Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Director Discourse

Over the weekend we rented the movie Slumdog Millionaire. It was marvelous; I can see why it won so many Oscars (including the one for Best Picture). I wanted to see it again before it got returned to the video store, but to put a different spin on my watching this time I turned on one of the special features and watched the director's commentary to a movie.

Slumdog Millionaire is the story of Jamal Malik, a young man from the slums of Mumbai, who competes on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. When he gets one question away from winning it all, he is accused of cheating. The movie is about how Jamal's life experiences cause him to know the correct answers to the questions he was asked.

Each of the three main characters in the movie (Jamal, his brother Samil, and a girl, Latika) are portrayed by three different actors-a young child, a young teenager, and an older teenager. It was fascinating to see how they were able to cast sets of actors that "aged" so realistically. The movie was completely shot in India; the settings were dazzling, especially since we were able to get a Blu-Ray copy of the movie.

The commentary (by Director Danny Boyle and actor Dev Patel) gave me a lot of additional information and anecdotes about the making of the movie. They talk over the film, so I couldn't hear most of the dialogue, but since I already knew the plot I could still follow what was going on. It was interesting to watch the special feature and compare what I thought about the movie with what the director had to say.


  1. I rented this through iTunes a couple weeks ago to watch on my iPod while on a road trip. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to finish the entire movie before the 24 hour rental period and phhhttt... it was gone. Guess I need to add it to my Netflix list.

  2. Ghaaaa - we have had this sitting on the table for weeks - now I'm going to watch it even if I can't get me husband to join me. Thanks for the review!

  3. I've only ever turned on the commentary for one episode of Battlestar Galactica. I don't think I made it through the episode - I found it really distracting, even though I had seen it before. I'm going to try again with Star Wars or something.