Slumdog and a millionaire, the two contrary words come into play in Danny Boyle’s thought on the life of an orphan from slums who makes it big into the “Who wants to be a millionaire”. Money isn’t his main motive but what was it he was lasting for?
Jamal is just a question behind to be the winner of the huge sum of Rs. 20 Million in the Indian version of “Who wants to be a millionaire” (Kaun Banega Crorepati). Life takes a fatal turn when he is dragged up in the police custody where he is interrogated as he is accused of cheating to win the game. The rude cops (Irrfan Khan and Sourabh Shukla) are bent on extracting the truth from him, whether they use electric shocks or the kicks and punches to get him. As he patiently answers each and every question again, the key moments of his life unfolds, which include Jamal and Salim’s (Madhur Mittal – elder brother of Jamal) plight and Jamal’s love interest Latika.
For, all the unfortunate Jamal has to share is an endless tale of woe. But what was his motive to get into the show, money making? No not that but his love interest Latika who liked the show very much and his reason was clear, he wanted to reach her.
Danny Boyle’s execution is simple and exuberant and takes the plight of a slum kid into the millionaire programme excellently. Loveleen Tandan’s co-direction gives the film an edge and helps the film maintain its Indianism in place. What makes Danny Boyle’s direction get an outstanding remark is his way of connecting us with the characters in the film.
Here is how my interest level was at various parts of the movie.
This is not just a movie meant for entertainment but it is an eye-opener and highlights the problems faced by the kids in the slum. The director takes you to the world of poverty and garbage where little kids fight their way to make a living. It exposes all the darkness spread around the poverty stricken sects in India i.e., children being dragged into begging and prostitution.
Some scenes like the middle Jamal explaining the history of Taj Mahal to foreign visitors are to be in your hearts long after you’ve seen the film.
Dev Patel as Jamal Malik did a good job and pulled his character well. Freida Pinto as Latika had a fare share of presence and did a nice job too. Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, Tanay Hemant Chheda and Madhur Mittal are the actors who took the movie to new heights with their outstanding performances. Anil Kapoor as Prem Kumar, the host of the show justified his presence.
Overall, here’s a movie which has to be in the list for the best movie of the year 2008. As the year passes on, memories fade but this isn’t the movie which will fade out easily. Its strong narration and the social cause will be in your hearts forever.
Cheers to Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan for bringing up this magnificent film!
P.S.: My first post in the year 2009