There are parts of this film that are stunning. The cinematography is gorgeous. There are many scenes that are thrilling to watch. I like the storytelling structure of flashbacks that explain how the protagonist has reached where he is on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? I like the attempt to show the drastic changes of Mumbai and the thriving slum life as part of the story rather than trying to make us feel sorry for the characters. I like some of the fairy tale aspects of the movie. There are moments that remind me of Oliver Twist and the television series City of Men.
Unfortunately, the movie has many weak moments as well. The two hours really drag. And a few of the plot developments don't quite ring true. The movie has a lot of flash (all of Boyle's movies do) and quite a bit of substance. But the movie never really connected the two well enough for me. The characters weren't terribly interesting either other than the Millionaire host.
I respect Danny Boyle's chameleon like film career. But for the most part, even his best movies are always slightly off from being the great movies that I keep thinking he's going to make. But perhaps this is the best that it will get. And that is good enough - but a masterpiece this is not.
Directed by Danny Boyle
Times Square 25
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