Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Director: Danny Boyle
Review by: Dr Usman Khawaja
If you thought Bolly made senseless formulaic pastiches then go watch this patronising and condescending disjointed pot boiler fro Danny the boiler who makes the narrative jump giddily from one gutter to another.
He cannot even stage a convincing anti Muslim riot and the street kids look like a parody of Mira Nairs Salaam Bombay with the worst dialogue delivery I have seen in a recent movie.
I think he saw Nihalinis Dev and Nairs Salaam Bomay and then had a vision to mix it with fineness quiz show. But this is a dreadfully bemusing and flawed look where two kids fall off the roof of a speeding train conveniently in the front yard of Taj Mahal without enduring a single bruise and then start giving intro tours to obese western tourists in English language while they have never attended a day of even a slum school.
This is Indian massala gone wrong with item songs in the most inappropriate places like the Mumbai central and colours which are as gaudy as holi gone astray, the high-rises and trains are all shot by a cameraman with angles which make one suspicious the technician was cross eyed or suffering from a hangover.
The direction looks as if Boyle was stoned because India has dirt cheap cannabis and all Indians are portrayed as callous cheating contemptuous cultural buffoons, they abuse and disfigure kids who go around shooting gang dons point blank and the mobiles never seem to stop ringing.
Was it meant to be surreal or a satire as it comes out as a superfluous self indulgent look at the Indian culture which is as dull and technically flawed as Brick Lane if not worst, the lurid plot of two brothers who dream of riches and the fairy tale setting of who wants to be a millionaire is just as despicable as the consumer market in its worst metaphor but the script is just as schizoid as it forces clueless and tasteless jokes without context into a ludicrous tale.
The chat between the anchor and the contestant in men’s room is so badly staged it was worst then the excretions being emitted, while the semi winner is flagged for fraud and tortured by a caricature cop played by Irfan Khan he tells us his autobiography which is as bizarrely implausible as the most melodramatic and misplaced Bolly drama possible to conceive.
Next time please study ivory’s Indian endeavours and leans passage to India before indulging in a clinched contemptuous look at India from a Anglo-Saxon perspective where India becomes an extended sham slum-no wonder all the millions of Europeans got kicked out for that mental ineptitude while the Hindus and Muslims might be incompatible but have flourished together for 1000 years.
Before the rains by Sivan is a classic compared to this crap and even Fashion and Wednesday and Halla Bol are far better then this, the fact this is even considered for any awards is a hilarious exercise in making mediocre Bollywoods look like classics as they are indeed more sensible the this trash from the gutters of Mumbai.
As for Salaam Bombay which is the obvious inspiration for this moronic monstrosity even comparing the two is cinematic blasphemy.