Monday, January 26, 2009

Slumdogs of Beverly Hills

The many varied reactions to Slumdog Millionaire are so doesn't warrant the raves it's getting, esp about it's clever plot (good brother, bad brother, girl who comes between them was an old standard when D W Griffith was making flickers...)but some of the brickbats are bizarre. The "heinous torture" of children was brief and mostly off camera, and Dickensian in the sense that it felt like it came out of an old story book and didn't have any basis in the reality of real slumdogs in Mumbai. The actors are adorable and the soundtrack is great, but other than that and the flashback story structure of how the uneducated boy was able to answer the gameshow questions, there's not much else to recommend about this's sweet and crowd pleasing and probably going to win the Oscar and in 20 years time people will be asking, "why did that movie win so many awards?" just like we do now about 80% of the movies that have won the Oscar in the past...(ahem, Gandhi/Dances with Wolves/Braveheart/Forrest Gump/Crash)

But, I hope the cast gets work out of this, esp. the adorable Dev Patel as the oldest incarnation of our hero and Anil Kapoor as the swarmy host of Millionaire. Patel is already a rising young actor in his native UK, starring in the hit tv series Skins, and Kapoor is a major star in India, but it would be nice for them to get some Hollywood work...and paychecks.

No comments: