Sunday, February 15, 2009

5 Reasons Why "Slumdog Millionaire" Shouldn't Win Best Picture

So I finally saw the much acclaimed "Slumdog Millionaire" and now I can say with confidence it should not win Best Picture. Here is why:

*WARNING - Spoiler Alert*

1. The contrived plot - Don't get me wrong, I actually enjoyed the film. It was entertaining, well-paced and imaginative. The plot however, lost it's novelty after the first 1/2 hour. Once you understand that Jamal knows every question because of some previous life experience, you know the rest of the film. Each question seemed to be written exactly for him, which then feels somewhat forced. Are the questions really that simple on India's version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? I doubt it. I like the idea of "book smart vs. street smart", however he admittedly isn't smart at all, he was just lucky or "destined" if you believe in that sort of thing.

2. It didn't pull at my heart strings - I'm pretty sure it was supposed to. Watching little children surviving the slums of India is pretty horrific, yet HE WINS A MILLION DOLLARS and GETS THE GIRL OF HIS DREAMS. So, any sympathy I had left me by the end of the film. There are so many people living in those conditions who die in those conditions - I don't think a happy ending served those people justice. I guess the more cynical aspect of the film was showcased by the brother, but his character was just aggravating and not fully developed. Sometimes he was a horrendous human being and other times he was a caring, loyal brother. There was no motivation behind his actions, so him dying did not affect me at all.

3. It gave me a headache - The unsteady, hand-held camera technique works in films like The Bourne ultimatum and Cloverfield. I didn't like it in this film, I found it distracting. It almost felt like I was watching 2 separate films, because the camera work was so different between the present scenes and the flashback scenes.

4. It deservedly was shut-out of the acting categories - It's pretty rare for a film to be nominated for Best Picture without any of it's actors nominated. But I now see why - the star of the film - Dev Patel really didn't have much acting to do, besides maybe the first scene. And the female lead, Freida Pinto, had even less to do. The real acting came from the children in the flash-back scenes, who were decent as far as children actors go. Overall, the films acting was far from memorable - which in my opinion is what makes an outstanding film.

5. Milk was a better film - It was superior in every way.

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