I was fortunate enough to see “Slumdog Millionaire” before all of the hype. I say fortunate because I was able to evaluate it without all of the critics’, friends’, co-workers’, and grocery store checkout person’s voices already ringing in my ears. And I liked it. I think it has all the qualities that make for an endearing story. The rags-to-riches tale of a disadvantaged youth, progression of character through time, and the fairy tale ending of love lost and found. It also has the qualities that I really like in films. Exotic locales, cute children, great costumes, fun with music, and a cinematography style to capture both close-ups and sweeping city shots. All that to say, I really enjoyed the movie. But that’s not the main reason that I’m happy that Slumdog won Best Picture.
I am really pleased that it won Best Picture because I think it highlights a shift that is occuring in American filmmaking. I think we are finally realizing that we are not the only people in the world making movies and telling stories! “Slumdog Millionaire” was written by an English screenwriter, based on a novel by an Indian diplomat who has served around the world, directed by a British director, with an all-Indian cast in India! The only thing any American did in making this movie was Fox Searchlight in distributing the film to an American audience.
And it has been almost universally loved by American audiences. I think that’s a very good sign. And I couldn’t be more pleased that “Slumdog Millionaire” won Best Picture.