Tuesday 17 March 2009

Stinker Millionaire

I know I shouldn’t even be thinking about this stuff at this time of night, let alone write about it. I know I am running the risk of transforming our anti-blog into a real blog. And I know I will probably be crucified by many film lovers and cognoscenti for this – but speak I must, or I will burst.

The thing is that flying back from Japan takes a good twelve hours. Now, you can read a book or two during that time: in fact I had taken with me volume one of Pulci’s Morgante – 680 pages of poetry and dense annotation, good enough for the round trip. But when everybody around you is watching one film after another, even if you are possessed with a will of steel you will be tempted, sooner or later, to browse the latest releases available on the small screen in front of you.

So it was that I watched one movie on my way to Tokyo, and three more movies on my way back – more movies than I would normally watch in a month. The first one, What Just Happened, was an honest Hollywood comedy with Robert De Niro, and I more or less enjoyed it, although it wasn’t one of the best in its genre. The second one, the Cohen Brothers’ Burn after Reading, was much funnier – the dialogue was a lot sharper, and although the plot gradually becomes silly and grotesque, it sort of makes sense in the end within the madcap context of the film. The third one was Doubt, with Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman, a decent movie until its abrupt end, which leaves everything unresolved – perhaps because the director has no clue how to finish it.

Finally – and I knew full well when I pushed the OK button that I shouldn’t have chosen it – I watched Danny Boyle’s critically acclaimed and Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, which the Guardian Guide describes as an “unlikely but irresistibly energetic feelgood tale with elements of Dickens, City of God and Salaam Bombay!

Now, I have watched a few hundred films in my life, possibly even a few thousands, but I honestly do not remember having watched a worst film before. This must be worst than the worst Steven Seagal film ever shown on Channel 5 after 11:30pm. I thought it was a travesty of a movie, taking cringing to completely new heights. I felt it was false from start to finish, pretentious, pathetically acted – bad dialogue, bad story line, dodgy underlying message – a cross between a second-rate TV drama and a bad Bollywood movie. In short, everything was so awful that it made me shake with laughter.

Personally, I would have given it a Razzie, not an Oscar. If you have not watched this movie, please do try to avoid it – even if you are tempted to watch it for the decadent pleasure of seeing how bad a movie can be.

I am telling you, this film is seriously bad – not a feelgood movie, but a depressing one. Don't watch it.


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