Slumdog Millionaire

Last night, I saw the movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ at the Dendy. (Again, I highly recommend the Dendy for great independent/atypical Hollywood movies!!)

The movie is about a guy from the slums in Bombay, Jamal Malik, now a chaiwala (or a waiter) at a call centre, who goes on the Indian version of ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’. However, he is arrested at the end of the show — one question away from winning the big one. After all, how can anyone from the slums or a mere chaiwala know the answers to all these questions, right?

At the police station, he explains how he does really know the answers and how they are all in some way or the other connected to his past. In short, we get to see Jamal as a child growing up in the slums of Bombay with his brother Salim, losing their mother in a Hindu-Muslim riot, being found by an ‘orphanage’ along with their friend and companion, Lathika, going all the way to Agra and conning people at the Taj Mahal to survive, coming back to Bombay to find Lathika. He finds her, only to lose her again.

Anyway, he’s on the show and doesn’t really give a damn about the money. So what is it that he wants? Well, you have to watch the movie for that.

I loved the way the movie was done i.e. the present and the flashbacks merged together. The child stars were, in short, amazing! I don’t know if they’ve acted before, but they were brilliant. I also liked the realism regarding the slums. I don’t know if they did, but it certainly seemed to me like they actually shot it in the slums of Bombay. The actors were quite good too especially the guys playing Jamal (Dev Patel) and Salim (Madhur Mittal), and surprisingly enough, Anil Kapoor as the host of ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’. The one flaw: In India, the currency is not in millions unlike as shown in the movie. The only thing I didn’t like: the song-and-dance number at the end of the movie — very Bollywood and not my cup of tea!

It probably is a movie with the usual formula — love is everything, rags to riches, the underdog trying to overcome the odds and all of that. But it works and seems different in its own simplistic manner.

Would recommend it if you are in for a light and optimistic movie!

Until next time,


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  • Reply
    December 25, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    hmm … interesting.. what is it with this movie … 8 people i know saw this movie… yesterday .. and i dont mean planned and watched together … totally coincidentally.. strange .. hehe … ur the eighth one to tell me this .. !!

    pretty cool movie … was made by Americans hence the obvious ‘million’ .. but its nice to see people actually making stuff like this .. neatly done .. with a great script … and a brilliant cast … although at times it kinda felt weird that kids were doing what grownups do in normal films .. hmm .. all in all a good watch ! .. happy holidays ..

  • Reply
    December 25, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Avoided reading a large chunk of this story
    : )

    But this is on my watch-list.

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    December 25, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    @ Joel: Hehe…strange coincidence, eh? It did feel strange about the kids doing what grown-ups do but in the context of things…suvival…it was plausible. Then again, kids do a lot worse nowadays and mostly for ‘fun’! So…don’t know how unrealistic that may have been!

  • Reply
    December 26, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    How funny…someone just gave my husband that movie today. And now that you explain what it’s about, boy it sounds familiar…is that what the book was called also? I can’t remember the title and that’s unusual for me, but I sure do remember the plot…most likely I just read the back of the book in the store a few years ago….

  • Reply
    December 27, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    have been hearing so much about the movie. have to watch it now.

  • Reply
    December 28, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    That’s strange, I posted a comment here a few days ago but it obviously didn’t make it. Anyway…I did finally get to watch it last night, and I thought it was brilliant…my husband watched it tonight, just finished, and said it was possibly the best movie he’s seen in a long time. It was absolutely brilliantly done. And I loved the very Bollywood twist at the end. You could tell it was a completely separate thing from the movie; just a cast having a lot of fun πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    December 31, 2008 at 11:09 am

    @ Braja: I did receive your first comment…unfotunately was away for a few days and didn’t check it to accept the comment. But yes, it’s based on a book originally titled ‘Q and A’. Glad you liked the movie as well… πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    January 18, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    i also have watched the movie..i laughed so much during the amithab bachan scene..btw very nice movie..!!

  • Reply
    April 7, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Hey I had the exact same views. Had even done a post in it πŸ™‚

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