Slumdog Millionaire

This movie wasn’t what I expected. What was I expecting? A gritty tale of poverty and the rise against it. Did I get that? Yeah, I guess I kind of did. But it was wrapped around an inner core of a fantastical love story. Or maybe it was the other way around? But ultimately I liked it.

The love story wasn’t completely far fetched for fiction standards; compared to a Korean melodrama, it was pretty damn realistic, but compared to life, maybe a bit too optimistic. I’m sure we all need an escape from reality once in awhile, though. The poverty side of it was gritty enough as it was. I liked the whole “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?” device, too. It served as an interesting way of telling the main character’s struggles through life, deftly avoiding the tried and true serial, past-to-present format, as well as the almost-as-common, basic flashback format.

Overall, I really enjoyed the presentation and cinematography. The movie is supposedly a fairly accurate representation of life in the lower rungs of Indian society, and it does a nice job portraying its various facets, touching on poverty, crime, religious violence, police corruption, and maybe even infrastructure, all through some nice camera work.  Each was presented in an almost observational way, so that it didn’t really bog down the main story. There’s very little commentary from the characters regarding such events; things just happen, and they try to make do. I was actually kind of surprised with how blunt the movie was. Usually with movies that involve culture or “state of the unions”, you definitely get some glossing and massaging to go with your free pair of rose-colored lenses. This movie did not apologize, and just presented; somehow I think it actually resulted in giving more dignity and respect that way. I’m sure that was the plan. The main character’s struggles definitely become more sharp.

And then at the end, we’re treated to some homage to Bollywood movies. That was mildly amusing. Let’s all break out and DANCE!

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