This won Best Picture at the Oscars in 2009
Release date: January 9, 2009
Director: Danny Boyle
Who should watch this movie: People building a case for why 2009 was the most culturally significant year in the 21st century until 2020 said “hold my beer.”
When should you watch this movie: Really, just skip it
The sell: It is so unsurprising that Americans (including The Academy) loved this movie. It’s poverty voyeurism at its finest. Americans would rather watch a British movie that exoticizes socioeconomic stratification in India than watch any Indian movie. And that’s because American audiences want to feel superior. They revel in the suffering of other countries and other people (especially brown people), and the less relatable the suffering the better. A movie that accurately depicted the social and political dynamics in India would force American (and British) audiences to look critically at their own experiences and the social challenges facing their own countries. Slumdog Millionaire does not put that kind of pressure on its viewers. Cultural misrepresentation aside, it’s not even a good movie. The premise may be creative but it’s not executed in a believable way. The story seems almost comical despite being a string of horrible events. The protagonist’s primary motivation is his love for his childhood friend, a girl who’s entire role in the film is to get repeatedly abused, all with no character development or meaningful dialogue. Look, I love Dev Patel as much as the next guy but this movie is so bad. Jai Ho by A.R. Rahman and The Pussycat Dolls slaps tho.