Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - English Movie Review

Rating: 4.8/5

Cast: Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Frida Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Irfan Khan, Saurabh Shukla
Director: Danny Boyle
Music: A R Rahman
Story: Based on Vikas Swarup's Q & A

Plot: A street dweller makes it to the hot seat on "Who wants to be a Millionaire," in India. The cops take him to interrogate and find out if he is cheating on the show. From him they hear a tale of loss, jealousy, love, hatred, murder and much more that can make you cringe and which helped him answer all the questions. The boy does not want the money, all he wants to do is find his lost childhood love.

Review: The first fifteen minutes of the movie makes you cringe, at the pain that is inflicted on Jamal (Dev) as well as the pain and misery that Jamal has been through in his childhood. The movie does not dwell too much on any sorrow, it has a pace to maintain, so it keeps moving on in a fast pace. Which also helps us not get tied up to one event and sink in its sorrow. Until after the movie is over you are not wasting time pondering on every single detail but when you walk out of the theater everything hits you. That is the beauty of the movie, you actually remember everything.

In some way, most of the Indian viewers will find most of the story predictable, not in terms of how the kid answered the questions but the plot. We have seen many Indian movies with similar background storyline, but the amazing part is the narration, the screenplay that makes the movie powerful and unique.

Sitting in the big theater you wonder, is this what the world thinks of India? big slums and kids being sold off to be made into beggars? Is this what the world is going to see? But then you also feel that the director has caught the essence of India that only we know and no one else, at least until now.

Synopsis: Jamal Mallik (Dev) is on the hot seat and Anil Kapoor is asking him a question and he seems to know it all. The chaiwala knows everything and is one question away from winning the grand prize. Jamal is watching himself on TV as the cop (Irfan) is questioning him on how he figured the answers for the questions out, considering Jamal has had no formal education. Irfan is confused how a slumdog is able to answer the questions while doctors and MBA's have failed.

Jamal is hoping that his childhood live is watching the show and he is hoping to reunite with her through the show. If I by chance reveal any more than this, then you would not enjoy the movie much, so go and watch the movie and enjoy it. It is one of a kind.


Trevor Penn said...

Looks like the script has been tweaked a bit which is a nice thing. I can't wait to catch this one on the screen.

Trevor Penn said...

I didn't like it. India is yet again stereotyped by Dharavi and Taj.

I know, it's the story of a "slumdog" and The Taj is central to the plot, yet, i couldn't get myself to like it.

Anu Russell said...

Last night G and I were in the midst of a discussion about hte movie...and we totally agreed that on second thoughts this movie did nothing but demean india...if this is what the west wanted from us to get some attention then we could have sent hordes of such movies that we have in the storage...but no they wanted a western take on our poverty adn religious crisis...which made it even worse...

so the only conclusion we came up with is that WE, as in Indians shud not give a damn for Oscars...we should only care about Filmfares...which ofcourse needs to be cleaned up...and we shud give a nomination for "best foreign films" for which the rest of the country shud eye for...just like BCCI...we being the industry that churns out maximum movies shud be able to control the cinema world and not look up to the Oscars which has given awards to equal number of crappy movies based on lobbying!

I am going to write this into a post :)

how are u?

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Anonymous said...


First time to your blog. Enjoyed your reviews. Please continue reviewing. I'm eagerly waiting for your review on Fashion (Hindi) :-)