By Ross Kentner
Have you seen Slumdog Millionaire, the movie made on a shoestring that garnered eight Academy Awards? Remember, I+?G??G??m the guy who never saw Titanic+?G??-?not because I wouldn+?G??G??t line up with everybody else but because there was never a night I felt up to watching hundreds of people slip beneath the deep. So I understand if you took a pass. By today+?G??G??s standards there is not much violence in Slumdog, but neither is it the kind that the mind writes off as non-reality+?G??-?the almost comic, gratuitous violence of a James Bond movie. Here the acting, music and cinematography combine in stomach-churning drama that is gripping to say the least.
What is graphically depicted is poverty and Slumdog puts the "grit" into grinding poverty. It shows how low life goes in earth+?G??G??s hell holes, and how can that be confused with entertainment?
Well, it can+?G??G??t be in my mind, but when you juxtapose it with how high life is lifted by the indomitable human spirit, then I think that is entertainment. It+?G??G??s said that there are only a handful of core stories and all the rest grow out of them. I can see Cain and Abel behind Salim and Jamal.
You can+?G??G??t please everybody and no doubt there are some cliches and injustices perpetuated in this movie. But I think in our ever-shrinking global village there+?G??G??s an opportunity here to bridge cultures and open a window on the world+?G??G??s largest democracy. At the moment we are obsessed with our economic situation. If nothing else, Slumdog Millionaire puts our worries in perspective.
Finally, you will fall in love with the street children of Mumbai without whom there would not be a story or an academy award-winning blockbuster. They make your emotional investment worthwhile and for them, I+?G??G??ll see it again.