30 January 2009 | alexkolokotronis
City of God Has One Vital Thing Slumdog Millionaire Does Not
Slumdog Millionaire is one of the most critically acclaimed movies of 2008 but the hype surrounding it is a bit undeserved. Don't get me wrong, this is at the very least a good movie and is quite a terrific movie 2/3 the way through. What the movie does though in the last 1/3 is make the fatal mistake of turning into a Hollywood or maybe in this case a Bollywood movie. It takes away from that genuine and satisfying feeling.
The acting all around was very good particularly from Dev Patel and the small kids. There performance are probably the only thing that is overlooked in this film. Without much of these very good performances the movie would not have been at the level it was at.The directing of Danny Boyle was his best yet. The look of the film was amazing and many screen shots of India were breathtaking. The musical score was very fitting to the style of the movie. It was one of the best scores of 2008. Where this film fell apart was at the writing. Towards the end its withdrew into a standard romance. It was no longer the great and amazing adventure we had witnessed for most of the movie. The complex relations seemed to be over simplified and it does the safe thing to do in the approach of tone but if taken into a drastically different direction could have lead it to be a real classic. Yet instead of ever peaking or sky rocketing to greatness it had plateaued and didn't deliver the way I had hoped it would, this largely in part by the failure of the screenplay.
Many people have compared this film to City of God because the film are actually similar in many ways. Yet City of God has something Slumdog Millionaire does not have which is depth and character motivations. These things are vital to these kind of movies being successful. City of God seemed to have a more plausible story because the story was more linear. Events took place as a result of other events. This did not happen in Slumdog Millionaire, the story was more chopped up and too many of the events just seemed to pop up out of no where. Slumdog Millionaire did take a very ambitious approach in the way it was made which is commendable. Is this a 1st rate movie though? The answer to that is no.