15 March 2009

Salvation From Misery

Mr. B. and D. went to see Slumdog Millionaire last night, a movie about the underbelly of Mumbai from the eyes of a working class Irish-Catholic director. Do you see the problem here? (Okay, he did Trainspotting, but that was his neighbor and not across the world).

Mr. B. said he finds the film entertaining "if you don't expect anything hugely overwhelming as promised by the 8 Academy Awards it received in the last Oscars."

So the film depicts the triumph of human spirit over life's given misery. Coming from a middle-class family in so-called third-world country, Mr. B. is not at all a stranger to the harsh realities of life. He understands what real poverty (not the "oh, I can't afford that new Gucci bag 'cause I'm too poor" poverty) can do to a human spirit - it destroys faith to the very limit until it evolves into a peculiar form of fatalism, that everything works to an inevitable end. And the film did show that, for Jamal Malik, the central character, succeeded because "it is written".

In the end, regardless of the many flaws and criticisms, the film succeeded in entertaining (especially the Bollywood style ending) although it did not bring anything new to the table.

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