Slumdog an Evasive Fantasy

Fairy-tale film's take on 'real India' has 'conveniently fluid notion of reality'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 27, 2009 3:14 PM CST

(Newser) Slumdog Millionaire wants to be a portrait of the “real India” and a fairy tale at the same time, but director Danny Boyle’s combination is “dissonant to the point of incoherence,” writes Dennis Lim in Slate. It portrays life in the slums in brilliant color, and “some would argue that Boyle is guilty of aestheticizing poverty.”

The real trouble is that Slumdog’s style “is in service of so very little,” Lim writes, “traffics in some of the oldest stereotypes of the exoticized Other” and offers American audiences a clichéd rags-to-riches story. The screenplay is just “a jumble of one-note characterizations and rank implausibility,” Lim continues. “If Slumdog has struck a chord, it is not because the film is some newfangled post-globalization hybrid but precisely because there is nothing new about it.”