Scrolling Headlines:

Candlelight vigil held to mourn deaths of victims of police violence -

September 27, 2016

UMass hosts William A. Douglass for lecture and chair in Basque cultural studies -

September 27, 2016

Amherst Select Board discusses imposing fines on those who violate water usage ban -

September 27, 2016

UMass tennis opens season on high note with performance at Brown Invitational -

September 27, 2016

UMass women’s soccer using long break to prepare for Atlantic 10 play -

September 27, 2016

Notebook: Ford ‘takes step forward,’ Williams appears on SportsCenter -

September 27, 2016

UMass cross country and track and field coach Ken O’Brien hits half century mark with program -

September 27, 2016

A-10 soccer notebook: Duquesne shuts out Robert Morris 1-0 to win fourth straight -

September 27, 2016

The blue light situation: When is enough, enough? -

September 27, 2016

Survivor; awesome yet evil -

September 27, 2016

A ‘Mirror’ into Clinton’s campaign -

September 27, 2016

UMass a cappella groups S#arp Attitude and The Hexachord’s on ‘Sing It On’ television series -

September 27, 2016

‘Through the Photographer’s Eyes’ exhibit highlights photojournalism in today’s media -

September 27, 2016

Designer collaborations steal the show at New York Fashion Week SS17 -

September 27, 2016

Massachusetts drought heavily impacts local agriculture -

September 26, 2016

UMass Soccer earns second win of season in 3-2 victory over Hartford -

September 26, 2016

‘Morris from America’ explores teen angst and the struggles of growing up -

September 26, 2016

‘Hell or High Water’ an intense, morally ambiguous modern Western -

September 26, 2016

UMass field hockey hangs tough, falls to No. 18 Stanford -

September 26, 2016

Read: You won’t regret it -

September 26, 2016

I must disagree with Shayna, it happens

Shayna Murphy reviewed Danny Boyle’s new film Slumdog Millionaire” earlier this week. And I must disagree with her “B” rating. Now I know our rating system is flawed (which one isn’t?) and it is completely subjective. But I must give Boyle’s new film an “A” on our rector scale.

The film breaks so many conventions of the common love story. Yes, all the cliches are there. But what Boyle does with them is what separates this film apart from others in recent years. He uses the conventions as a back-drop for the slums of India and the story of a man in search of love, while trying to survive the dangers of being a homeless boy walking the streets of the city of Mumbai.

He must survive gangsters, his own brother, tourists, police and rioters. Jamal Malik makes it out alive. He makes it out with only minor scars, until his love Latika is introduced.

When Latika comes into the story, being introduced as the unknown “Third Musketeer,” the movie moves from survival to love and what humans will go through to live life with another person.

The movie moves its narrative through the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” Jamal grinds his way through the questions to the grand prize of 20 million Rupees. The scummy host cannot believe that a “slumdog” is answering the questions, and not cheating.

He in turn has Jamal tortured after a taping of the show to find his own answers.

Jamal has a simple answer for his torturers: he lived all the questions and answers. That is the narrative. Simple. We jump back and forth from game show to life.

But what Boyle does with the narrative is genuine. He uses the camera as another story-teller, never using it as another fly on the way. The chase sequences are marvelous. Like in “28 Days Later” and other Boyle films, he uses shadows, close-ups, light and pitch-perfect music to score the chases making them more alive than a real chase.

What Boyle does to convey the heat and the cramped spaces of Mumbia and the slums of India i highlighting yellow and white through filters. Making the colors more permanent, giving the eyes something to focus on and feel.

The use of subtitles is one special thing that Boyle does in the film. He gives a new look into how we see a foreign film, and how we read subtitles. The few subtitles used are never placed off the screen, but rather they are in the picture, placed gently inside open space in each shot. This stylization doesn’t allow the viewer to ever look away from the action. It is a small thing to rave about, but it does enhance the film’s experience.

Go see “Slumdog Millionaire.” December 12 at Amherst Cinema. And check out Ty Burr’s Review. Here is a Q & A with the star Dev Patel. And another with Mr. Boyle himself.

Comments
4 Responses to “I must disagree with Shayna, it happens”
  1. Shayna_Murphy says:

    ouch. burned in the title and everything.

    :(

  2. Kevin Koczwara says:

    I’m sorry Shayna.
    It works best to do it that way.
    You burn me all the time.
    But it is my opinion, this still needs editing, I wrote it before our section meeting.

  3. Shayna_Murphy says:

    i think it’s good, though. you make mention of some things i totally spaced on, like the way boyle used the camera, letting it dart around and follow the action naturally.

  4. newenglandnoir says:

    Can’t wait to see this.

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