Sunday, July 19, 2009

Movies that I Hate: Slumdog Millionaire

I've been looking through my past film reviews and found that all of them are positive, how boring.
Everyone loves to read a negative review, I know I do.
So I've put together a bunch of films that I truly despise and unleash the Anton Ego within.

Slumdog Millionaire

Contrived to the point of absurdity. Okay, I can live with the fact that every question in the gameshow was related to a significant event in his life, but to take it further and have the questions asked chronologically, in sync with how his story unfolds. Contrived, contrived, contrived!
And it stuck to this formula throughout the entire movie. It was so unbelievably predictable, it was almost painful.
In a couple years, people will question what possessed them to actually enjoy and highly praise this movie. I believed the film's success is a reflection of the current state of the world. Economic recession. Rags to riches story. BOOM. Feel good movie of the year.
The other problem I had with the film was the lack of chemistry between the two leads, Jamal and Latika. I'm referring to the older ones of course (I thought the young actors' performances were the closest I can get to authenticity). I hated them together. I was with them intially when they were still young but as they got older, I just got bored. I was actually hoping that they would not be together. The actors were so bad and why would a boy who grew up in the slums all of a sudden acquire perfect English language skills with an accent to match?

My other problem was that they such heavy subject matter to deal with that it grounded the film to harsh, cold reality. But then aspects of unreality and "fairy-taleness" were weaved into the film which then creates this annoying contradiction (suspend reality, go back to reality. Repeat).

I don't really loathe the movie, I just think it did not live up to the hype and I found that the recognition it received was not well deserved. It's a very flawed film.
I'm a very big supporter of small films that make it (and win) against the big dogs. I'm usually in full support of the underdog, but in this case, I just did not find myself enjoying the film or find it worthy of its accolades.

VERDICT: 3.5/10


  1. I love negative reviews too but not about films that are awesome :p

    I like your arguments though. I loved the film because it showed that love and hope can triumph even among the depths of pain despair. I'm a sucker for a happy ending

  2. Lol. Dont worry in my future "Movies I Hate" reviews I'll probably choose films that are communally loathed.

  3. You hate a movie so much os then you write it Imdb, You are a Fucking idiot

  4. Last time I checked IMDB did not have a "please post positive opinions only" rule.
    It's a place where one can freely write their opinions in, and that's exactly what I did. From what I've seen in message boards, most IMDB users are smart(obviously this does not refer to you - see derogatory comments above), have a passion for films and are unafraid to let others know why they love/dislike a movie. So I thought that maybe if I post my thoughts up, that others will either agree with me or disagree and offer their perspective as to why they enjoyed the film. I did not want to loathe this film but unfortunately I did, and that's how it is.

  5. you son of a bitch

  6. i agree with jesue 100%. Johnny your the idiot. have u ever heard of freedom of speech.

  7. ...were you even paying attention to the movie? How the hell does it have anything to do with the economic recession? And you do realize that people in India can speak English now because they were colonized by the English?
    Hate is such a strong word. I wouldn't say this was a terrible movie, but I definitely don't feel that it deserved to win so many Academy Awards (although I never agree with the academy anyway, they always make the worst decisions) and I have a problem with people calling it "feel-good" when there's scenes such as a child getting hot wax poured into his eyes because the people on the street who he begs from will feel more compassion for a blind kid. Also the fact that you could see the ending from a mile away, but other than that, I don't understand the flaws you've pointed out...

  8. This would be cool, if you weren't a douche

  9. Thank you. I just watched the movie for the first time and thought that I may have mistakenly seen a different version than the one voted Best Picture. IT BLEW. I came online to find someone that felt exactly as I did. So thanks.

  10. When I talked about the recession I referred to the film's external context (the time the film was released) and not actually referring to a recesssion within the story itself. My point was that because of the state of economy last year, a rags to riches story would have appealed to a wider audience, thus making it a feel-good movie. And yes, it does have some scenes that are heartbreaking like the hot wax scene that you mentioned, but that's one of the elements of a feel-good movie, to begin with something that is tragic but to eventually lead (*minor spoliers*) to a dramatic change in the end.

    I agree with your other point though, hate is a strong word and I could have used a better word.

  11. Contrived? I'm sorry its a melodrama, a fable. Its not supposed to be real, there are moments of realism but the story is unrealistic and its supposed to be. Lord of the Rings is a great movie but I know it isn't real, there are realistic looking wounds but I know its not real. There are moments which are very realistic, the slums and the life of slum kids yes but it portrays a fantastical story in a realistic setting. OK about the grown up Jamal, who by the way does not speak with an English accent he speaks with an Indian one, and I thought the chemistry did work and because I had gone through hell with these characters I wanted them to be together considering the long odyssey they go through just so they can be together, which I found moving as well.

    And to do with the chronological question thing, this has been dealt with before. I'd like to see your own edited version with the questions out of order, and then I'd like to see how much sense it would make.

  12. from 1:50 to 1:53 it was pure brilliance...the looks at Jamal's face...the music....the flashbacks...i would trade those minutes with hours of any other scenes in any other movie!!!!
    the questions werent choronilogical...the last question was about the 3 musketeers which was one of the first things he learnt as a kid!!!
    i have to say...i did expect him answering D while whats his name told him B!!! that was obvious :)

  13. This is just a film based on a Book - not a reality show or documentary.

    Having said that, you probably won't connect to the story as much as Indians or English/Westerners who hate/like the movie for different reasons.

    From a pure technical/logical point of view, every film can be trashed.

    In Titanic there is not so much visual connection between the lead pair. The hero in Titanic look much younger to the heroine - isn't?

  14. I agree with this post 100%. This is by far one of the worst films I have ever seen.

    It may have great production value, good music (although there are better music directors in India than A R Rahman)...but it insults the viewer's intelligence like there's no tomorrow. I had a problem with the film from first frame - How can you pose a question to the viewer AND give the answer?

    Hope and love triumphing? Give me a break! This movie shows hope and love? What was Jamal ever hoping for? We don't know.

    The casting is another sore point! The kids as tweens are atrocious - those actors have been born and brought up in the swankiest areas of Mumbai and you can make out from their accent.

    And is that whole 'JAI HO' a take on Bollywood? That's just plain insulting. This film was not indie, it was not low budget, it was a full on Hollywood production!



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