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Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle, 2008)

Yikes, this movie kind of sucked. I don't wanna reduce myself to just throwing around a bunch of critic buzz words here, but I'd say contrived, predictable, silly and ridiculous would all do the trick in accurately pinning down this one. If you can think of a sterotypical bad movie trapping, Slumdog's got it and it's got it bad. Cookie-cutter characters? Yep. A dumb, single-minded plot that weaves through time frames a lot less expertly than some of these reviews would have you believe? Yep. Unbelieveable coincidences that M Night Shyamalan would have a hard time fitting into a movie? Oh yeah.

I mean, come on, how can you have a fairytale romance featuring two leads (at least in their teenage and young adult incarnations) who have about as much chemistry together as two people who have zero chemistry together? Seriously. And what is the purpose (I know there isn't a purpose, but I'm asking anyway) of the brother's crime syndicate subplot? It's a lame, modern, Indian take on Dickensian fluffery. Fine. Why does it feel it also has to be City of God 2: Return to the City of God? I have a lot of other complaints, but this is getting boring and if you want to get bored, I'd suggest you just go watch Slumdog Millionaire.

Now, okay, I did mildly enjoy some of the flashbacks of main character Jamal's childhood, but it's nothing your average moviegoer hasn't seen before. I also dug some of the choices Boyle made, like foregoing a clumsy narration as well as some pitch-perfect soundtrack selections. And, yeah, I give Boyle credit - Slumdog's a technically very well-made movie that's shot superbly. But for a film that's banking so much on hitting you in the gut and winning over your heart, technically well-made isn't gonna cut it. How is the movie "winning" and how is it even remotely a crowd pleaser when it's this flippin artificial? And soooooo predictable? And, for the love of God, how many rhetorical questions can I fit in this post?!

Guess I'm in the overwhelming minority on this one, but sheesh, I don't get it.