Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cheated. Lucky. Genius...It Is Written.

If you were to play the television game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire," you would be able to remove the inaccurate aspects of the title above in description of the movie "Slumdog Millionaire." Hint: use the 50/50 lifeline. When you do we will remove "Cheated" and "Lucky" and you will be left with the right answers. This film is Genius, It Is Written. VERY WELL written. And those words in my post title? They open the film.

I would give it all of the awards that it received, too. And keep in mind that I normally don't go much for Indian culture--just the food, and that's about it. (But then, I don't like wrestling or boxing, and that didn't stop me from seeing "The Wrestler" or "Million Dollar Baby.") There's a bit of a hurdle at the beginning of the movie--about three scenes in short succession where I sort of got queasy, so you might not want to see this on a full stomach. Percentage-wise, though, there are as about as many scenes of "Eeewww" as "The Wrestler." Kind of disappointed with the need to shock, but one of the gross-out scenes has to stay in there (the other two might have been modified just a little bit, for heaven's sake). It's a scene of trickery involving the two brothers, and results in a swimming pool style cannonball that doesn't really land in a swimming pool. That one will haunt me for a while.

Once you get past the filth and squalor, though, the movie turns beautiful--and remarkably pure. I'm trying to figure out the last time I saw a leading character with this much raw innocence...maybe Dakota Fanning. But this is a different kind of innocence, like the children in "Schindler's List." Children who live at wits' end and then everything falls into place for them.

By the way, the dance scene during the end credits? PRICELESS.

Definitely worth the Oscars.

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