It may not be worth it for me to review this movie, since it’s been done and talked about to death. But read on and I’ll try to explain what my thoughts were and why I think the hype is a bit misguided.
I never read Q&A or any of the reviews for this film, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. But I saw the trailers and heard the big hoo-ha, and the biggest shock to me was how heavy and hard-to-watch it was at times. All the noise around the movie said how feel-good it is. I was prepared for a warm fuzzy feeling.
I was wrong. It only gets happy at the end. Most of the movie is about the pain of living in poverty and how difficult it is for children to survive alone.
I had seen one of Danny Boyle’s other feel-good movies, Millions, and I thought Slumdog would be similar to that, but it seems to be the bastard child of Millions and Trainspotting: “Fine, we’ll give you joy, but to get there you need to experience pain!”. Granted, had it been so happy it would not have won so many Oscars. The academy seems to like pain, loss, longing etc.
I was on the verge of tears for most of the movie, because it actually starts with a torture scene. Now, this had been called “the feel-good movie of the year” or something like that. A torture scene? Really?!
As misled as I felt, the movie offered more depth than I had expected. And that’s always good. Everyone loves the rags-to-riches underdog stories, and this one is better than the rest of the bunch.
It’s an emotional ride, but a fun one with a happy ending.
My rating: 8
IMDb’s rating: 8.6 (number 42 on the top 250)
Directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Millions, Sunshine) and
Loveleen Tandan (her co-directorial debut)
Starring Dev Patel (his feature film debut) and Freida Pinto (her feature film debut)