Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Movie On A Cold Night

Cold temperatures have swept across America and Los Angeles is no exception. It’s been friggin’ cold here.

Anyone who knows me knows I hate the cold weather and prefer to stay in doors with the heater full blast, so going out to the movies was a big adventure for me. We decided to see “Slumdog Millionaire,” and my expectations were high.

The screenplay was written by Simon Beaufoy (of “Trainspotting” fame), based on the novel “Q&A” by Vkas Swarup, and helmed by British director Danny Boyle.

It’s the story of a Mumbai street kid (aka a “slumdog”) who becomes a contestant on the Hindi version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” He’s on his way to winning the grand prize, but is accused by the producers of cheating. He’s arrested, and during the brutal interrogation the movie flashes back to his horrible life in the slums and how he learned the answers to the game show questions through survival.

Sometimes the pacing is a bit dizzying, but overall this is an extraordinary film. The performances, by unknown actors (though well known in India) are all superb. It’s an emotionally charged story that confronts poverty, despair, survival, brotherly love, trust, and first love, and builds to a tense climax, one that ties everything up a bit too neatly with its predictable love story ending, but that’s just a minor complaint. Overall this film is far better than most everything currently playing at the local cineplex.

“Slumdog Millionaire” is on my favorites of 2008 list. Don’t miss it.

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