Friday, January 30, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire -- Will the cliches never end?

Slumdog Millionaire – Impossible Premise and Clichés Galore

I don’t usually review films, especially those I don’t like, but with all the hype around this one, I felt I had to have my say.

The plus side first – great acting by the kids, good camerawork, very good music.

On the other hand.

The basic premise that anyone close to the big win on a TV show like this would be tortured by police is truly hard to believe. Impossible to believe when it is a young man from the slums. Such a man would instantly become a “poster boy” for the programme, the sponsors and the TV station. Quite possibly he would also be wooed by various political parties! He would certainly be the celebrity of the month, if not of the year. Only someone completely out of touch with reality in India could come up with this idea.

The other basic theme has potential – it would be interesting to see how the questions on the show could relate to the life of a poor boy from the slums. But then every cliché in the book has been pulled out and chucked at the film. As one of my (non-Indian) friends pointed out, it is a story so full of clichés it could have been written by someone who has never been to India. (Amazingly, the film is based on a rather boring book written by an Indian; one really has to wonder about the author’s grip on reality.)

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