Movie: Slumdog Millionaire
Cast: Dev Patel, Frieda Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Irfan Khan, Madhur Mittal
“Nothing less than an outstanding, out-of-the-box movie” are probably the words that you’ll surely get from anyone who has seen this entertainer. Bagging all four Golden Globes that it got nominated for and having already pocketed ten Oscar nominations, this rural-Mumbai-set film is on a dream run. It has won five of the six awards at the Critic’s Choice Awards, is predicted to steal the show at the British BAFTA film festival and is guaranteed to set your tear glands to work. With a riveting storyline, a neat cast and superior direction, this is the august rags-to-riches story of Jamal Malik.
The film kicks off with a multiple choice question about how Jamal Malik (Dev Patel), an 18-year-old ‘tea-server’ from the morbid slums of Mumbai made it to the brink of winning 20 million rupees on the TV game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”. The host of the show Prem Kumar (Anil Kapoor) is baffled as to how a slumdog made it so far and hands him over to the police, suspecting cheating. After a bit of interrogation and torture, Jamal reveals his life story, relating them to how he knew the answers on the show. From the time he and his big bro Salim (Madhur Mittal) lose their mother in a riot and how they escape the clutches of a gangster to the moment when he gets smitten with Latika (Frieda Pinto) and his desperate efforts to win her love, Jamal pieces up together his sad, tragedy-stricken, soul-squeezing life.
The main reason for this movie being a box-office hit is that it brings out a parade of heart-wrenching emotions. Characterisation was also a factor; while one goes astray to the Mumbai underworld for money and power, the other stays virtuous and earns respect by showing that with a bit of luck, you don’t have to be a genius to win something. The score by A.R. Rehman is great, grabbing him three Oscar nominations. The film owes its success to Danny Boyle, who has intricately woven a tapestry out of the unfortunate tale of an orphan trio. The movie is surely a win-win in the stage of mature world cinema.
NANDAKUMAR GANESH, I Year, ECE, Bits-Pilani, Dubai
As each and every Indian on earth is proud to say that “Slumdog Millionaire “is an Indian creation, so am I. As we all know that this movie is one of the best Indian low budget movies in the history of Indian movies (can you believe it! it was actually a low budget movie!) who won 4 golden globes (unexpectedly) and hope fully an Oscar (well we expect that) let’s see what makes this movie worth watching….
This story basically revolves around a Mumbai ka chokra, Jamal (Dev Patel) and his brother Salim ,who are one of those million slumdogs who are willing to do anything to fulfil their destiny .The movie is actually confusing in the starting because you don’t know whether it is the present or the past but I guess you will realize that in the end .Well coming back to the story, in the beginning Jamal ends up in the police station where he gets treated like a criminal only to gobble out the truth whether he cheated in the game “who wants to be a millionaire” and this is where inspector ji ( Irrfan khan) comes into action . He soon makes Jamal vomit out the secret on how he was able to clear the first level that many genius Lawyers, doctors etc…Couldn’t make it through (unbelievable right?) .
Well the inspector is a good guy so Jamal narrates his story about how he came to know the answer to the questions. Half the movie runs on his narration and the unknown mysteries of a slumdog living in Mumbai (that actually shows why we find beggars on the road) .But all of this action and no drama! nope you are wrong, this is where Latika (Freida Pinto)an orphan plays her role of Jamal’s lost lady love (You will know why I called her lost) and the reason for him to return back to Mumbai. And in the last he meets his lost lady in the final round of the game and eventually wins the game and Latika. This wonderful movie ends with the chirpy tones of A.R Rehman with the award winning song “jai ho”. All I can say about this movie is ‘what are you waiting for? Grab your popcorn and run to your nearest theatres’.
RUTHIKA A., Std lX, Pon Vidyashram
It’s been on all the channels, in the papers, in the magazines…so what else is left to say?
Everyone is baffled, right from the host of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’- Prem (Anil Kapoor), to the police, when Jamal (Dev Patel) is just one question away from winning Rs.20 million. Why? Because everyone is suspicious– how can an 18-year-old slum boy know so much? Next thing you know, Jamal is taken away to police custody, accused for cheating on the show. The police try thrashing, cuffing, and even giving shock treatment, to get him to come clean. But what should Jamal confess? Frustrated, the inspector (Irrfan Khan) then plays the tape of the show, and asks Jamal to explain how he knew each answer. From here begins our story. The answer to each question lies in some excerpt from Jamal’s life, and he begins explaining. And his life wasn’t a fairy-tale, let me tell you. But…watch out for a soft love story.
Okay, so where do I begin to shower praises? The acting is to the T, no doubt. You may feel a wee bit grossed out in the beginning, with the too-true portrayal of the Mumbai slums, corruption, violence and blinded kids. You might writhe in chagrin (my, my, is that our very own amchi Mumbai?)… Dev Patel’s accent is a bit weird, since a Brit-accent doesn’t go very well with the whole ‘slumdog’ character, but his commendable acting diverts you from his accent. Freida Pinto plays her role with élan-nothing more, and certainly nothing less. She, in her subdued manner, expresses the trauma of slum-life. Anil Kapoor plays the shady show host, well, in a shady way! (And that’s a positive.) The child actors who play the kid and teen Jamal, Salim and Latika have truly made a mark in the movie.
However, how is it that we don’t see them appear in the award ceremonies? Have they been overshadowed? Well, they shouldn’t be…since it is their acting that brings out the true essence of the movie. The music…well, A.R.Rahman already got the Golden Globe Award for the best music-score, so you know what to expect. Oh yeah, and one more thing. This is not the first time that Mumbai has been selected to do a movie depicting slum life. It is the link of a popular T.V. show with slum life that brought this movie so many accolades. This film deserves every single award it has been nominated for and for the ones it has already got. Needless to say, if you don’t watch this movie…boy, are you missing out on a lot!
VRINDAA S., Std. IX, Pon Vidyashram
This movie has bagged four Golden Globe awards and it has been nominated under ten categories for the Oscars. Kudos to the team for all these footprints in history. But these apart, it is a must-watch film for everyone- at least for all Indians. A young Mumbai based slumboy wins a million in the popular game show “Who wants to be a millionaire”. Eventually, he is taken to the police custody to find out if he had cheated. There, he narrates his story and how the incidents in his life helped him to answer all the questions.
The heroine is his childhood friend. He loses her when he and his brother escape from a gangster group in Mumbai. He finds her later in a red-light area, just to be ditched by his own brother. But still the memories of this girl haunts him and somehow he finds her. But sadly, she was found as the mistress in the house of a “dhadha’ and she urges him to forget about her, as nothing possibly could be done then. So, just to make sure that she sees him, he gets into the show.
The Mumbai slum life that is portrayed in this movie scares us at many traces and makes us think “Is this real India..??”. The fantasy and the cliché in the film cannot be overlooked. But still, nothing goes astray from logic. As far as the cast is concerned, it is perfect and absolutely good. Especially the kids who have played the part of Jamaal and Salim have done an adorable job in every scene. Nothing is overdone which adds a charm. A.R. Rahman’s music is a masterpiece by itself and it fits into the movie wonderfully. Another noteworthy aspect of this movie is the vivid and stupendous screenplay, which makes this even more distinct. It absolute pleasure watching this movie, if you watch it just as a movie, for entertainment and not as a ‘disparaging exposure’ about India. Afterall, nothing seems to have been exaggerated!!
J. ROCHEUS SUKANYA, II, EEE, St.Josephs College of Engineering
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