Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm wearing my "movie-critic" hat

Recently, there has been much hype about the movie "Slumdog Millionaire" which I found out was much undeserved. Call me stone-hearted or whatever, but the movie just didn't do it for me. Originally, I watched it because Danny Boyle produced the film, and I thought that maybe it would be refreshing to get in on a Westerners perspective of Indian life, culture, poverty etc. without the Bollywood cheese and choreography. A lot of people talked about how it will "tug your heartstrings" and all that horse-crap, but honestly, I felt like it was just the same Hollywood/Bollywood-droppings re-gifted in a new wrapper. Let us analyze the features of said "spectacular" film, which won merits from the Oscars and Academy Awards.
There is our hero, what's-his-face, who lived a hard, wretched life on the streets but somehow manages not only to survive but remain a gentleman in the midst of it all. Doesn't this sound familiar to every Bollywood film ever produced since the beginning of time? Our hero is in love with a beautiful, somehow unattainable girl, what's-her-name. They love each other intensely and always have since they were children, but it can never be because she's hooked up already with an abusive mob boss/pimp, who will most probably kill our hero for trying to release said damsel in distress and...that doesn't even matter because he's always being separated from her by some strange act of fate. Wild isn't it? He has an evil, overtly sinful older brother, who "means well" and loves his little brother but is bewildered and sidetracked by the gangster lifestyle and all the unscrupulous men involved. There is a big, lump-sum of cash to be won by our hero, who remains charmingly aloof and detached from it all, and most importantly, there is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to escape from the current harsh reality into a new life/new persona/new identity. There's also a whole crap-load of gangsters, torture, a famous movie-star, corrupt officials, substance abuse and a nationally-televised game show along with it's corrupt game-show host. I think they included all of the required criterion for a cheesy Bollywood or Hollywood action/drama/romance/thriller composition. Look at all the movies Bollywood and Hollywood combined have pooped out in the past several decades and you'll find none of them have the combined prowess of quadruple genres. I think we're going to start seeing more of these hybrid-pieces, which will be three or more genres combined into a "triple threat masterpiece". Who knows what the future will hold, as for Slumdog Millionaire, I think it deserves to be called just Slumdog and leave it at that.
Oh yeah, at the end of the movie, our couple is shown kissing on a railway platform, which would never happen in real life because it would most probably result in a public riot/beating and a night in jail. There is also a dance routine at the end of the movie, which I thought I wouldn't be subjected to, seeing as how this was supposed to be a Western film not a Bollywood one!
Anyway, I want everyone to see Ladhu Gopal's in His new dress and beautiful ornaments, generously gifted to Him by our family friend. Isn't He just adorable?

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