I’ve been thinking a lot about Slumdog Millionaire, not really because I choose to, but because that damn song is being played over and over again everyfuckingwhere I go. (I actually got up and tried to do the Bollywood dance the other day.) Thanks to this reluctant reflection, I’ve decided I did not like the movie that much and if I continue thinking about it I may grow to hate it. Actually, I just may be one Danny Boyle or Dev Patel interview away from such contempt.
Slumdog suffers from is the same affliction that curses just about every American made movie: the closed narrative loop. What makes most Hollywood movies numbingly boring and irrelevant is the structure: premise, plot, sub-plots, a protagonist, one or more antagonists, climax, resolution, and the warm-happy sunset to ride off into. Contrivance is the necessary tool to fit reality into a neat two hour narrative package. Hollywood teaches us to deny reality and that’s why the USA is the most ignorant major industrial nation on earth.
This self-billed "feel good movie of the year" may help us "feel good" that we are among the lucky ones on earth, but it delivers a patronizing, colonial and ultimately sham statement on social justice for those who are not.
What might Slumdog look like in the hands of Satyajit Ray, Ken Loach or John Sayles?
There may be just one good thing to come out Slumdog’s popularity. I predict once it’s out on DVD it will dethrone Haggis’ Crash (the worst movie ever made) as the No. 1 rental on Netflix.