April 13th, 2009


Slumdog Millionaire

Finally watched Slumdog Millionaire, on the flight back from New York. It was about what I expected. 71/100.

  1. Mainstream Hollywood movie, no white people. Hollywood is full of cretins who believe that white people will only go to a movie if they can 'relate' to the main characters, i.e. if the main characters are white. Fuck that noise. (I guess I could have stopped at, "Hollywood is full of cretins.")
  2. The kids are good actors.
  3. It goes by fast, fairly entertaining.

  1. The main character is a tedious jughead with one facial expression and no personality.
  2. The main love interest is some chick with even LESS personality; the love story is stupid because what exactly is the love based on? There isn't anything notable about either of them other than the chick being hot. I cannot think of two blander, less interesting leads in a movie.
  3. The 'amazing dance scene' at the end that critics raved about is, frankly, shite. I hate to be all Indie Rock Joe on you, but if you think that's an example of amazing Bollywood music/dance then you are speaking from a position of ignorance. If you want to see amazing music/dance scenes, rent Lagaan. Warning: 3 1/2 hr movie about cricket

Have you ever noticed that all of Danny Boyle's movies are about poor people who find a suitcase full of money? Shallow Grave, Trainspotting and Millions are all examples of this. (In Slumdog the "suitcase" is basically the 20 million rupee prize.) It is a good plot device, so I don't fault him for reusing it. Shallow Grave is still my favorite; not unrelatedly, it's the darkest of the lot.

He also seems to enjoy putting in scenes where the character dives into a shithole (literally) to pursue some object of desire. Trainspotting and Slumdog both had this.

In the hands of a competent director, I don't mind seeing variations on a theme. You can do a lot of different things within a single framework. Actually, it seems to me that constraints are often necessary for creativity to flourish; artists tend to flounder when faced with a blank slate.

The Hollywood version of a blank slate is a $500 million budget. Maybe this is why Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer make such shitty movies-- they get too much money to play with. What if they had to make a movie on a budget of $10 and a box of Cracker Jacks? Would the result be more interesting?

Eh, they'd probably spend the $10 on some cheap firecrackers and blow up the box (in effect creating the low-budget Turkish version of Pearl Harbor.)