Have you ever had so much sleep that you wake up and realize that it was some of the worst sleep you've ever experienced, resulting in one bloodshot eye and a terrible case of the yawns? That's what I had going on yesterday, so I made it a point to stay up later than my usual 9pm bedtime. As a result, I had a chance to watch Slumdog Millionaire.
At first glance: not as good as The Wrestler. And I'm willing to wager that it won't be as good as Milk or Frost/Nixon either. But, I can see why it won so many awards.
For as out of touch with the mass populace as The Academy is - since it rarely if ever nominates the blockbusters for major awards anymore - if there's one thing they enjoy it's a happy ending and a good message, which this movie has in spades and clovers.
The pulling of bootstraps, the scrappy foreign youths, the love lost and found and lost and found again, the making something out of nothing, the long odds, the Just American Enough to make it palatable for everyone, the English language primarily spoken in a foreign film.
And while it was enjoyable enough, I had a hard time settling in and getting behind any of these characters. Too much flashing back and forth; as soon as I'm starting to feel a bond with the characters as little kids - boom - they're a few years older, and then BOOM, they're teenagers, and then BOOM young adults. There just wasn't that much continuity.
I knew going in that the whole gimmick with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire would be a huge distraction, and boy was I right. It's a nice idea - the bulk of the questions pertaining to things that occurred in his childhood, when put together comprise a larger story arc of his love with Latika - but it's just a little too Hollywood for me. Even if it was made in India.
I don't want to totally dog the movie though. It was really well acted. The scenery is vibrant and beautiful and so are the people. I just wasn't that impressed, compared to all the praise and hype that was erected around it over the last few months of last year. Maybe if the movie went unnoticed by the mainstream and won no major awards, then I could've gone into this thing with a more open mind. But, I tend to be very cynical with these superpopular phenomena. It's the same reason why I'll never watch Titanic or read the Harry Potter books. Irrational, but nevertheless uncontrollable.
Oh, and Indian Regis is a total dick.