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Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
The little Indie that could this year at the Oscars
Boyle is back, and in top form. His trademark shots are all there, his excellent transitions, masterful score, and compelling character's that connect to the very end. I'm a fan of Darjeeling Limited and the India aesthetic in general, but this film is relentless in its depiction of the gritty slums that surround it. The unknown cast only adds to the realism, no parallels can be drawn to previous works.
I'm not of a fan of spoiling anything in reviews, it peeves me when more often than not I read a review and nearly most of the film is compressed into three paragraphs. I'm not going to do that. I will say that the film is promising and should court some Oscar buzz this year. However, not in the common "little Indie that could" fashion, this film goes beyond that.
It has so many things going against it here in the States, the usage of south Asian characters, and... well I'll stop there. If the Academy can look past their ignorance, this coming of age tale will surely captivate, if American's can look past the obvious determinants.
For the Directors First Feature Give Credit Where Credit is due...
First off, after speaking to the director at the night of the Latin Film Festival here in New York, I would like to again commend her for a job well done. I am also a first time director so I definitely correlated to a lot of the jerky camera movements and experimental camera shots that were probably theorized but never executed to their fullest extent. There were also some doubtful moments with audio at times; however, having discussed these decisions with her personally I came to an understanding as to why they were done. This of course does not take away from the obvious, the film did drag, and it definitely needs some severe editing adjustments. The three raunchy sex scenes were left on screen for a reason, not only to try something new, but to give the audience a feel for a real life situation that women face in an every day environment. The scenes can be shortened however and still give the audience the same feel. The length they are at now makes the scenes disturbing and deteriorates from the comedic undertone that was originally intended by the director. There are many other comedic ploys executed that trick the audience into thinking something evident is about to happen, when it really doesn't. These techniques keep the audience in a(n) intriguing suspense, but you can only have our attention for so long.