Keepin’ it Reel: Denby Gets Down on Slumdog

Now that the dizzying obsession over Slumdog Millionaire has quieted and people brace themselves for the very real prospect that, uh oh, it’s going to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards and join the ranks of Citizen Kane and The Godfather II, perhaps we can have a real, civil conversation about the film and it’s shortcomings.

Wait, we already tried, and most people shouted us down like heretics when we expressed our reservations of the unqualified hype surrounding the picture.  But, as is the theme of Modern Jackass Magasin, the hordes of people who infest our society with the belief that their opinions are original adhered tenaciously to the talking points provided them by the “taste-makers,” and will refuse to evolve in their point of view until another well-established media outlet assures them it’s okay to do so while still remaining in line with dominant modes of thought.

In other words, super hip Indian chicks with pixie hair cuts won’t shut up about how “amaaaaaaaaaazing” the movie was until a publication with at least as much “cred” as Nylon tells them they can and not lose the interest of the bearded white dude with Michael Koors frames who sips Celebration Ale at the bike messenger bar.

Fortunately, that time has come.  David Denby of the New Yorker has come out and cogently critiqued Slumdog Millionaire in a manner devoid of all our animosity toward those who blindly salivated over the film, which means his argument will probably find an audience and fall on more than a few sympathetic ears.  Denby concludes his piece, saying:

Besides the children, what I will remember of “Slumdog Millionaire” is a disorderly exploitation of disorder, a kind of visual salad of glowing rotten fruit, constantly tossed. The envelope, please—I guess.

hatingNeedless to say, this is basically what we wrote in our review, but naturally, we were dismissed as haters with ulterior motives other than the defense of good story-telling.  Now, we’re not patting ourselves on the back since chances are, now that the Slumdog Millionaire “backlash” has been sanctioned by the New Yorker and can begin in earnest among all the annoying people who make it a point to emphasize they live in “Brooklyn” not “Manhattan,” hating on the movie has probably become the new liking it.  So goes the nature of trends; it’s only a matter of time before you go from ahead of the curve to crushed beneath it as it and its tagalongs pass you by.

Slumdog Millionaire, you wasn’t a bad movie, just a victim of an over-hyped marketing campaign and disgustingly zealous fan-base.  We never said nothing bad about you, though.  We’ve been slow, steady and Obama cool in our belief that you are and always have been just aight.  Temperance is a virtue, and that’s our final answer.

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