One of my favorite movies of all time is Slumdog Millionaire. The film pulls you into its characters and makes you remember why you want to love Hollywood. Despite being a film set in India and having some typical Bollywood aspects, this is not a Bollywood movie. I could go on about why this is, but I'd rather just tell you why I love this movie so much. WARNING some spoilers.
1) Its cinematography is just beautiful. The shots they get and they way the cameras move to be almost another character is so good.
2) It demonstrates hope in the midst of great tribulation and that life is worthwhile after all.
3) Love and redemption triumph over all power, greed, and evil.
4) There is a great contrast of the two brothers, Jamal and Salim. Salim lives for power and money, but Jamal lives for love.
5) At the end, Jamal kisses Latika's scar before he kisses her lips. I LOVE this because in that simple gesture, he is embracing her pain, her sorrow, her tribulations, the loss of part of her beauty and symbol of her innocence and redeems them by saying that she is even more beautiful because of these things and that he takes them as his own now, too.
6) Latika says "I'm yours" in Hindu unsubtitled while on the cell phone with Jamal, who is on the game show, right before the cell phone cuts off. She finally, actually gives herself to him, something that had been implied for a long time and that she eventually tried to fend off to protect him. In saying this, she admits that only love can set you free.
7) The brothers aren't flat characters. Example: Jamal tells Salim that he can never forgive him for what Salim has done to him, and to Latika, and this is left unresolved.
8) The musical score. Plan and simple, it's awesome!
9) Jamal's innocence and purity. No matter what he has seen or gone through, he never loses this and that is a great victory in the modern society and he is a better person because of it.
10) Jamal's facial expressions. Priceless and spot on!
11) Jamal does not find out that Salim died or what Salim did for him and Latika in the end; and we never see Jamal deal with this.
12) When Jamal hears Latika on the phone, he realizes what Salim has done for them. Because Jamal loved so intensely, it rubbed off on Salim and, in a way, converted Salim, who then redeemed his life of living only for power and money to dying for love--love of a brother.
13) Latika wears yellow when she is with Jamal, and yellow is a sign of honesty, so she is being completely herself when she is with him (with one exception...but you find it!)
14) Latika is womanly in her acceptance of her circumstances and trusts that all will end up well. She is also self-sacrificial as she gives the most intimate part of herself to save Jamal and, in that, retains her purity, even though she is made to give herself bodily.
15) Pram cannot make eye contact with Jamal after feeding him an answer, so Jamal knows he's lying. I love how Jamal, and the cinematographers, pick up on little nuances in people to tell their true character and I love that Pram is shown to be what he is--deceptive.
There are so many other things I love about this movie; basically, there is nothing I didn't love. Some may argue and say that certain things were too graphic or that it was unnecessarily graphic, but I think that it all shows the tough life endured by those impoverished in Mumbai and how they most rise above all things.
Now for a little review on two movies that I'd say, don't even bother looking at the movie box. World's Greatest Dad starring Robin Williams and Punch-Drunk Love starring Adam Sandler. Both were extremely painful to sit through and I thought of turning off both about 10 minutes into them. Let's start with World's Greatest Dad. I had to invent a new word to adequately describe this movie: douchiest. This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen, so bad that it definitely gives Troll 2 a run for its money. First of all, it was poorly paced. It dragged on and on without evening out in the end. Second, the ending was not satisfactory for all the drudge you were just put through. Third, we didn't need 45mins to tell us the guy's son is a complete, moronic, perverted loser and we didn't need the whole movie to tell us that the apple didn't fall far from the tree. And that's all the words I'm willing to waste telling you why you absolutely SHOULD NOT see this movie. I had a lot of the same problems with Punch-Drunk Love, though its characters were slightly more compelling. Its pacing was completely off--slow on a set-up and resolved far too quickly. Something else that really bothered me about this movie is that it is never shown why the love interest falls so hard for Adam Sandler's character and why or how they both grow in this. No growth=no go. DO NOT waste your time on this movie, either.