Feeling good?

A warning: Slumdog Millionaire, the new film from Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle about the Mumbai kid who reaches the final stages of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, is being heavily marketed as “the feel-good film of the decade”, after a quote from the News Of The World. It swept the Golden Globes, which is great news for the British film industry – or the Indian film industry, anyway – and it’s a terrific film: cleverly structured, well-acted especially by the younger actors, fast and furious. However, it is not a feel-good film.

This poster literally mis-sells it, with its bright Bollywood pinks and oranges, celebratory, romantic image and colourful tickertape shower. It looks like Bend It Like Beckham, which really was a feel-good film. This is a film about abject poverty, torture, corruption, religious violence, mutilation, child prostitution, crime, guns and the dehumanising aspects of capital growth and urban development. It is brave for being about all those things, but I wonder how many people are going to pay their money to see one film and end up seeing another. (Yes, yes, I know it’s good when a “difficult” subject reaches a wider audience, but surely the filmmakers wouldn’t want that to happen under false pretences?) I recommend Slumdog Millionaire, but ignore that stupid poster.

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