Slumdog Millionaire

07 May

Jamal Malik (played by Dev Patel and younger by Ayush Mahesh Khedekar) has grown up mostly on his wits, in the slums of Mumbai. Now 18, he has learned to survive in the harshest of environments for a youngster and he now faces the most significant day of his life. He has managed to get to the final question in India’s popular television show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” and, if he gets this question right, he can win 20million rupees – more money than he has ever dreamed of. His road to this point has been a tough one, he’s faced much hardship and emotional upheaval – and he’s experienced more than most adults do in their entire lives. But the TV show’s host, Prem (by Anil Kapoor) and the station authorities are suspicious … how can this simple kid from the Mumbai slums … a “slumdog” … possibly know the answers to these questions?  He must be cheating, right? When he is interrogated by the police detective (by Irrfan Khan), he explains how his life experiences learning to survive, caring for his younger brother Salim (by Madhur Mittal), meeting the love of his life Latika (by Freda Pinto and younger by Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar and Rubina Ali) and being exposed to many violent and criminal acts, have taught him the answers to these exact questions. He is as surprised as everyone else that he has come this far, but perhaps now luck is starting to go his way? …  

Danny Boyle has made an excellent job of this movie. It is vibrant and chaotic – just as life is in the slums of India. Having just visited India, I can see the complete authenticity of this movie – the scenes are very well done both in Mumbai and at Taj Mahal. Boyle has captured the high emotion in these three young people as they watch the unfolding cruel world with their wide innocent eyes. Dev Patel’s portrayal of Jamal is faultless, he totally inhabits the smitten young man who has little care for anything except his deep love, Latika. The harshness of the real world the children find themselves mixed up in is shown graphically, but the scenes of poverty, slovenliness and depravity are authentic, not gratuitous for the movie – it’s almost a documentary. It is very good – it comes as no surprise that at the 2009 Academy Awards (Oscars) the movie won Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score, Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song (for the great “Jai Ho” by A.R. Rahman and the Pussycat Dolls), Sound Mixing and Writing – Adapted Screenplay. It was further nominated for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song and Best Achievement in Sound Editing.  Very well deserved. It is based on the novel, “Q AND A”, by Vikas Swarup.  Well done, Danny Boyle.

Made in 2008.  Directed by Danny Boyle

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Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Movies


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