Simply ordinary observations from an ordinary person - sometimes having to do with health care issues, sometimes not. Topics will change as my attention wanders. Yours probably will too....

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Two Thumbs: Up or Down?

I walked out of a movie this afternoon, which I haven't done anytime in recent memory. I'm a rather careful movie goer and most of the time make good picks. But this one caught me by surprise.

The critics said "Best Audience Picture of 2008", "A Soaring, Crowd Pleasing Fantasy", "A Movie to Celebrate", and more. I'd seen the director and the actors interviewed on TV, watched a trailer, read the reviews, and thought I understood what I was going to see. Wrong!

Slumdog Millionaire has an R rating for "some violence, language, and disturbing images." A more accurate description would be "scenes of torture, debilitating poverty, deliberate mutilation of a child, murders, abuse, and extreme neglect." That was only the first 45 minutes. I couldn't take it - I'm not naive about third world countries and slum conditions but this was brutal. It just seemed wrong to be watching it during Christmas vacation and my friend and I agreed to cut it short.

The really nice theater attendant said about 4 people per showing have the same reaction, and that the film is lighter and more positive in the 2nd half. I will have to wait for the DVD. Maybe on a smaller screen, where I can skip thru entire scenes, it will be easier to watch. I'm not sure.

But it felt very good to walk out onto an American street surrounded by clean, well-cared for children enjoying the freedom of their winter break. Ironically, I suppose the effect the movie had on me is indicative of great film making. I will take a deep breath and try it again, but not on a big screen. Not to discourage anyone else, but make sure you're prepared!

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