Tuesday, December 9, 2008
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE: A New Film About Mumbai That Should Be Seen
The Fox Searchlight film SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE has an excellent chance of being nominated for Best Picture when Oscar time rolls around. And, having seen the movie, I believe the movie is deserving of such recognition.
The price of admission is well worth it for the unraveling of the mystery of how an uneducated boy living on the streets knew the answers to the questions on the television show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" -- and that's before the other compelling elements of the story are added to the mix.
Yet. as a December 12th Entertainment Weekly article points out, someone watching the movie can experience a major jolt. Suddenly on screen in the movie are scenes in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) that bring to mind similar scenes seen on the recent news coverage of the attacks in Mumbai. In fact, I found myself momentarily taken out of the movie when viewing scenes at Victoria Terminus train station or buildings that looked like they could have been the Taj Hotel.
I waited a week before seeing the movie so as to have some distance from reality before seeing this enchanting fantasy. (Be warned: While the movie has an upper ending, including an invigorating dance scene during the credits, there are also some very brutal and some very disturbing scenes. Some of these scenes unintentionally explain some of the background of what happened now in Mumbai.)
You can read the story about the disconnect between reality and the movie in Entertainment Weekly. But don't let my blog post warning or the Entertainment Weekly article stop you from seeing this movie. If you don't see this movie, you'll miss out on one of the best movies of the year -- or perhaps one of the best movies of the past few years.