Taking advantage of the Super Bowl vacuum, we went to see Slumdog Millionaire last night. I love Super Bowl Sunday, because we get to go out to a restaurant and movie without all those pesky other humans getting in our way. (Seriously, it was a ghost town last night. There were only two people other than us in the theater.)
Slumdog is kinda in the tradition of Danny Boyle’s Millions, where you throw a ton of money into a situation with a kid and see what happens. The plot is a little Romeo & Juliet mixed with a bit of Oliver Twist. An orphan from Mumbai goes on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and wins, but since he’s supposed to be an uneducated kid from the slums, he’s arrested and forced to explain how he knew the answers…which we see in flashbacks to his childhood on the streets. It’s not that this is some revolutionary, new story, but the way it was put together made for a very entertaining film.
The child actors, especially the youngest ones, are brilliant in this. If anyone deserves an Oscar for this movie, it’s either the kids or the director who got these performances out of them.
I’m not getting into the whole argument about whether it portrays India in a bad light or is too much Hollywood and not enough Bollywood or whatever the current knocks on the movie are. It was a movie. A rollercoaster ride. Not great art and not a documentary. It was just fun.