are complete suckers for sentimental tales of Asian squalor. In that regard, take my advice and rent Salaam Bombay instead.

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