Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Good Things Happen to Good People

They just often have to go through a lot of shit (literally) before their victory is reached.

Slumdog Millionaire is the story of the everyman of this disillusioned generation. The world around us spouts wealth and glamorizes every nuance of the mundane that most lose sight of what's real and what's important.

It's important to follow your dreams, but it's just as important to rationalize your dreams. This is truly the story of the underdog. A modern day Romeo and Juliet of sorts with worlds at odds, families divided, cultures clashing and in the end true love aims to save all.

Told through chronological flashbacks, Slumdog brings to light the evolution of India from a cesspool of non-directional corrupt youth into the modern age, displaying all the growing pains associated with such a dramatic growth. You could go so far as to say the story of the characters parallels the culture, as both come of age, rid themselves of their troubled past and enter a new frontier of promise.

It's an uplifting tale to say the least. A bit Forrest Gump at times, at times Quiz Show and other times a WB sitcom...all with a twist. Slumdog is dark. Darker than expected. But so is life and so is the pursuit of happiness.

Balancing the serious nature of the story told with a light game show premise has been attempted before, but never executed so well. As the movie makes it's way towards the inevitable there is a growing swell of hope as David looks to overwhelm Goliath. This occurs, and all celebrate and all is great. It's a bit bittersweet that it ends so sweet...but there remains the shadow of darkness as some sacrifice for others.

To say this is the movie of the year strikes me as a stretch (I'd see Frost/Nixon again over this, and there is a slew else I have yet to see...I'm anxiously awaiting The Wrestler), then again this is the kind of story the world needs now. The most unlikeliest of heroes achieving his dreams in the most unlikeliest of ways, and is so doing overcoming unrelenting opposition and repression.

Slumdog is a success on all accounts and a worthy watch.


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