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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Worth a million: ‘Slumdog’ hits the jackpot

There’s been quite a bit of talk about a little film called “Slumdog Millionaire.” As a feel-good story presented with superb creativity and talent, the film has captured the hearts of critics, filmmakers and audiences all across the world. With a rags-to-riches story that speaks to all ages, qualities and places of life, “Slumdog” is not only leading the competition; it’s robbing them.

You might be surprised to hear there are aspects of “Slumdog Millionaire” that are both extraordinary and ordinary.

“Slumdog” acts as a real-life fairy-tale that chronicles the story about a teen who grew up on the slum streets of Mumbai. While a contestant on the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” 18-year-old Jamal Malik is forced to recount his misfortunate past to prove he’s not cheating. This story overdoses on clich’eacute;s all the way from “love at first sight” to an inevitable underdog story. While the story may be formulaic, the presentation is far from it.

For as predictable as the story is, screenwriter Simon Beaufoy does his best to make it feel fresh and original. The script is structured in such a unique way that disguises all similarities to other films. As it jumps through pieces of the past and present, we witness a story that bears a greater weight on the past life this character lived. We witness hardships, laughter, brutality and adventure. Thanks to a persistence to include realism in his clich’eacute;-filled story, director Danny Boyle’s artistic vision gives “Slumdog” a unique mixture of emotions and visuals.

“Slumdog” is already a shoo-in for awards due to its visual originality and non-traditional Hollywood production. We often hear conversations about how a film carries the look and ambition of a so-called Oscar bait. “Slumdog” isn’t that film, but its story is similar in that the questions it wants to answer, the story it wants to tell and the characters it presents are all apparent in the beginning stages of the film.

This isn’t to say the story is one we should throw away for being too typical. In fact, this simplistic nature is made wholesomely entertaining by an incredibly creative crew. Therefore, we nearly forget it’s full of things we would call flaws in other Oscar films. While “Slumdog” is a spectacular film, it doesn’t deserve treatment like its better than any other film that came out the same year. That’s something it most certainly is not. What it is, however, is a true display of struggle, brotherhood, friendship and resilience in a story that most people need and find affinity with now more than ever.

Letter Grade: A-

Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language.

Runtime: 120 min.

Starring: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor,

Directed by Danny Boyle

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