Teaching an Old Slumdog New Tricks.Posted: January 10, 2009
The older you get, the more movies you’ve seen, the harder it is to get carried away by one. (Inevitably you begin to put every movie you see in the context of some other movie you’ve seen. You become impossible to surprise. You wise up to the ways movie work, and with wisdom comes, sadly, emotional distance. If, let’s say, everyone views 100,000 movies in a lifetime, when you’re twenty you’ve seen only 5,000 of them and still have 95,000 to go. Every movie is new to you. When you’re older, and you’ve seen 95,000, no way movies can mean to you what they once did. There are only so many stories, and so many ways to tell them.) But there are exceptions. Like Slumdog Millionaire.
I thought I was past the time when a movie could grip me with suspense from beginning to end, make me feel a character’s fate was my own, put me in a whole new world, make me feel the terror of that world completely. Well, not yet, I’m not. That’s the happy lesson I learned from Slumdog Millionaire.
This is not a special opinion, since at least eight different friends told me I needed to see it, but now that I have, let me add my voice to the chorus.