Sunday, February 22, 2009

Muriels: Best Picture, 18th Place

Slumdog Millionaire (52 points/5 votes)

“The second time I saw Slumdog Millionaire, I was struck by this exchange between Jamal and Latika:

Jamal, scoffing as he sees Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? on the television: Why does everyone love this program?
Latika: It's a chance to escape, isn't it? Walk into someone else's life for a moment.

“As simple as it sounds, I find it much more than just a metaphor for the enthusiastic reception the film has received from critics and audiences. That opportunity to ‘walk into someone else's life’ is the essence of the story, layered with rich social insights and woven together with vividly beautiful colors and characters. Slumdog Millionaire was the most breathtaking and meaningful tapestry displayed on screen this year, and it reaffirmed my faith that there are still untapped wells of creativity to discover in the evolving art form of film.

“Misunderstood on some levels and rightfully criticized on others, it's a fantastic fairy tale improbably rooted in the jarring reality of contemporary India. While there may be legitimate concerns related to the casting of impoverished non-actors (concerns which, incidentally, didn't seem to be raised with films like City of God or even Gandhi), there should perhaps be just as much worry about the fact that many Westerners somewhat ethnocentrically think love, joy, hope, determination, beauty and success are not accurate representations of the slum dwellers of Mumbai. If the film has taught us anything, it is to see India in a new light - and appreciate that these elements of culture are universally shared.” ~ Daniel Getahun

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