It's no contest, period. No problem if the presentor for Best Director and Best Picture in tonight's ceremony at the Oscar Awards would sleepwalk to the podium and go ho-hum.
What's surprising would be someone out there not puppy-eyed after watching Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, impervious to its enchantment.
Almost too tricky to be true, how its style and sensibility throw caution to the wind (the potential of falling in the muddy face of cliche, like innocence and goodness overcoming the odds as true love prevails, tra la la). How it nimbly leaps and swoops through its sprawling narrative (dovetailing its hyperkenetic chase sequence in the slums as the film kicks off) and dances around the dusty land mine of a dreary and ordinary tale (a doggone boy in desperate search for his girl en route to a happy ending). Marvel at the smoke-and-mirror structure of its storytelling (memory on a quick burn out of the questions in a game show, and destiny as no more than a matter of multiple choice for two brothers blazing on parallel but forking paths to redemption). How Boyle hoists a torch of a toilet rag called reality in a Third World country through a ripple of silk curtains whipped up by his camera's abracadabra. Such a storm, indeed, of visual (and aural) combustion.
That you come out tripping the cinematic light fantastic after the credits roll to the rhythm of a Bollywood no-holds-barred choreography is no accident. Just the way joy and all that jazz settle down, with spirits rising.
Indeed, to describe this pyrotechnic piece of filmmaking would entail no less than a fire-eater's feat of gurgling petrol-laced syrup and spewing out bubbles of flames. Enough said. Or, if this unrestrained awe is not enough, click here to read my opinion column in Sun.Star Cebu as my head brims with the tune of Jai Ho straight from this video remix below: