Monday, June 08, 2009

Really Behind The Movies--"Slumdog Millionaire"

Now that I accepted the fact that I will not be on the edge of film watching again in my lifetime, I can title my film blog entries, "Really Behind The Movies."

"Slumdog Millionaire" was interesting to follow leading to the Academy Awards in 2009--so many other films appeared to be destined to win, like the Benjamin Button film. I was glad that Slumdog won so many awards, only because it expanded cultural discourse in the United States, if but only for a short time and by a small percentage. I think the nation benefits from expanded perspective, especially from a place to which Americans do not pay attention, and is becoming more of a force on the world stage.

The depictions of poverty, life as an orphan, life in India, crime, pop culture, the lure of money, the captivation of love, and sibling bonding are each powerful in their own right. What makes this story so gripping is how events shape the life of Mumbai orphan Jamal Malik, and how they are revealed through the pop culture sensation of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. It is the craft of layering these stories and the camera work capturing the effects of these events on Jamal that left me still thinking about film after I watched it. I am also reflecting on how I tell stories, both my own and the stories of God's people. Slumdog Millionaire made me reflect on the power and scope of relationships--these were not caricatures in the story, but people that I both cared about, yet also frustrated me with their actions. It was easier to see sinner and saint, joy and pain in these characters.

The music only enhanced the story; I downloaded the song "Jai Ho." A song that means "Victory, hooray," and pulses as it does belongs on my running mix as soon as possible.

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