Monday, February 9, 2009
PHENOMENAL: (Danny Boyle) Slumdog Millionaire is a movie for the masses illustrating a vibrancy of culture existing among the darkest of standards, proving that human life is foremost lived. Director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) brings to the screen the story of Jamal Malik, an orphaned Mumbai boy growing up on the streets. He candidly reveals a country and its people immune to devastation and caught up in extortion. He hides nothing from the harsh reality, simply because there is nowhere to hide in India. There is no freedom, only constant fear, and only the powerful ones survive. With the Jamal character (Dev Patel), we are given passage into the heart that exists underneath the grime, and the innocence beneath the corruption. Meshing energetic music with warm sights and street sounds creates a backdrop for Malik's quintessential journey through time, through the ups and downs of street life, one moment jumping in feces to get an autograph of his favorite movie star and the next watching his mother violently murdered in the street. Slumdog shows us what it looks like to have that innocence stolen and your life threatened over and over. This motif is carried out farther with Malik's participation on game show, the Indian version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? He relives moments in time from wherein his brain holds the answers to each question. The amazing power of this story comes as, through all of it, living in trash, swimming in poop, and dodging gunfire to play in your backyard, there are real lives being lived there. These people experience the same things we do; love, family, friendship, pick-up games, skipping class, reading the 3 Musketeers... all normal things. Real things that don't wait on clean hands or fresh water. They live in the here and now, executing a totally different kind of innocence than we're used to, and Boyle does a stand-out job of proving it's both devastating and beautiful to watch. I am 100%behind this film for this year's Best Picture. Don't miss seeing it.