Straight from the heart!

14 January, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire is Oscar worthy

The opening swear words of the movie, set all expectations straight!danny_boyle

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.

slumdogmillionaire

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 PICTURE

BEST DIRECTION

BEST MUSIC (SONG)

BEST MUSIC (SCORE)

BEST FILM EDITING

BEST SOUND MIXING

BEST CINAMATOGRAPHY

BEST WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Wow… very well deserved. Congrats to the team & all supporters.

More on : http://www.oscar.com/oscarnight/winners/

1 December, 2008

The new face of global terror

Mumbai is not new to terror attacks and gang wars. The 26/11 terror attack however, in many ways has introduced a new face of terror. The city’s gentry which always felt secured in the luxury of five star hotels had to face an ordeal they had never imagined. Gone are the days when a terrorist was perceived to be illiterate, elderly, covered his face, used crude makeshift weapons and was often conspicuous in elite areas.

Terror in Mumbai

Terror in Mumbai

The modern day terrorist is much dangerous & global. These guys are highly trained in modern combat with sophisticated weaponry, speak fluent English, have detailed strategy to hit targets, have sleeper cells, wear urban & youthful attire, experts in cyberspace management and more ruthless than ever before. It was shocking to see their meticulous planning being implemented and how they managed to keep the highly trained commandos at bay for nearly 60 hours. Global leaders now realize that they are not immune to terror strikes anymore and if they don’t plug it right away, they will soon be at the receiving end. It is imperative for a strong polictical will to be formed and unified action be taken. However, a genuine thought crosses the heart – should only the governments be responsible to counter such terror? When have we last stopped to help an injured person on the road? When did we last sound an alarm when something suspicious happened in the neighbourhood? If we are not immune to such acts of cruelty, should we not come together to help each other? Should the politicians just be allowed to take cheap publicity from such carnage? If such dramatic change in extremism needs a major change in human attitudes, are we really ready to counter the new face of global terror?

Update: A recent story on IBNlive quoting Washington Post’s article that describes the recent recruitment trend of terror outfit (Lashkar). This further ratifies the new face of global terror. Some excerpts…

“The profile of those joining the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba is changing,” the Washington Times said citing Brig. Gen. Mahmood Shah, who served the Pakistani Army in the largely ungoverned tribal areas along Pakistan’s porous border with Afghanistan. “We have doctors and engineers and computer specialists working for us,” says a militant commander.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: