Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

I get queasy when I hear of movies about poverty in India being made by foreigners. It isn't that these movies are bad per se but I find the Indian characters to be terribly contrived. The Indian setting in "After the Wedding' was peripheral to the movie's plot but I still found it unbelievable. In my mind, street kids don't talk like that (ditto for the Pakistani subplot in Syriana). I always cringe and avert my eyes when the halting Hindi is spoken -- in my mind, the subtitles sound better (and they probably are, the subtitles are probably directly from the script, while the spoken vernacular is a clumsy translation).

I bring all this up because the much-lauded Danny Boyle's much-lauded movie Slumdog Millionaire releases today in the city. Predictably, Manohla Dargis, an astute reviewer but susceptible to the auteur theory (i.e. a good director = a good movie), not to mention a Danny Boyle fan, has given it a favorable review (although she tempers it a bit at the end).

I'm much more hopeful that one of my favorite critics, The New Republic's Chris Orr has given it a rave too -- and an unqualified rave at that.

And of course I am disappointed that my favoritest critic David Edelstein chose not to review it altogether...

So I'm thinking I'll go and see it this weekend ...

UPDATE: I should mention that the movie is based on a novel Q and A by Vikas Swarup Some reviews here.

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