Slumdog Millionaire Movie Review
Cast: Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Irfan Khan, Saurabh Shukla, Freida Pinto, Ankur Vikal
Director: Danny Boyle (Loveleen Tandan (co-director: India))
Music: AR Rehman
Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle
Editing: Chris Dickens
Enetertainment Quotient: 80%
Runtime: 120 min
Jamal (Dev Patel) is an orphan from the slums of Mumbai. He gets to attend the game show ‘who wants to be a millionaire’ when he is 18. Surprisingly he starts giving the right answers till he gets into the final round. And all these questions have relevance to certain incidents happened in his life. The game show host and cops suspect that Jamal cheated in the show. The rest of the story is all about how he proves his innocence and wins his lady love that’s been playing hide and seek with him since his childhood.
The kids who did the roles of Salim, Jamal and Latika are adorable. They are the best in the film than the main leads. Among the notable Indian actors, Saurabh Shukla is the best. Ankur Vikal is excellent. Anil Kapoor is pretty natural as a wicked and biased host of the game show. After some point of time, we start hating him. Dev Patel is adequate. Irfan Khan played similar kind of roles earlier. Hence it is a cake walk for him.
Story – screenplay – direction:
The story of this film is adapted from a book Q & A written by an Indian author Vikas Swaroop. It is an interesting story that has two parallel plots interwoven into a game show. Direction of the film is brilliant. The screenplay is extraordinary. This film combines both arts and commerce. It has a highly realistic treatment to it with an undercurrent box office winning formula.
The following scenes are worth mentioning:
1. The cop chasing the kids in slums
2. Young Jamal jumping into shit pond to get an autograph of Amitabh.
3. Young Salim asking his boss for 50 rupees when his boss asks him to be professional.
4. Jamal acting as tour guide in Taj Mahal
5. Darshan to Ghanashyam scene
6. Jamal’s conversation with the blind in which he comes to know about the photo on 100 dollar bill.
7. Salim taking the life of the guy who bothered him.
8. Jamal trying to steal chapati on a moving train
9. Jamal not choosing B as an answer for the penultimate question
Commercial screenplay payoffs in the film (typical Indian):
1. Spaced flashback narration: It has three threads of game show, police interrogation and flashback simultaneously run.
2. Love story: Jamal loves Latika unconditionally. She goes missing from him. And he finds her. She changes hands and is used by many men. But he stills love her. And all ends well in the end.
3. Salim character: Salim is the elder brother of Jamal. He is protective of his brother, at the same time egoistic. He behaves selfish at times and finally becomes an admirable person.
4. Three Musketeers Thread: The beginning of the movie has a teacher telling the students about ‘Three Musketeers’. Jamal considers his brother, himself and Latika to be three musketeers. The final question in the game show is about the name of the third musketeer. It was a beautifully written thread.
5. Mental recall: Jamal is recognized by the blind boy, Latita and Salim at different points of life journey.
6. Biased host of the game show: The host of the game show is a biased man. He does not want Jamal to win. He goes to the extent of apprehending Jamal to the cops. Hence the last two questions in the game show give huge commercial pay off when Jamal nails the host with the right answers though he does not know if it’s right.
7. Spirit of human triumph: Triumph is important than winning money. Hence he never backs out in the middle for money. Jamal risks it till the last round as it is all about the spirit of human triumph.
Some of the unconvincing points:
1. Three Musketeers lesson in a school attended by slum boys.
2. Jamal not knowing about Gandhi’s photo on Indian note.
The debate of India being shown as a pathetic country in this film:
When somebody is doing a film on a slum boy, it is bound to show the hard reality in slum areas. That does not mean that India has been projected in the wrong way. When somebody watched ‘City of God’ (reviiew here) which shows the bad side of Brazil country, one expects it to be a poor country with little scope for improvement. But actually Brazil is one of the fastest growing economies in the world along with Russia, India and China (BRIC countries). India is not for the people who judge it by watching fictional movies. Hence, let’s not bother about it.
Other technical departments:
Background score by AR Rehman is peppy and energetic (especially the beat scored by kids chasing scenes in the initial part of the movie). Cinematography is excellent. Editing is superb with no dull moment. This film shows Mumbai slums in a magnificent way.
Slumdog Millionaire is an Indian film at heart with Indian emotions catering to Indian sensibilities. This film balances arts with commerce. It is also the best example of presenting a story in a realistic way without missing the formula. The best part in this film is the screenplay and most of the credit for this screenplay should go to the Indian writer Vikas Swaroop who wrote ‘Q & A’ book. Direction of the film is world class and narration balances the sensible humor and subtle tragedy. On a whole Slumdog Millionaire is a must see film and will put India on the world cinema map like Gandhi (1982) film. This movie shutups the critics mouth. Critics are thumpup for this moive.
This film got four golden globe awards & enters in 10 categories in Oscar nominations.
Amitab bachan & other some bollywood , india stars are lashes out on this movie beacuse the poverty in india is shown very much. the child welfare assoiation are also protest this movie by showing over about child labour in india. bollywood King khan says he miss the opporcunity to act the anil kapoor’s role.he says he had no dates so he oppose for this film. how ever says anything this was doing well in India & in the world. This film