18 January 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I just finished watching this movie. The concept is original, the direction is tight and the movie is superb!

Jamal Malik is a mere chaiwala and has just won a million rupees in the "Who wants to be a millionaire" show on TV. At the beginning of the movie he is being questioned by a couple of policemen as to how he knew all the answers to the questions inspite of coming from a Mumbai slum. The story slowly unfolds in flashback as Jamal narrates how he related each question in the show to incidents from his life.

The TV show soon becomes the backdrop for the true story of the movie - Jamal's own life. How he learns life's harsh lessons from a very tender age and the loss and resurrection of his true love. The movie teaches about the shallowness of human beings, the depth of love whether brotherly or romantic, the greed for money and power, and the manipulations for fame.

Through each frame of the movie, the characters of Jamal, his brother Salim, his lady-love Latika and the game show host - Anil Kapoor evolve. Some dialogues in the movie are priceless - viz. when the inspector asks him whose picture appears on a Rs. 1000 note, Jamal doesn't know. But he knows that the picture of Benjamin Franklin appears on a $100 note. When the game show host asks him if he has ever seen a $100 note, he remarks that it is the minimum amount of his tip!

The story is basically that of rags to riches journey of an ordinary guy but it has been woven into the fabric of the millionaire game show so cleverly that it seems extraordinary. The typical Hindi-film happy ending too does not feel contrived even though in the end Jamal risks his luck on the last question. By then the viewer is hooked by his honest and uncomplicated character and is doggedly determined for his victory. So upright is he that he even refuses to take the bait offered by the game show host to win the show.

Its a movie that reinforces the belief that truth does triumph in the end and that every dog has his day! It also reiterates the lesson that success is not coincidental; it happens because it is written in your destiny.


Veena said...

hey, waiting to watch the movie..

dharmabum said...

if all the hype and attention this one is getting is any indicator, this must be a good one.

happy new year!

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