(Originally published in buzz magazine on 12-21-08)
Boyle’s picture disorients us from the first shot. The plot structure dances between a brutal police interrogation, Jamal’s childhood in the streets and the game show at breakneck speed. The fragmented presentation’s dramatic buildup pays off big time when all the characters lay their cards on the table and take the biggest risks of their lives. Will Jamal win the 20 million rupees and reunite with Latika? Will Salim—corrupted by his love of money—learn to show compassion?
Slumdog dazzles the eye and grips the heart in ways most traditional films cannot. Kudos to Editor Chris Dickens, whose abrupt cuts in both sound and picture generate a sense of raw intensity, as do canted angle close-ups, grainy videotape footage and skipping playback (like watching streaming video on a dial-up internet).
The bold experimentation in form and compelling depiction of a poor boy’s fated rise to fame make Slumdog an absolute must-see. This original masterpiece is a reminder of why we go to the movies!
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