Sunday, 22 February 2009

Slumdog verdict

I went out last night, which is a very unusual occurrence, and therefore definitely worth writing about. When Isabel was little it was difficult to go out due to breast-feeding schedules, and it's been remarkably easy to fall into a habit of going to work, coming home to make dinner and do bathtime/bedtime, and to just forget about going out entirely. I've got to the point now where I find being out in the dark at night quite disturbing. How pathetic.

Anyway, my good friend Lisa came to stay for the weekend, so I took the opportunity to go out for once, leaving Husbandio and his friend to babysit while also blowing people up. Using a PS3 game, you understand. She and I went to High Wycombe, that mecca of cultural experiences, to go and see Slumdog Millionaire. And gorge ourselves on popcorn and Minstrels. And drink vats of diet coke. (Sidenote: why are drinks at the movies always so big? Are cinema owners trying to force their customers to miss part of the film because they have to go to the loo?!)

The premise of the movie is a clever one. We see the main character's life in flashback as he is interrogated by the police on suspicion of cheating on India's version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and recalls how it is that, even as an uneducated "slumdog", he knows the answers to the specific questions posed to him on the show. The film's brilliantly shot - the scene of the main character as a small child jumping into a disgusting pool under an outdoor toilet was enough to put me off my Minstrels. For a minute anyway. I felt quite crowded in after seeing it - all those hundreds of thousands of people living in slums is hard to imagine. All in all, I very much enjoyed it, and am glad to have seen at least one of the Oscar contenders. And the kids in the movie are very cute and I love the story about them going to Hollywood. But then my over-active hormones started making me sad about all of the kids for whom living in those Mumbai slums is an everyday reality - indeed, even the kids in the movie still live in the slums, one underneath a tarpaulin. Movies are a cruel business indeed....

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