The opening swear words of the movie, set all expectations straight!
A lad being tortured by a fat guy, who later turns out to be an interrogating cop attempting to trace a potential accomplice in the boy’s unbelievable winning streak at KBC (Indian version of ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’). The sequences depicting slum dwellers, religious riots, mafia of begging industry, gang wars, sleaze, life of common people & their aspirations is so real that one readily agrees. The movie is an insight into the dark life of Mumbai that people prefer to ignore. It shows how three street smart children from slums, who ironically compare themselves to the ‘Three Musketeers’, get emotionally hardened from their sufferings and be easily drawn to illegitimate & inhumane situations.
‘Jamal Malik’ (played by Dev Patel) & his elder brother ‘Salim’ escape religious riots that killed their family and take to unexplored territories to survive. Jamal longs to be with his childhood friend ‘Latika’ (played by Frieda Pinto) who was also displaced in the same rampage. Jamal becomes a “Chaiwalla” in a BPO, his elder brother Salim becomes a gangster in his desire to be rich and Latika is tossed everywhere for survival.
While it may appear to be a cliche of a slum-dweller’s story from rags to riches, it really isn’t about the money.
Jamal’s participation in ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’(KBC) is incidental and planned with intention to get reunited with his childhood love. The best parts of the film are its narration & screenplay, which reveals how the young boy has learnt the answers to most difficult questions on the show, from his grave real-life experiences. The plot holds your attention right till the end, which is happy, but heavy hearted. A.R. Rehman’s music is quite compelling, but nothing unusual for fans who’ve enjoyed his past work. The acting skills of the little boys can perhaps create a new benchmark in Indian cinema.
It’s unimaginable how a british movie maker, can portray the stark under belly of Mumbai so realistically and in a manner that attracts cross-cultural global appeal. With Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle has created a masterpiece of a film which is unflinching, gripping, provocative, appealing, a bit funny and very realistic that its almost certain to win an Oscar. Definitely a must watch film, without kids.
Update (23rd February 2009): Slumdog wins 8 Oscars for the following categories.
BEST MUSIC (SONG)
BEST MUSIC (SCORE)
BEST FILM EDITING
BEST SOUND MIXING
BEST WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Wow… very well deserved. Congrats to the team & all supporters.
More on : http://www.oscar.com/oscarnight/winners/