If there’s one movie that deserves to win a lot of Oscars this year, it’s “Slumdog Millionaire“.
This film was made for about a tenth of the budget of the year’s other hot contenter, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. It certainly doesn’t boast the same kind of all-star cast and breakthrough technical wizardry. Instead it has a heart-warming story that is at the same time funny and thought-provoking, a cast of young, obviously enthusiastic actors and a fresh visual style that fuses a “Bourne Identity”-like vitality with Bollywood aestethics. Cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, who also shot some of Lars von Trier’s best movies, certainly did a fantastic job here, as did the rest of the crew.
What’s great to see above all is that a quality movie like this one still can find its way to a mainstream audience without gazillions of marketing money. Just look at the U.S. weekend box office numbers (according to IMDB) since “Slumdog Millionaire” was released in November:
$10,699,629 (USA) (25 January 2009) (1,415 Screens)
$5,849,157 (USA) (18 January 2009) (582 Screens)
$3,782,340 (USA) (11 January 2009) (601 Screens)
$4,690,769 (USA) (4 January 2009) (612 Screens)
$4,301,870 (USA) (28 December 2008) (614 Screens)
$3,053,760 (USA) (21 December 2008) (589 Screens)
$2,175,518 (USA) (14 December 2008) (169 Screens)
$1,402,176 (USA) (7 December 2008) (78 Screens)
$1,346,039 (USA) (30 November 2008) (49 Screens)
$947,795 (USA) (23 November 2008) (32 Screens)
$360,018 (USA) (16 November 2008) (10 Screens)
This gradual audience growth — obviously based on word-of-mouth recommendations — is refreshingly different from the usual Hollywood blockbusters that have one or two strong weekends (bought with a lot of marketing dollars) and then disappear.
Go see it. In my opinion, it’s the movie of the year.