| Slumdog Millionare (2008) |
An Indian teen from the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" Then he is arrested for cheating. During his interrogation his life story unfolds as related to his interrogators.
There are many parallels to Oliver Twist including the array of very colourful characters.
This film is very powerful, but not necessarily entertaining. There is too much violence (even some against children) for a kind-hearted reviewer such as myself to enjoy the film. It shows a very gritty and colourful India of the slums and dark alleyways.
Also, while we get a flavour of India, I am not sure that we learn anything about the country. Everyone expects there to be slums in India. Scenes that might have been be educational were never explained, such as the blue goddess and why so many men came with clubs. Granted, it is a movie and not a documentary.
The format is fairly standard and also limiting. All the men (and boys) are evil except the hero, who is good only in as much as he is chivalrous toward women. Also, the men are empowered, but the women are not. This is not pro-male (or realistic), so I have rated it one burning bra.
Also, it is implied that we do not need to know anything about the female characters. There seems to be an assumption that all women in India are good, disempowered and boring. (I am sceptical about all three.) They are standard two-dimensional female characters.
There are lots of exciting chase scenes, violence and narrow escapes. The younger characters are somewhat endearing, but I didn't feel attached to any of the other characters.
This film won eight Oscars and is highly regarded, but my wife and I did not enjoy it as much as many of the other films we have seen recently.
- Reviewed by Paul G
Duration: 2 hours
Rating: R in USA, 15 in UK, 14A in Canada - Very violent with disturbing scenes.