Slumdog Millionaire is a riveting movie. But, it ain't as my buddy says, "a feel good" movie. The only "feel good" aspect is what movies can do-if they desire, "they can make anything happen they want to happen."
In this case, it was "feel good" at the end where the Slumdog wins the prize. I know, I know, I have given away part of the movie. (Not really as one thing is evident: the risk of the Slumdog [great acting by the way] is a philosophical thing-if he lost, he really was only where he began anyway. Meaning of course, that if we have no "real" risk, it's easier to take chances. )
The movie was good on many levels. The flashback technique in the film was especially effective, I thought. The flashbacks peeled away the mystery of how a kid from the slums could know answers to trivia questions.
I always liked the American version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" but the stakes in this movie were considerable higher( The contestants [or anyone for that matter] could be tortured.
The term, slumdog, is pretty telling and thought provoking in itself. A sad fact kept running through my head as I watched-there are kids who really live the life of slumdogs in horrible and squalid conditions.
My daughter asked me whether it would be OK to take her teenager to see Slumdog Millionaire. Absolutely. A great teaching opportunity. This is life for kids in many countries and the "teaching" lesson is how lucky we are to be Americans--a fate of birth. Our absolute worst is far better than the "slumdogs" of the world. We should be so thankful.
Just as an added benefit, the producers slipped in a couple of digs at Americans: They are overweight and think that throwing money at a problem will solve it.
See this movie. It's The Little Miss Sunshine of this movie season, but has a more sobering effect.
("If you have every wanted to see how
we have outsourced so many things offshore, look at the scene in Slum Dog Millionaire where
our young protagonist uses the call center to get on the show. Truly
folks, this is it; you are calling up your bank and you are getting
some highly educated Indian in New Deli who is answering
your call. If for no other reason, you should see this movie for that
scene, it's worth it.")