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Sunday, 8 March 2009

Slumdog millionaire

The movie was brilliant. Fullstop. The horror of poverty was depicted so clearly that it was impossible to tolerate. Even as a viewer -let alone a bystander, but that's another story. However, this is not where the movie brilliancy was. Poverty has been shown in many movies many times and if one has to gain top prize for it, this must be the brazilian movie 'The City of God'.
In Slumdog millionaire, the brilliancy had a name. Danny Boyle. What a remarkable work has this man given us!! The story of modern India, this great country with this remarkable culture who suffers its dark side. For poverty is worse when it takes place into the world's most racist environment - the cast society. That part of it, although never directly addressed it was present throughout the movie as an accepted part of life. Every time Jamal answered correctly, the game host would remind him what a low life he is by reminding everybody his low-paying blue collar job. The cast society would not expect a slumdog (a better term would be a teenager from the slums) to know the answers of the game and he was taken to the police for interrogation. That's when the other two stories unfold. That of India's nightmare and of Jamal's destiny to happiness. At the same time relationships unfold and grow and make destiny.
Despite the fact that the film was filmed and the story was all about India, it shouted out besides British humor (the autograph scene) the kingdom's aesthetics. Of the alternative kind. Of the kind of innovation in art that is so expected by Brit artists. Of any art. What Danny Boyle proved is that his art reach is depthless. Of course his entire team of hard working illuminated colleagues who sweat alongside with Danny behind the cameras absolutely must have at least a touch of genius. Yet, it was obvious that the entire movie was the vision of a man who gave part of himself in every aspect of it. Besides direction that was so innovative by going back to basics, so was photography and editing. Every minute in the movie had a cliffhanger, shot from an anortodox angle, and the constantly moving light gave a whole new dimension into every single frame. Let's not forget the music which was more the sound of India if anything else. The colorful light of Bombay darkened and tones narrowed around grey everytime the camera went close to the gloomy life of the protagonists.
It is really amazing what a fraction of the money usually available can produce if given to the hands of an artistic genius who can tell three different stories in one. In a captivating manner as well. Let alone if given to the hands of a team of geniuses. And if these employ all these little 5-year old geniuses. These children who played in the movie - and they were so many of them - were absolutely leaving all of us breathless.
Very powerful movie. Personally I preferred the emotion I got out of Benjamin Button (remember all that crying?), but this movie absolutely was worth its 8 academy awards. Most well deserved!

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