I finally got to see Slumdog Millionaire a few weeks ago, and am so glad I did. It is truly an amazing film, well deserving of the eight Oscars it won, including those for best motion picture, cinematography and directing. Jamal Malik is an 18-yr old who is brought in for questioning by the police after having a successful start on the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire.” The police want to know why a slumdog, a kid from the slums, could be doing so well on this show. Jamal reveals to them, in a series of flashbacks, how the answer to each question asked on the show relates to a key event in his life. I don’t want to give away the plot, but poor Jamal sees a lot in his young life, including dire poverty, deadly riots and vicious gangs. But through it all, he and his brother Salim and their friend Latika learn to adapt as best they can.
The story kept me interested, sometimes on the edge of my seat. There were some truly funny scenes, like the one where Jamal discovers the Taj Mahal, with all its tourists, and almost instantly sees the opportunities it provides him. Three sets of child actors portrayed Jamal, Salim and Latika, and all three are naturals. The cinematography was well done, especially the many panoramic shots of the slums. One memorable shot expands to show just how big the slums are in Mumbai. The music is great, with lots of exciting rhythms that help move the story along and help you to get a feel for Indian culture. There are several scenes of violence (one that made me cringe) that probably helped earn the movie its R rating; it is definitely not for young children. But the film has so many fine qualities that it is a joy to watch, and is highly recommended.
Check the WRL catalog for Slumdog Millionaire