Sunday, November 30, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire - Review

Yesterday i went to see a movie that is making a lot of waves here. Slumdog Millionaire. It was playing
at Laemmle Monica4 (Santa Monica), a chain of theatres showing non-mainstream movies. This is kind of a treasure trove for people wanting to see meaningful, non-popcorn movies.Like this one.

The theatre was houseful. And for a movie based in India, the only Indian in that moviehall seemed to be me.It was a nice experience seeing the movie here. It reminded me of the time i saw 'Crash' in Mangalore Adlabs.The audience reacted as a single being to many scenes. Collective sad sighs, collective shocks etc. At the end of the movie, the moviehall resounded with the claps from all patrons.

Synopsis: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is the story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show’s questions. Intrigued by Jamal’s story, the jaded Police Inspector begins to wonder what a young man with no apparent desire for riches is really doing on this game show? When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers are about to find out.

The movie is based on the novel by Vikas Swarup, Q&A. It won the People's Choice award at Toronto Film Festival. This is a synthesis of Bollywood-style story and Hollywood-Style treatment, with only the good ingredients from each side. Music is by A.R.Rahman with a energetic song sequence 'Jai Ho' at the end along with the titles. The beginning of the song drew knowing smiles from the western viewers. The screenplay by Simon Beaufoy (Full Monty) is brilliant in gripping you till the end. Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) helms the direction. The cinematography is colorful and fast-paced. The actors (especially the kids who portray the childhood) are superb.

One of the best films of the year, it is expected to release in India by end of January.
Trailer of Slumdog Millionaire:

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