My review of "Slumdog Millionaire"

Slumdog Millionaire
One Bomb
At long last, it's happened. Via "Slumdog Millionaire," I've reached the pinnacle of my years of movie viewing. I've finally watched a film with a scene of a young boy being dipped, from head-to-toe, in human shit. True, the later scene of a teen boy being hung from the ceiling and having a car battery attached to his "delicate areas" was also fabulous. However, that scene could be considered highly deriviative if you consider all those supressed Guantanamo videos. Still, it's easy to see why this piece of celluloid was nominated for ten Oscars: Hollywood is just as full of shit as this movie.
One unique aspect of this over-arching pile of Oscar bait, is that it is an English film, based on an Indian story, produced by an American film studio. In other words, "Slumdog Millionaire" has all the brittle pretension of a Merchant/Ivory starch-fest, combined with a repulsive setting in one of the world's greatest hellholes, and is filled with idiotic American movie cliches which include sophomoric scatological references, gratuitious violence, an adolescent love story about dopey adolescents in love, cheesy references to American culture and, of course, gangsters. Does the mafia have some kind of agreement with Hollywood that every other movie plot has to be intertwined with underworld dirtbags?
The story follows a hapless young man, Jamal (Dev Patel), who, orphaned at an early age, survived the horrors of slum life in Mumbai with his older brother, Salim (Madhur Mittal). As is often the case in families, the older brother is an asshole. The third leg of this broken stool is Latika (Freida Pinto), another orphan, for whom Jamal develops a lifelong love. In the West, this would be known as a pathological obsession. In India, apparently this is a love story.
Jamal, who comes across as an Indian Gilligan, manages to grow up, despite a never-ending series of misadventures, and stumble his way onto the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" Despite being an uneducated dope, he answers all the questions right, and wins 27 gazillion rupees, the equivalent of $1.75 in the U.S. The host of the show, who, in an incredible casting coup, comes across as even greasier than the original American host, Regis Phibin, assumes Jamal has cheated and has him arrested and tortured by the Indian version of Homeland Security. This is where Jamal's story is played out. He attempts to convince his captors that events from his horrific life provided him with answers to the questions, and the movie unfurls in a series of repellant flashbacks. As the movie draws to a conclusion, it does an inexplicable about face and ends with a series of sugary cliches that come straight from the American and Indian tradition of lame movie musicals. The best ending, instead, would have been if they had taken the director, Danny Boyle, and all the principal characters and dipped them in shit, then rolled them in sugar.


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Holy Farglesnot!! *H*E*'S* A*L*I*I*I*I*I*I*I*V*E* !!!!!!!!!!!!

Coaster's picture

Great to see you posting again. 

Nice review.  I still haven't seen Slumdog, but your one-bomb may have put me over the top.  Thanks. 

Where have you been?


Oddball's picture

 The sad part is, I'm not exactly sure where I've been.

You remind of that old expression.....

Coaster's picture


"If you can remeber the Sixties, you weren't there."
  --Paul Kanter of Jefferson Airplane/Starship/Wheelchair

Some of us didn't think you'd be coming around again without the the X-Tard to bash.  But I'll try to get the ball rolling for you...

Hey, you libruls suk!  How about that Obama?  Huh?  Sure makes you wish that Great American Bush was still president, don't it?  At least he had a birth certificate.



Ah, my old buddy, X-Man

Oddball's picture

 How I miss him. I admit, I was surprised that none of the rightwing trolls, not one, came over to the new Cranky's. X-Man, Hamartoma, Wilson07, transtaafl--they were all too afraid of rejection to make the move. Even grundle couldn't stand the possibility of a few negative rankings. And these are the guys that believe that the solution to every problem is waving your wee-wee in everybody's face? I'll bet Xie really mourns the passing of the old Cranky site, especially with a black, Democrat in the White House. Oh, cruel fate.

I'm real surprised grundle didn't cross over

Rajah's picture

I was dying to point out where his free market got us.

Good review, Oddball.

Mal_Content's picture

Coaster, it's worth seeing if you're into feel-good movies.  It was not Oscar-worthy, though.  Not even close.

Hmmmmm. Next I suppose you'te going to tell me ...

Coaster's picture

nothing blows up.

Any romance movie could be improved by things blowing up

Rajah's picture

Love Story for instance, it would have been a much better movie if at the end Ali McGraw  instead of slowly dying of cancer just blew up all over Ryan O'Neal.


Oddball's picture

 Love Story would have been even better if Ali McGraw had blown up before filming started.

its an indie movie for dummies

Critico's picture

Its entertaining, but it takes stuff that has been done before and better in other films, and wrapps it up in an audience friendly package.

The final question is an insult to the intelligence of the audience.

A Quote for a Quote

Coaster's picture

Critico wrote:

The final question is an insult to the intelligence of the audience.

"No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.".
-- H.L. Mencken



Critico's picture

what about the rest of the world?

The Yankee-centric comment was due to the fact that "Slumdog"

Coaster's picture

was, as Oddball pointed out, an American production.  This was likely made with American investment dollars for a mainly American audience. 

I do realize that movies are about the only worthwhile thing we export these days, besides the occasional jet. 

i'm not so sure about that

Critico's picture

The director, and main producers are british.

i just checked the imdb

Critico's picture

Director, writer, and all the producers are british.

Well the title post here said it was produced by Americans

Coaster's picture

And if you can't believe what you read on the Internet, what can you believe?

Yes and No

Oddball's picture

The film was co-produced and distributed by a division of Warner Bros.


Critico's picture

distribuited by Warner in the USA or worlwide?

Love means never having to say I wanna bone you.

Sharny's picture

That movie should've won some awards or something. Thank you, Oddball, for giving a shout-out to one of the classics!

Great article

nickumoh's picture

Great review.

When I saw the movie (waaaaaay before it blew up) I remember leaving the theatre feeling kinda dupped. I felt like it wasn't an indie film. An American movie, made in India, by a British director makes about as much sense as ordering a burrito from a Mark Pi's Express in Piccadilly Circus.

Is there any good indie films to watch these days? Wait...just found out there's something with Vincent Gallo in theatres so there's hope. And its directed by Coppola. I might have to sneak some of his daugther's wine into theatre.

...what...what were talking about again?

Something blows up?

Coaster's picture

nickumoh wrote:

...makes about as much sense as ordering a burrito from a Mark Pi's Express in Piccadilly Circus.

From what I've heard about British cuisine, I'm afraid that indeed would be a desirable dining venue.


Coaster's picture


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