Sunday, November 23, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

I wrapped my final day on Eleventh Hour at a glorious 10:30am and decided to treat myself to a movie. After all, I had worked that day; I just had the entire day left to slack off, guilt free. So I wandered in to an early showing of Danny Boyle's new film, Slumdog Millionaire. And walked out charged with energy.

It's not often a film moves me. I think most movies these days are either effects heavy shells of a story, or course, teenage boy humor. Slumdog is one of the most hauntingly beautiful films I've ever seen. It's centered around a boy, Jamal, who gets onto the Hindi version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" and, remarkably, seems to know every question he's asked. More remarkable, is that Jamal is not any boy, but a humble, uneducated street kid, a so-called slumdog. Instantly, he is accused of cheating.

The film is told in fashback. We bounce back from the quiz show to Jamal's early childhood and discover how specific events shaped him and his knowledge. It's a simple device, but it works. I was drawn in instantly by the sheer honesty of the performances from a cast of young kids who are too young to have much, if any, acting experience. I am reminded of why I do what I do, when I see films like this. I'm also ashamed when I watch a 5 year old kid deliver a performace that is better than anything I could put out.

Slumdog is more than a poor-kid-makes-good tale. It's an extraordinary story of enduring love and the rights of passage. How the smallest choices affect our lives. It's an unflinching portrayal of extreme poverty and at the same time disarmingly funny. Beautifully shot, with a thumping soundtrack and characters you can't take your eyes off. So what if I was being played at times - I was happy to go along for the ride. And you will be too.

Go see it.


  1. Sounds like a great movie! I'll have to try and see it. I can understand how Jamal could have known a lot, even though he was "uneducated." The human mind learns more from experiencing an event vs. just reading about it in a book. I have to say that a lot of the child actors these days give amazing performances. o.0 You are an amazing actor too, Gid. I, honestly, look up to as a performer. That's why I try and support you anyway I can, ranging from going to a movie premiere to doing my little hobby on YouTube. This is random but, I want to see Train again. XD (That was actually a pretty good "horror" movie. I don't scare easy but that made me jump at a few points.) Plus I have so many video ideas to do with that movie. A shame I can't get a hold of the movie.

    Glad you had a day of relaxation. ^_^ Did you relax a little for me too? After today I sure hope someone did... at 10:30 a.m. I was waiting for a tow truck on the Arizona boarder. (An ironic story since you had car trouble last Sunday!) I would tell the whole story but I plan to write about it in my latest blog entry. Ironic story highlights:
    1. Woke up at 1 a.m.
    2. Took a tractor that need to be serviced to try and deliver a load of furniture to Phoenix, Arizona.
    3. Clutch fails = no transmission, stuck 3 miles into Arizona at 8 a.m. with the sun beating down.
    4. Tow truck takes 4 hours to find use due to miscommunication within the towing company.
    5. Have to find a place to drop the 48' trailer before Banning scales due top California length restrictions. (We had to pay for the lock to secure the load.)
    6. Don't arrive back in Pomona until 5 p.m.
    7. The worst part: My dad's company is trying to bill us for the $1'400 - $2'200 tow bill. haha! Aren't they hilarious!?

    Moral of this story... if your vehicle is not running properly, take it in to the shop!

  2. I really want to see it now, I never even heard that title before. I'm really into seeing how the past affects the presence, how monumental the tiniest decisions can be. It really sounds like my kind of thing.