There is a debate going on right now about which is better out of the two front runners for Best Picture this year: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button or Slumdog Millionaire. It could be construed as a very tough debate, but one has to understand that they are both such strikingly different films that it is almost ridiculous to compare them. In my opinion, they are both the best movie of the year (out of the five that were nominated), and to me, it’s a difficult thing to pick one over the other.
Benjamin Button plucked my heartstrings in a way that hadn’t touched me in years. I think it’s because I have this terrible dread of getting old…I was just transfixed with the process of aging and how people reacted to the character at the different stages in his life. It fascinated me how there was no real villain in the film at all, in fact, pretty much every character that Button interacted with was good and kind to him. The main antagonist in the movie was time itself. Nothing lasts, yet it does somehow, is the main theme and I have always felt the same way. The movie really spoke to me in a chilling echo of my own life sentiments, that I just loved it to the core. The FX and the cinematography were out of the park as well, and I have always had a moist spot in my shorts for David Fincher as well. Gorgeous movie.
Now Slumdog Millionaire is a totally different beast to tackle. This movie is hardcore on all front and attacks all emotional senses full force. I have been a huge Danny Boyle fan ever since I saw Shallow Grave and feel that he hasn’t missed yet, even in his lesser efforts such as A Life Less Ordinary and The Beach, he still captured my attention. (If you haven’t seen Millions or Sunshine yet, check them out!). He is great at fast cutting chaos and it doesn’t fail here either. Slumdog is very fast, in your face and chaotic and never ever dull. I had no idea what it was about when I went to see it except that it was a kid who wins Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and then is accused of cheating. I had no idea that it would focus so much on the plight of India, a country that I am very naive to, and really make me interested and care about this country I knew nothing of. Just a masterpiece, plain and simple.
Which is better in my opinion? Well, it isn’t a question of which one I liked better. That’s like comparing apples and cheese. Two equally great but totally different things. Benjamin Button touched me more, while I was more entertained by Slumdog. Button was better cinematography, while Slumdog was better directing. It’s a toss up and it will take Sunday to see what happens. My bet will be placed on Slumdog, but I will be happy with either.