Film & TV

Slumdog Millionaire: The Backlash Begins

I can think of three movies that are better than Slumdog Millionaire: SpaceJam merely for Michael Jordan’s appearance, Mortal Kombat for its daring video game adaptation, and Deep Blue for showcasing really, really smart sharks. Slumdog Millionaire avoids all of these winning combinations, and instead wins an Oscar for a decent soundtrack, a story we’ve all heard before, and a reliance on the emotive power of poverty to find its success.

The story follows the same generic ‘boy meets girl, falls in love and eventually destiny unites them’. I mean honestly, was he going to die and then be resurrected too? There were several times in the film where I wanted to tell Jamal to get over it and get laid – there are plenty of birds in the world. The last time I saw that kind of steadfast devotion was in March of the Penguins…and I’m pretty sure Latika wasn’t bearing an egg, although maybe there’s a suspicion she had a stalker. I calculated how much time he spent with her; it was something like 4 minutes, two of them being while she still looked like a boy.

The movie was just an elaborate way for Danny Boyle to make you cry. Everything happens for a reason, eh Danny? What is with this ‘each question comes from a moment in his past’ business, really? If you’re going to have that kind of disconnection with reality, throw in a fucking unicorn. Thanks. Bell-end. At times this ‘story’ seems little more than a marketing ploy for Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Because let’s be honest, I know what you were thinking, throw in a little poverty and you’ve got yourself an Oscar. It was almost as cheap a trick as giving Latika a perfectly placed scar. What was that about? Was it supposed to mutilate her, so we could see Jamal love her for the way she was? No, it made her hotter. In fact, I wanted to shag her more.

You might think I don’t have a heart, but I cried during The English Patient just like the rest of you. And hey, the first 15 minutes of Slumdog, when it wasn’t sappy and unoriginal, were genuinely depressing. Then it became one over the top tragedy after another. The brother argument was overkill; I already thought Salim was an asshole. But then again so is Jamal.

Surely no one is buying the typical half-hearted attempt at altruism when people say, “I really love how it showed the real side of poverty”. Do you even fucking know what poverty in India is like? I don’t, but I certainly don’t take my cues from Madonna’s ex-husband, or whatever else Danny Boyle’s shitty claim to fame is.

This movie sucked.

By Jonny Cage

Film & TV
One Comment
  • Rob
    30 April 2009 at 17:17
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    Right on. This film was poor. Rubbish plot, crap pacing, card board cut out actors and its greatest crime, not entertaining. This was a complete fetishisation of poverty and it made India look so bad and didnt gove an accurate representation of the country, but then again what do we expect when a western film maker makes a film about another country not in the west. Cue the sterotypes and the mildly racist ‘oh its so authentic, whats that someone has an ipod, get rid of it, thats not your culture, here have tradtional instrument and have fun with it, you dont need our decadent and hollow material goods, live life your way, as it should be, in the slums.’
    Its been real, apparently.

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