Film Fest Friday: Slumdog Millionaire


I always feel bad, like a big snob, when I diss movies that have been officially categorized as excellent. I know it’s all subjective. And I’m not one of those critics who will diss a movie simply because it has been popular. Popular has its place. I feel the same way about music. I am not above yelling out some N*Sync lyrics in my car while doing the accompanying hand motions. I am less forgiving about books. There are a lot of books that are just not worth your time. I don’t care if it was a best seller.

But I watch A LOT of movies. And while I enjoy the occasional mind oreo, I really appreciate a truly great film. Every once in a while, Stephen King (etc) is okay, but there are so many Pulitzer Prize winners and so little time! Slumdog Millionaire was entertaining, had a good story, is definitely worth watching. The story is told mostly in flashbacks from childhood. I found the performances of the children who acted in the movie to be much more compelling than those of the adults. I was sort of disappointed whenever the childhood flashbacks would cut back to the present.

I never really connected with any of the characters on an emotional level, and maybe if I had cared about them more, I would have enjoyed it more. I didn’t love any of them, but I didn’t hate any of them either. I mean, of course you’re pulling for the underdog to win, but I found myself not really caring about the main engine for the plot, which was the love story. Freida Pinto, while very pretty, is not that impressive as an actress. My heart did not ache with theirs in their quest to be together. Apparently Freido Pinto and Dev Patel actually are dating in real life. Which is surprising, considering their lack of on-screen chemistry.

Watch it, but don’t go in with high hopes. It was not, in my opinion, Best Picture worthy.