Slumdog Millionaire -cynical dreck

Ok, I admit it -I read the book and this film has little resemblence to it, but I’m really not one of those people who go around complaining that the movie is not as good as the book. I knew going in that it was different to “Q and A“. That didn’t bother me. I was looking forward to seeing the story being fixed in fact. The book had its faults, but really the only problems were to do with the “last act”. Besides the ending, the book was great. If they had filmed the book and fixed the ending it would have been a slower film, but it would have had class and it would have been brilliant. They could have introduced some alternative plotlines to speed it up somewhat, which wouldn’t have changed the tone, if they really felt they needed to. They didn’t.

Instead, they made it into a love story and a gangster story, neither of which is the least bit believable. In the book also, one of the main characters is “India” itself. The film begins well enough, but ditches the India character inside half an hour/ 40minutes. What follows after that could well have been set in any country in the world.
The whole main section of the film is like a plug n’ play formula wrapped around Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Titanic in the slums… except the slums are soon ditched in favour of an unconvincing crimeworld.

Characters are drab and characterless. Editing is sickening. In fact the whole ‘slum gangsters’ with much better editing & same (amazing) colour was made a few years ago, set in Rio. It’s called CITY OF GOD.
If you haven’t seen that film, do. It’s quite good.

Did I mention I didn’t like the film Slumdog Millionaire? Well now I’m saying it again just to be sure. The whole reworking of it is a cynical shoehorning of romance and violence to attract the target audience. And they seem to lap it up.I haven’t read one bad review of this film, which is why I feel compelled to write about it here, even though I saw it weeks ago and have tried blocking it from my mind ever since.

How many more times can this film be made? “Love amongst the…”

One-note puke. Dreck. Unconvincing slop.

Whenever I mention how bad I think this movie is, I’m inevitably told I’m being cynical. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Cynical is the way some think of a target audience first and then insert extraneous elements into a perfectly fine storyline “to appeal to this sector or that”.

Cynical is government attacking the poorest people first or the infirmed or those otherwise incapable of kicking up a fuss as soon as there’s a downturn in the market.

Cynical is a dominant company making a market decision that excludes huge swathes of people simply because they can’t easily be broken down to a targetable market. Take for instance, shoe companies that stop selling half-sizes simply because they’ve decided it’s too much bother and “we can get people to buy insoles too if their shoes don’t fit properly!”

Cynical is designed obselescence in consumer goods -everything from tea-pots to jeans. “When it breaks, just throw it out. Get a new one.” That’s cynicism.

A tree is not made for the 18 – 25 year olds. A tree is a tree and you make of that what you will.
Proper “art” (and by that I mean entertainment or anything made for the enjoyment of others) should be made on its own terms and its audience allowed find it on its own terms. Proper art is not targeted to anyone but the artist/ maker/ craftsman/ producer.
The way it’s done now IS cynical manipulation of key sectors.

Recognising these things (and a lot more besides) and allowing them upset you is not cynicism. It’s Romanticism if anything. I would argue it is also Realism, but the world most people seem to live in argues the opposite. That doesn’t make me wrong -just alone. Aww!

The book on which Slumdog Millionaire was based (“Q and A“) is feelgood. I have no problem with feelgood. Slumdog Millionaire is a derivative, unconvincing, bland piece of film. The one good thing I would like to mention is the youngest kid who plays the main character (in the book the character is Ram Mohammed Thomas, I believe the film blanded this down too). I liked seeing him. See, I end it on a high-note. That can’t be cynical. 😉

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