Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire

>> Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I finally get to see Slumdog Millionaire. Since everyone said it would be a good movie and it got so many awards and nominations, I figure it had to be worth the $6. Yes, people, $6 for the matinee at the Ritz, a local well-kept art house theater in 3 different buildings with 11 screens. It's a good place to see art films, especially when art films put most people off and so it's relatively quiet in there. I thought I'd be the only once in there, but it ends up getting around 11 people. Not bad for a Monday Matinee screening? (Nobody talked or maybe we're too far apart to notice.)

Well enough about the theater, let's talk about the movie. By now probably most people have seen it already, so this review is probably quite unnecessary. But here it goes anyway... (haha...) Slumdog Millionaire is a Cinderella fairy tale about young Jamal going on a game show in search of his girlfriend.

Jamal, played by Dev Patel of Skins fame, tells his life stories through how he comes to know the answers of questions asked in the game show. Jamal grew up with his brother Salim in the slums of Mumbai. The two seems to think of money making schemes and get into trouble all the time. They lost their mother during an attack on Muslims and became orphans and along the way they met another orphan girl Latika. The three of them got taken in by a slumlord to beg on the streets, the brothers escaped but Jamal swear that one day he'll find her and they'll reunite.

India is depicted as an over-populated country where the quality of living is very poor and torture and violence is used casually. Jamal grew up with an exceptional determination and optimism that makes his older brother Salim jealous and seek to control and punish him for it even though his brother is the only family that's left and he loves him. In fact, everyone seems to be in the business of putting other people down. Maybe since the country is so over populated that everyone is struggling to rise on top, so they resort to watching a game show to carry them in another world.

The kids were brilliant in this film, cute and believable. Since I've never been in India, I think it's a personal treat to be able to lay eyes on the land and see how people there lives even though it might not be the reality of things. Of course, the whole thing is quite implausible and I still don't get how Jamal get to be on the game show or Latika could have been alive for so long or why Salim couldn't be more swift at the end but generally I find the film charming. Will it get an Oscar? It's very possible. A-

  © Blogger template Romantico by 2008

Back to TOP