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Loved by everyone except India, Slumdog Millionaire's powerful story, uplifting messages, great cinematography, Danny Boyle's confident, assured direction and a star-making turn from Dev Patel make this 2008 Best Picture winner a crowd-pleaser...provided those crowds aren't made up predominantly of Indians, of course :p seeing as how they really hated this movie.
Best movie of the world
Filled with color and optimism, Slumdog Millionaire is a treat for all. Dev Patel certainly steals the show...!
Though it's not exactly a narrative I haven't seen before, and the movie can sometimes be a little melodramatic, I still enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire quite a bit with its well-told story, good performances, and good direction from Danny Boyle. In conclusion, I don't absolutely love the movie, but it's definitely a good one.
This was a very well acted and emotionally powerful movie. Dev Patel absolutely stands out in this movie
"It is written," the movie repeats (and without a lick of the irony that line carries in LAWRENCE), though considering the thin motivation and lack of characterization for practically all involved, a better line would probably be: "This is underwritten." Apart from Boyle's typically frantic aesthetic and a now-dated, then-original framing, the movie is utterly impoverished of ideas, exploiting not only some of the actual actors---unforgivable enough as that is---but the lived experience of the most vulnerable members of a society, treating them as mere stereotypes and fodder for entertainment without even a moment's consideration of the structural or historical socio-economic factors that make their existence so precarious. Likewise, and perhaps worse yet, is how the movie inevitably reproduces an apolitical ethics of contingency and individualism as the only means out of the slums: Be smart, be resilient, be lucky---or, most importantly, don't be born poor.
This, much like 2018's Best Picture Green Book, is a perfectly fine film but if it is the best film produced in a calendar year that's a pretty weak year. 2008 wasn't as dismal as 2005 or 1961 as a year in cinema but nothing that brings the word "classic" to mind was released either. I know that some love The Dark Knight (2008) but I think it's a perfectly OK film that is significantly better than your average superhero flick therefore people love to rate it higher than it deserves. Danny Boyle is a very talented director as shown with Shallow Grave () and Trainspotting (1996) but this isn't even his best work and he hardly warrants a Scorsese for The Departed (2006) award. It surprises me that they would choose to reward this but they did and I will review it on it's own merits.
We see a young man ,Dev Patel, being questioned by police as he been able to successfully answer every question on a seemingly unwinnable episode of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? He then explains the events in his life that lead him to know the answers to each of these questions complete with flashbacks. The loss of his childhood love Latika, Freida Pinto, and his struggle to survive drive him to strive for more and as he continues being questioned public support for him grows. It's a fun little gimmick that allows for a Forrest Gump-like story in which this man intersected with several major historical events through happenstance as he chases an unattainable woman.
I remember watching this when I was younger and being largely entertained by it and horrified when he lets go of Latika. Watching it now it all seemed a bit silly and Patel's performance in the lead role a bit blank but it was still a solid film and a good attempt at telling a story that combines several eclectic elements. The film appeals to all ages as although it concerns a young man a lot of events that only older generations will have really interacted with are referenced and the classical love story and tale of survival are age-old. In that way it is a good movie to watch with an eclectic group of people as nobody will really be turned off by it and everyone will remain relatively engaged but if you want to watch a really fun movie from this year look to the crowd-pleasing Mamma Mia! (2008).
For a film so stuffed with information I feel I have very little to talk about with the writing being possibly the best thing about the film as they have woven an interesting story that is rather hard to tell. Although most of the dialogue is expository it is entertaining even when ridiculous and some clever trickery is used to explain why he is so often present during times of great social upheaval. No, there is not really a political bent or any real message to the story, although the difficult living conditions of children in third world countries are illuminated, that should not really be the mark of every truly great film though.
But really? The best film of 2008? I think we can all collectively agree that Rachel Getting Married (2008) was a searing piece of work from Jonathan Demme that explores a really interesting family affected by Anne Hathaway, giving her best performance, having crashed her car whilst high killing her brother. Better directed, acted and written than this film Rachel Getting Married is dark and funny at once and we see a very unsympathetic main character surrounded by equally rotten people struggle to make amends her sister. This is a far more involving story and it's lack of recognition from the Academy is criminal. Slumdog Millionaire is looked back on as one of the weaker winners and although the 2000s were a pretty weak decade for Best Picture winners this stands out as being middling, not as horrible as Chicago (2002) but not as good as Million Dollar Baby (2004).
Having just spent an entire paragraph ranting about how Slumdog Millionaire wasn't the best film of 2008 I have to admit that the other options weren't great either, Imagine The Reader (2008) being a Best Picture winner? Frost/Nixon (2008) isn't fantastic but it's still better than this populist drama and it would have been a better Ron Howard directed Best Picture winner than A Beautiful Mind (2001).
Love the cinematography but the story didn't really sell for me.
65. Really overrated. Best Picture Academy award winner of 2009. No. Overrated.
Well done, intriguing. Great acting and dance.