“The Feelgood Film of the Year”

I’m about a month or so behind everyone else on this one, and so as usual I have nothing new or original to say, but anyway Sal and I finally got round to seeing Slumdog Millionaire earlier this week. We had been planning to see it at the moonlight cinema, outside in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, but after I stupidly left it too late to get tickets, we decided instead to go to the old Sun Theatre in surprisingly lively Yarraville, a little suburb just over the river from the city. As well as being in a lovely old theatre, it’s one of those places where you can take your beer inside with you, which always gets the thumbs up from me.

We enjoyed the film, of course, but I’m not quite sure how it’s become the runaway-hot-Oscar-nominated-success that it is: I couldn’t help thinking that it was all just a tad contrived. How convenient, for example, that all the significant life moments that give Jamal the answers to the questions just happen to have happened to him in chronological order…

I’m also not sure they ever plausibly explained why our Mr Slumdog lost his Indian accent: he did sound an awful lot like the very British Anwar from Skins by the time he’d grown up.

And I can’t surely be the only person to have spotted how they play fast and loose with the rules of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? at the end: the host repeatedly tells Jamal that if he gets the last question wrong he’ll lose everything. Surely everybody knows that’s not how the game works, no?

Or would “if you get the last question wrong you’ll only win a 640,000 rupees” (nine grand, apparently, which is presumably still a life-changing amount for a “slumdog”) not have worked quite so well as the climax to the film?