Monday, January 26, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

I had absolutely no idea what this movie was about heading into it. Becca and I decided to take advantage of AMC's before noon weekend deal ($6 if the movie starts before noon on Saturday or Sunday) and it limited us to two movies: Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon. We were interested in both movies, but everyone we had spoken to about movies recently all were raving about Slumdog.

I'm glad that I didn't know anything about this movie before seeing it. I had escaped seeing trailers for it on TV (thank you Tivo) and I hadn't asked anyone what it was about while they were spouting its praises. If I had learned what it was about, I probably would have stepped into the theater with a preconceived idea in my head about the movie. I can hope that my notions about it would have changed during the movie, but I can't even say that I would have seen it in the theater.

Working from a blank slate, the things that really stood out in my mind were:
1. Cinematography - the scenes are beautifully shot. Interesting angles, beautifully complex and equally simple settings. There is lots going on and to see, but rarely is your eye pulled away from the focus of the scene.

2. Colors - stunning and earthy, a mixture of dark earth tones and bright colors throughout the movie.

3. Storytelling - superbly structured, the story starts not quite at the end, but near it, just before the climax and is told through a series of flashbacks that develop the main characters in an interesting way.

There are scenes that are difficult to watch (the blinding of a young beggar child), the murder of a gangster, but they are essential to the story. In fact, everything in the movie is essential to the story. Everything is woven together nearly perfectly into a beautiful tapestry of a movie.

Like everyone who told me about the movie (without telling me anything about the movie), I can't help but rave. It was really an excellent film.

Slumdog Millionaire on Rotten Tomatoes.

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