Celebrating Great Films

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire#34 at time of writing.

A blaze of colour, great music, endearing characters, and compelling themes - this explodes onto the screen. Its jagged mix of Bollywood schmaltz, gameshow capitalism, and Danny Boyle grit is like nothing you've seen before.

An impoverished Indian teen becomes a contestant on the Hindi version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, and is arrested on suspicion of cheating. The police interrogation reveals that the tragic events of his life provided the answers, as if it was fated.

It falls just shy of a 10/10 for me, at least on the first viewing. Why? I think it's because you know exactly how the film is going to play out after the first five minutes. Which, I guess, is appropriate in a film about destiny. But it didn't stop me from feeling a little... impatient for the first half-hour or so.

Still, undeniably, a masterpiece.

Some fun trivia:

The production company has arranged for a rickshaw driver to take the three child actors (who, by the way, are flawless in this film) to school every day until they are 16 years old.

And Chris Tarrant, host of the original Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, featured in Danny Boyle's debut film Shallow Grave as the host of another TV quiz show 'Lose A Million'.

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