I Don't Usually Like This Sort Of Thing, But...
If a person generally doesn't enjoy films and watches no more than half a dozen every year - should their opinion on a particular movie count for much?
You'll probably think no and will stop reading this blog as soon as I tell you that person is me and this is essentially a movie review. Which was there now. See ya!
But look at it this way (you're still here!!! Thanks!) - if a movie impresses someone who is extremely hard to impress - it's bound to be worth checking out. Does that make sense? I think it does.
Anyway, my general indifference to the big screen is rooted in the fact I don't have a very good concentration span. I will phase out of albums, books and conversations if they are anything other than bite size. This is why the majority of my time is spent watching TV shows that are a neat 25 minutes or so. Any longer and I'd just move on to something completely different.
I'll happily add Slumdog Millionaire to that list. I saw it on Sunday evening and buzzed about it right through to Tuesday morning, asking everyone in work (and at one point a man who was essentially a total stranger) if they'd seen it, re-reading the plot online, daydreaming about standout scenes, watching the trailer on youtube, sourcing some of the soundtrack. It's a wonderful film and you really must see it. Straight away.
Let me tell you why, as is the style with these 'reviews'.
First of all, the entire premise is one to make you immediately impressed with whoever came up with it. (I'll only tell you the plot as is previewed in the trailer, no spoilers of course).
A kid from the slums of India, gets on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. He answers the increasingly difficult questions correctly, right up to the very last one, when the show is halted for the evening. He's dragged into a police station and accused of cheating. He's a slumdog, how could he possibly know all the answers? But it turns out there's a random story from his curious past that holds the answer to every question. Lucky, eh? His life story is unraveled, leading to an incredible conclusion, which is wrapped up in the final question.
The short stories are all so quirky I would happily recount every single one to anyone bored enough to listen. It's beautifully shot and an absolute treat to watch - colours dancing across the screen, huge shots of breathtaking Indian landscapes, the slums somehow looking tragic and glamourous at the same time. The casting is magnificent - those child actors in particular are incredible to the point you really begin to wonder just how on earth someone with so little experience can be so bleedin' good at something. And the music drags you in further - loads of technicolor bhangra and epic Indian strings (and, almost inevitably, some MIA - the DFA remix of Paper Planes!!!!). Every box is ticked, basically. And that's before you get anywhere near a fantastic ending. And yes, it's a proper ending, the equivalent of a cymbal crash after a drum roll in a song without an irritating fade. (I hate songs that fade out. It just feels like the song is actually still going but you just aren't allowed to hear it anymore - as if someone is turning the volume down really slowly but you can't actually see them and tell them to wise up)
I know from what I said earlier this might not mean very much, but Slumdog Millionaire is the finest film I have seen in years. My concentration has never stayed in one place for so long. And had so much fun.