Sunday night at the Telluride Film Festival, I was sitting in a half empty theater waiting to watch the new Mike Leigh film. I later learned that my friend was also at a half empty screening during the same time slot. A volunteer for the festival came over and began to make small talk with me. He said “You know, this is the first screening at this theater that is not to sold out.” I responded that it was strange, especially considering Happy-Go-Lucky was getting good buzz at the fest. You see, buzz is to a film festival like gas is to a car. The volunteer looked at me and said he knew why. He waited for for me to ask why. “Slumdog,” he said. Danny Boyle‘s latest film Slumdog Millionaire was the smash hit of Telluride. I have yet to meet or talk to one person who didn’t like it. I’m not sure if the theater was really half full because everyone as trying to get into the Slumdog screening that night, but it makes for a fun story.
Fox Searchlight is hoping to capitalize on the buzz and has released a clip from the film. I think the biggest obstacle Slumdog has to contend with is its own logline. People read “Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and instantly turn off. But as I wrote in my review, the game show plot line is just a framing device to tell a City of God like tale about two orphaned brothers growing up on the streets, and a love story that spans a decade. Watch the clip below and tell me what you think.
[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/slumdogtrain.flv 470 200]