Thursday, January 22, 2009

A case for the happy ending.

I've kind of been on a tirade about this for the past few days since seeing Slumdog Millionaire, so forgive me if you've heard this before.
I'm just going to put it out there and say I really liked the film a lot. It's one of the best movies I've seen in a long, long time. I mean, I didn't weep with pleasure when it ended, but maybe I just got all my crying taken care of last week.
But Slumdog's a solid piece of movie magic. It's entertaining, kind of has you on the edge of your seat -- without being too stressful -- and it all works out in the end.
Now, I'm the first to admit that I am a huge sucker for a happy ending. Sports movies are a huge weakness for me. Or any movie that ends in thunderous, applause really. But it's not very often that a movie like that comes to an "indie" theater (Yes, I realize Tower isn't all that indie, but still).
But back to Slumdog. There are those who say it doesn't deserve to be in the Best Picture category, nevertheless win. But I don't buy it.
I think naysayers might be mostly film snobs who have become so cynical and desensitized by the number of so-called "intelligent" movies that end in a flurry of confusion or circumstances so depressing that you want to leave the theater, crawl into bed and stay there for three days. Maybe this sort of thing has tainted the kind of movie that typically wins or is nominated for Best Picture awards. They're either totally depressing or have casts and/or budgets bloated by excess so much so that the movies aren't even remotely good, but have excellent PR (cough, Crash, cough).
Sure, Slumdog is by no means realistic -- I think it's more Dickens than documentary. But why can't we have it all? Compelling tale, stellar acting, appealing cinematography, two-hours-or-less running time and, of course, an ending that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. At least Slumdog comes pretty close.


Brandi said...


madewell said...

you forgot to mention the choreographed dance number!

amp said...

How could I have forgotten?! A big Bollywood-style dance number should be the clincher.

DB said...

It's true, I'm a desensitized, cynical film snob (you forgot "despressing"...oh wait, there it is), and I thought it was just so-so. The movie does, however, have the distinction of being the only Academy Award winner for Best Picture in which a child jumps into a pool of shit. Of course, that's not counting the figurative pool of shit that was the film "Crash".