Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire: Four Stars

Here is a film that should be considered best picture of the year. Why say this in the first line because it is also the bottom line and the main argument I’m expressing in this review. The synopsis for this film can be found anywhere with information about this movie, I can tell you this movie is about love over coming all obstacles, and about faith and destiny lasting through endless trials and tribulations, but that’s not the synopsis of the film for that you can simply find on the films website. My goal here is to review this film in such a way that now only can the general pubic appreciate the artist value which lays in store within this picture but the give a review breaking down the elements like I would any movie I review. So let’s begin

As a story this film achieved all of its main goals, it had a well put together plot, the characters were dynamic and interesting and the Telos or theme and point to the piece was beautiful and magnificent. Now going into more detail the plot of a film is hard to pinpoint just how exactly it achieves excellence but one clue is in the mood and feeling it compels the audience to feel not only throughout the piece but especially at the end when the point of the film is made. Well put together plots pulls the audience empathy into the film and can send the audience on an emotional rollercoaster based on the actions of the characters. In Slumdog the plot was able to grab the empathy from the audience early and build on it till the climax of the piece where by that time the audience had so much emotional stock invested in the film and the characters that we were either going to leave highly elevated or leave emotional distraught based on the outcome. All films that should be considered for best picture of the year should have a powerful theme and the entire film taken as a whole should reveal something about life, society, culture, ideology, or make some sort of sociological/ philosophical statement. The story of Slumdog Millionaire was able to do that and true masterpieces of film share this quality as part of their nature.

Medium: (The Filmmaking)
Danny Boyle is a director who can take a story and tell it through the medium of film in a way that not many directors can. Boyle truly understands the capabilities and possibilities of filmmaking and explores them to their fullest potential. Now a great director cannot tell a story well if the story itself sucks, but he or she can take a great story and make it something more by telling it with all the artistic tools a filmmaker has their disposal to tell it, this is what makes Danny Boyle and any director for that matter great. What do I mean by using the artistic tools a director can use to turn a story into a great film? Well I’m talking about the use of editing, music, lighting, cinematography ext all these little capabilities Boyle uses to extravagant extremes but it works because the story itself is pretty extravagant and extreme so therefore should be told in like manner. Slumdog millionaire was told in a way that was not only appropriate for the story but made it something other mediums couldn’t and that’s the point of film making. I mean Slumdog millionaire the play, or Slumdog Millionaire the book cannot produce the same effect as the film did and that’s where a filmmaker achieves excellence in film, and therefore should be given deserved praise.

Slumdog Millionaire is an excellent film which becomes excellent through a well structured plot where as Aristotle would say, gives the audience what they secretly desire (probable impossibilities) and has the film making with all the elements involved to tell a beautiful story beautifully. Four Stars

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