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Friday
Jul242009

Friday Double Feature: Shallow Grave & Millions

For a fascinating look at how one director tackles the same premise twice, check out this Danny Boyle double feature.  I love that Boyle can make a movie as dark and pessimistic as 28 Days Later and then a few years later turn out something like Slumdog Millionaire.  Maybe there are really two Danny Boyles: one who makes the tragic films about human failing and one who makes the uplifting films about love and family.  Boyle's first feature, Shallow Grave is about a group of friends who happen upon a suitcase full of money.  To say much more would give away some of the movie's fun, but judging from the title, you can surmise that it's not a comedic romp.  Millions on the other hand, follows two young boys who stumble upon a similar suitcase full of money.  Judging from the beaming picture of the adorable kid on the cover, you can also surmise that this film is less likely to involve murder and mayhem.  That Boyle takes the same set up in very different directions is surprising to me.  That each film works amazingly well with the direction it takes is even more surprising.  I've never shown anyone Millions who didn't find it touching and I've never talked to anyone who's seen Shallow Grave who didn't find it amusingly nihilistic.  The order in which you watch this double feature might tell you something about how you'd react to finding a suitcase full of money.  Boyle might just be saying that what we'd do with a bag full of money depends on the age at which we found it.

--Matt J

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