Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Written by Mike Lyon on March 2nd, 2009

Yes, Slumdog. I agree with the consensus complaint that it is completely contrived that Jamal knows the answers to every question because something happened in his past that informs every answer, but let me add to that by saying that the questions are all common knowledge in the first place, and it drives me insane that the questions just happen to follow the progression of his life chronologically. I mean come the fuck on.

What’s significantly worse than that, though, is that Latika has zero personality, is raped and forced into a decade of prostitution, and then everything is magically fixed when Gangster Brother says, “I hope you can forgive me”. Bathtub, guns, pew pew, etc. Everyone’s happy! Fuck that shit. Why does she even want to be with Jamal? What is going to happen? Are they going to hold hands? He doesn’t know her fucking last name!

I understand that I’m the guy who watches exploitation films with significantly more brutal abuse for significantly more abstract reasons, but that’s an entirely different paradigm predicated on shock responses. Latika seems to have been written to play the role of the sympathetic but retarded fuckdoll in a Nazisploitation film, but instead they’ve inserted her into what we are meant to believe is a serious film about true love. I think that respecting this movie is dependent upon enjoying the idea of an utterly gorgeous but completely vacuous abused woman who will fall madly in love with an ugly guy because he stalks her for long enough.

Fuck. That. Shit. …Fuck it!

Never mind that the basic premise of Good Brother/Gangster Brother/Shared Love Interest feels lifted from every other HK Triad film out there, or that the much-touted final dance sequence is like a really shitty version of the end of Kitano’s Zatoichi.

But hey, the music was good. And I liked the kid jumping into the giant vat of shit; it was like a metaphor for the rest of the movie.

[Rating: 3]

5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Mackey says:

    Beyond being a metaphor for the rest of the movie, the kid jumping into the giant vat of shit seemed to sum up all of the Best Picture nods this year. Okay – a little harsh, but I can’t remember a year when I cared less about the Academy Awards.

  2. Allison says:

    I have not seen this movie and DON”T WANT TO, even though all my friends say it’s awesome. I was beginning to think there’s something wrong with me, but maybe I’m missing some sensitivity chip, but it looks like condescending feel good shit.

    Still, I need to shut up about it because I haven’t actually seen it and I’m alienating people.

  3. Mike Lyon says:

    Mackey: I actually highly recommend Benjamin Button! I finally saw it and I think I can safely say that it’s one of the most underrated movies of 2008!

    Ally: I know many level-headed people who think this movie is fantastic. I also see that it has rather predictably already taken a spot in IMDB’s top 50 (further reason to never ever ever trust anything you read on IMDB). Save your money and see Benjamin Button ^_^

  4. My only complaint with your dead-on review is that you found it in your heart to give SLUMDOG three stars. Even on a scale of 10, don’t you think that might be a little high?

    I also concur with your BEN BUTTON take. Undervalued indeed. 2008 was such a clear-cut year…

  5. Mike Lyon says:

    It survives with 3 stars primarily because of the great location photography and soundtrack. And awful though I found it, I can’t bear to put it in the same category as “Doomsday”.

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