Sunday, January 18, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Movie name: Slumdog Millionaire
Year of release: 2008
Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla, Irrfan Khan, Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail
Genre: Drama, Romance
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Following the wonderful "Sunshine" from 2007, the talented filmmaker Danny Boyle and his team went to Mumbai and shot "Slumdog Millionaire", the story of Jamal Malik, with particular focus on his eternal love for Latika and his relationship with his older brother Salim. The film introduces us to Jamal when he's on the final stages of winning the Hindi version of "Who Wants to be A Millionaire?". He is questioned by the police of why he knows most of the answers, and as he replies his life unfolds. We see Jamal and Salim as children, Jamal always the idealistic and persistent one, no matter what the difficulties and obstacles are, whereas Salim is always looking for easy solutions. When they become orphans they resort to all sorts of schemes to survive, something that is added by their young friend Latika, for whom Jamal falls in love. Forced to leave Latika behind, Jamal spends his days fighting for a way to survive and to find her again. Using the fantastic camera of his usual director of photography Anthony Dod Mantle (they worked together on "Millions" and "28 Days Later"), Danny Boyle captures the energy and pulsating vibration of the reality of Mumbai. We see the extreme poverty, the lack of sanitation, of conditions, but through it all, Jamal is a beacon of hope and perseverance. This is a love story at it's core and it is an uplifting one. Danny Boyle has always been a fantastic talent and this is another one of his good films. However where "Sunshine" was daring and impeccably executed, this film is a more conventional work for him. A good film nonetheless!