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Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire

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Old 01-23-2009, 04:53 PM
ilovetv ilovetv is offline
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Default Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire

Wow Factor aplenty!

Cast: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan
Director: Danny Boyle

Rating: 4/5

By the time Slumdog Millionaire actually released in India, media all over the world had hyped the film so much that Danny Boyle had very large Indian expectations to meet. The film had to be absolutely top notch for it to be able to meet our preconceived notions of the spectacular film we all were expecting.

And did the film deliver? It sure did!

First what SM is all about.

Jamal Shaikh (Dev Patel) is a boy who has struggled his way up from the slum life and is now working as a chai walla in a call centre. He happens to make it to the show Who Wants to be a Millionaire and surprisingly for the entire country he not only makes it but goes on to answer each question correctly thereby winning the grand prize.

Obviously this raises suspicions about how he could have known all the answers considering even the most educated are unable to do it. He then finds himself in a police station trying to prove his innocence and thus begins the viewer’s journey into Jamal’s life through the years.

Now coming to the acting.

The young 18 year old Dev Patel as Jamal is outstanding. The way he expresses his gamut of emotions is nothing short of beautiful. The toughest part by far would have been when the scenes were shot by the young Jamal not played by Dev but the emotions had to be presented by him. The boy has a very bright future ahead of him.

Freida Pinto as Latika – Jamal’s love interest in the film – is effective in her small role. Although she comes into play only towards the end of the film, her controlled performance shows that she is capable of roles that demand her to be more than her age and experience.

Anil Kapoor as the quizmaster does his job. But maybe because the focus is so much on Jamal and his story that you often don’t want the camera to stay on him too long. But the one scene that lands Jamal in jail makes you want to put your hands into your screen and claw Anil! And that just goes to show how silently moving Kapoor’s acting in the film. He can be termed the silent ****er of the film!

Coming to the young slum kids who play Jamal, Salim and Latika. Considering that they have no background in acting, one can’t help but call them the real heroes of the film. Their innocence and honesty in the performance makes you want to smile, laugh and cry in equal proportions. And while they should receive their accolades, credit must also be given to Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandon for finding the right people for the role and for extracting the brilliant performances.
Danny Boyle is a director extraordinaire. We all knew that thanks to Trainspotting, 28 Days Later and The Beach. But with SM, Boyle goes beyond all of this. He has taken the soul of Mumbai in his film and ensured that it shines right from the first frame to the last.

For those who may have visited, lived and experiences Mumbai, they will find a piece of this city that they can relate to in the film itself. The slums, the kids who come out through the struggles, the pure childhood romance and more than anything else the never say die attitude of this city are all encapsulated beautifully in this film. And a trek to your cinema is worth every penny – whether you are a millionaire or not!

And finally coming to the music of the film. Normally the music comes secondary to the film but in this case it is as important as the film itself. In fact one can go on to say that it helps make the film what it is. Rahman has excelled himself and the goods he has put out leave you enthralled. The rising notes ensure that your heart thumps just as much and the slow moving back ground score makes your heart bleed just as the musical genius wants. The overall impact of the soundtrack is similar to the stark, edgy, and overt images of Danny Boyle’s imagination. Yet each individual track for different scenes and characters are distinctly different. Where O Saya brings out the high adrenalin slum scenes to life then Dreams on Fire shows the poignant and tragic side of Latika and Jamal in the movie. The soundtrack defines the movie and completes it.
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