Subtitles with Character

My girlfriend recently took me to see the film Slumdog Millionaire.  It’s a fantastic story, and I highly recommend it.  I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it yet, but I did want to comment on one technical aspect of the film that I really liked.

It’s kinda hard to quantify, but I would say that approximately half of the film is subtitled.  Normally subtitles make it difficult for me to really engage in the story.  I’m not a fast reader, so I often have to choose between watching the visuals or reading the dialog; rarely do I feel as if I can do both well.

Slumdog Millionaire got a lot more creative with its use of subtitles, and for that I applaud the film editor.  Rather than having all of the subtitles appear centered at the bottom of the screen, they are juxtaposed right next to the characters –interacting with the other elements on screen.  It makes it feel as if the words are coming from a certain direction, and it actually carries the story along visually rather than detracting from it.  It’s those little details…

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