Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It Has All Been Written?

Slumdog Millionaire is an experience. It is one of those rare movies that combine a fresh idea with a completely watch able story that is at once difficult to watch and entertaining. It has the feel of a Dickens story. If it wins the Best Picture award it will be because of the strength of its story and the way it is told; without big named actors or politically charged themes it has nothing else to make academy members vote for it. It would be nice for a movie to win on its own merits for a change.

That being said, the story has some interesting philosophical and even religious themes throughout. Coming in the same year as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button makes for a strange theme developing in 2008. The theme running throughout Slumdog is the age old question: who controls our lives? Do our decisions mater, or is it all up to fate? Has it, in fact, all been written? The answer suggested by this story is… we are all caught in the inescapable stream of fate; our stories have all been written and we are unable to change our destinies.

Jamal’s story is (luckily for us viewers) a happy and fulfilling one. Along the way there are incredible hardships and tragedies, but his whole life has led him to become the man that he is in the end, and that journey is a joy to watch. The only downside to the story is the idea that Jamal is not really a good person in the end, because it is fate and not his decisions that made him the way he is.

Despite the questionable philosophy, this is a very good film. If you haven’t seen this film yet, please do so soon.

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