Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Movie Talk: Slumdog Millionaire


I finally got the chance to watch Slumdog Millionaire this weekend. Admittedly, I'm kind of surprised it won the Oscar for Best Picture.

It's not a bad little film. It's interesting enough and certainly optimistic. But even putting aside the story, and the exposure it brought to India's children in the slums, the film itself has an overall cheese factor that was hard for me to ignore.

I think the book might be better. I kept thinking while I was watching, this is probably a better book.

In any case, I'm not upset it won the Oscar for Best Picture. So often, the types of films that win are dark and heavy. No Country for Old Men was almost torture for me to watch. So if the committee chooses a sweetly hopeful movie one year...well I don't have a problem with that. I did cry in the end, when they showed the montage of his life as he meets Latika at the train station. Coming out in a good place after enduring much pain and suffering and doubt is always a good thing.

I did read this article about India's real children of the slums and the child actors. I very much appreciate the reminder that poverty is not just about money.


Did you see Slumdog Millionaire? What did you think?



Amy

19 comments:

Meghan said...

I recently saw this on a flight, and while I loved it, I kind of agree with your surprise that it won. I'm glad it did, though. Sometimes the Oscar selections perplex me, but this one makes sense to me, which almost never happens. Not only was the movie enjoyable and had a hopeful note, but it also exposed the difficulties of poverty in India which I personally hadn't really heard about before. Seems like good criteria for an award winner to me. :)

ANovelMenagerie said...

I saw this movie in the theatre before it won. I have to respectfully disagree, Amy. I thought it was a great flick. I think it deserved to win. I'm a lover of the movie.

Beth Kephart said...

Slumdog was not the movie I thought it might be—and so I spent the first many minutes readjusting my expectations. I began to gain such respect for the sheer acting, and though the end is certainly Hollywood, I did want to get up and dance during the credits. Sometimes the good guys just have to win.

violetcrush said...

Finally someone who thinks like I do. I did like the movie, but again as you said, I was surprised it won the Oscar. In my opinion it was hyped a little too much. For me it was a typical cheesy Bollywood fun movie...

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I read just last weekend I think that "feel good" movies are way more popular during time periods in which there is a lot of anxiety and economic depression. I agree with you on the movie, but on the other hand, I like cheesy movies where thinks turn out alright, instead of, for example, reading about the torture and poverty in the newspapers! (But on the third (?) hand, I guess if we keep pretending, maybe no one will bother to help.) ... which is also a compliment on your post about sending books to soldiers!

Amy said...

Just to clarify, I'm not upset it won, surprised is all.

And Beth, I agree, sometimes the good guys have to win, although the article I linked to suggests that money isn't necessarily winning...

Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog said...

I saw this last weekend and was a bit underwhelmed. I thought it was good but not great, and I definitely didn't think it should have won best picture (especially in a year when Milk was a contender). I did really like the structure of the story, told through the flashbacks in between questions on the game show, and I agree that it probably worked really well in the book.

I also thought the 2 brothers' characters were well-developed but that Latika's character was a bit flat, and I didn't really know her or understand why the one brother (can't remember his name now) was so obsessed with her.

Worth seeing, but not awesome.

Amee said...

I haven't seen it yet but I really want to. I didn't realize it was based on a book. I might try to find the book and read that first.

I actually prefer happy endings so I'll probably really enjoy the movie! :)

belleofthebooks said...

I agree that it's not a typical Oscar winner and that if it had been any other year or even time of year, it never would have one. I think Slumdog was so successful because it is exactly the kind of movie we all want to see right now and its the message we all need to keep hearing in this economy.

caite said...

I liked this movie a lot more than you did...and I was very happy that it won, rather than some big Hollywood movie or something dark and unhappy.
But I would be interested to see what you think of the book.

Alexa said...

I saw it ages ago, before all the hype started, and really loved it. I was so happy it ended well I thought he'd get the girl or the money :) I glad it won the Oscar and got so much publicity because I thought it was really well made. I

bermudaonion said...

I did see Slumdog Millionaire and I did enjoy it. I don't think it was the best movie made last year, though. I can't ever figure out why the movies that win are selected, though.

Charlene said...

I enjoyed the movie, but was surprised it one an Oscar. I never did understand the Oscar nominee committee criteria, and don't watch the Oscars. The movie was okay, not very deep (I've always been aware of the caste system in India), and an interesting take on twisting the story around the primary characters.

Kacie said...

Yeah, I saw it and wrote about it here: http://kaciesmixedmedia.blogspot.com/2009/04/slumdog-millionaire.html

I can take the cheese given that it plays on the Bollywood movie style at points, which is ALL cheese. I do agree that as for how well made it was, it is a little surprising that it won best picture. Still, it was a great movie and it really inspired my thoughts about poverty... etc.

Charlene - I actually don't think movie dealt with the caste system, since it has disappeared in most sectors of Indian society. I think it addresses systematic poverty... which is really a world-wide problem that is really hard to face.

Jen said...

I liked Slumdog, but I can't say that I loved it. My reason is that it was really difficult to watch certain scenes. I agree with the Oscar win, though. It was a beautiful movie with a great message and I'm glad that the academy recognized this.

S. Krishna said...

Haven't seen this one, but hubby and I bought it without seeing it. Hopefully we get around to it this weekend!

charley said...

I liked Slumdog Millionaire, and I was glad it won Best Picture. Although I can't remember what it was up against...

Literary Feline said...

I think even the people who made the movie were surprised at how well it did, both in bringing in the money and winning so many awards. I loved this movie. Sure, there were cheesy parts to it, but for me, that was part of the appeal.

It will be interesting to see what you think of the book if you read it, Amy. It's similar in many ways, but so different in others. I think the overall feel of the two is the same, however.

jennifermorrill said...

I actually have the Netflix movie sitting on my tv right now. Unfortunately our DVD player decided to stop working and we haven't been able to watch it.

I have to say, I don't think I have bothered watching the past few Oscar award winners. They always seem so dark and unappealing to me.

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