Monday, December 22, 2008

Jason watches "Slumdog Millionaire"

So I'm a victim of the storms in the Pacific Northwest. I should be in Anchorage with my family right now, but my flight was canceled. Now I fly out tomorrow morning (I hope). But I took advantage of my time home in the bay area to catch a really good movie.

Danny Boyle goes to Bollywood to make his best movies since "Trainspotting". Jamal is a poor, uneducated "slumdog" from Mumbai who somehow got onto the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and won it all. After winning 10M rupees his first day, he's apprehended by the police who believe he's cheating and try to beat a confession out of him. But instead he spins his life story--a story of unbelievable hardship, trouble, and narrow escapes that just happened to coincide with all the answers he needs. Like it was fate for him to be on the show. It's also a powerful life-long love story, as he pursues the poor girl he met as a child. In fact, he doesn't even care about the money, he's only on the show because he knows she watches.

Danny Boyle, to my knowledge, has made one great movie ("Trainspotting"), and a few movies that were ~80-90% great, with some silliness thrown in. To be fair, I haven't seen "The Beach" or "Millions", but "28 Days Later" was mostly good except for "They're infected...with rage!!!" and other silliness. "Sunshine" was nearly the best sci-fi movie in a decade or so until it turned into a horror movie in space. Well, finally he's made another movie that keeps up the quality all the way through. No scene made me cringe or shake my head. It's a great movie all the way through.

As a final note, I was a bit surprised by how powerful and well done the love story was. I heard that it was about a poor kid from the slums winning millions on the game show, but nothing about the love story. So it was a great movie, and a surprising one. Well done all around.
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