Sunday, May 24, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Slumdog Millionaire is the story of a poor Indian boy named Jamal Malik, a tea server in a call center, who becomes the first person in India to win the 20 million rupees prize in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Jamal is uneducated, so the show-host calls the police when Jamal has already won 10 millions - and the show is to continue the next day - to find out how he has cheated. This movie begins with the brutal interrogation, which shows the level of violence we can expect to see for the rest of the movie. The police inspector is finally convinced that Jamal is honest and that he really knows the answers - throughout parts of his journey in the life, and let him go so that he could appear on the show for the final question.

The movie is fast paced - like other Danny Boyle's works like Shallow Grave and Trainspotting - and cameras are often placed in unusual corners. The portrait of poverty, especially in the story of little Jamal and Salim who live at a trash dump, is very gripping. It's very funny when the American tourist asks Jamal, after the police hit the boy, if he has an insurance. At a point, after the two brothers finds their long lost friend, the 3rd musketeer Latika, they are to be separated. Jamal chooses the honest life, while Salim becomes a hitman for Javed the gangster leader.

The movie, although won many awards, is not without goofs. One of gravest, although I don't know how they play it in India, is that How To Be A Millionaire is not a live show. Also, how can the presenter and the contestant meet in a toilet after a question has been given? However, goofs are not unusual in movies and people tend to forgive them, especially if the movie is as entertaining and good as this one.

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