It’s been a while since Sandra and I went to the movies. The last film we saw was “Slum Dog Millionaire,” and we didn’t have a good time. The film was gratuitously cruel and depressing, and the story line seemed contrived (to me anyway). It had all the earmarks of an exploitation film. Some of the more revolting scenes stayed with me for a long time despite my best efforts to erase them from my memory.
Look, I know the world can be a horrible place, and I know Indian society is among the world’s harshest and most unjust. The last place I want to spend a couple of hours is a Bombay slum (yes, I know, they changed the city’s name but I will always think of it as Bombay, as in Bombay mangoes, which are among the world’s epicurean delights).
Before “Slumdog Millionaire,” we saw “Amazing Grace,” which was worth the price of admission – mainly because of its fast-paced, stylish direction (the message was uplifting, too, of course, but who still needs to be convinced that the slave trade was an unspeakable atrocity?).
The other movies I recall seeing in the past not-so-few years include “The English Patient,” which was so revolting we actually ran out of the theatre, and “A Walk in the Clouds,” which is the only movie I have thoroughly enjoyed in a long time.
Sandra is a lifelong movie buff who can tell you the name of the lead actresses in all the iterations of “Little Women” and the lead actor in “Goodbye Mr. Chips.” She still watches movies on TV – usually old movies she has seen many times before. I try to find a movie to watch on Showtime or Stars once in a while but I am rarely able to stand it for long. I can usually guess what’s coming next, and I would rather have a root canal than live through it.
Even the films tagged “comedy” or “comedy romance” tend to be embarrassing, depressing or degrading – or all of the above. I can’t imagine why today’s movie makers think bodily functions are funny, for example.
But I am looking forward to seeing “Capitalism, a Love Story.” I don’t expect to learn a whole lot – I already know “free-market capitalism” is just another way of describing highway robbery. Also, I am pretty sure American taxpayers were ripped off in the recent bailouts, and I suspect sinister forces are to blame for the world’s economic woes. But I like Michael Moore’s style. His straight-from-the-shoulder way of telling a story and his subtly sardonic tone scratch where I itch. So when Sandra suggested we invest in another night at the flicks, I readily agreed. You might want to make the effort, too.
Here’s the trailer: