Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

slumdog millionaire poster 2008 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Nice looking, nice acted movie

Story is too easy

 
Movie Info

Movie Name: Slumdog Millionaire

Studio: Celador Films

Genre(s): Drama/Romance

Release Date(s): November 12, 2008

MPAA Rating: R

slumdog-millionaire-mumbai

I’m on top of the world…lookin’ down on creation

Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) finds himself on the popular Indian game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.  While questioned on how he could be succeeding on a show that stumps college educated men, Jamal relates how the questions all came into his life.  From his childhood (where he is played by Ayush Mahesh Khedekar) growing up with his brother Salim (Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail) in the slums of Bombay, to his teenage life (played by Tanay Chheda with Salim played by Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala), to his current life (with Salim played by Madhur Mittal).  As he passes through the changing world one thing remains constant for Jamal…his love for a girl named Latika (played by Rubina Ali as a child, Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar as a teen, and Freida Pinto).  Now as Jamal gets closer to the big prize, will he ever find Latika again.

slumdog-millionaire-toilet

Best kid in toilet scene since Schindler’s List

Directed by Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire was based upon the book Q & A by Vikas Swarup.  The movie was well received and won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Original Song (“Jai Ho”), Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Mixing with nominations for Best Original Song (“O Saya”) and Best Sound Editing.

The movie is a very “happy” movie for having a down subject.  I found it to be a lot like the film City of God, but with a lot more positive results.  The situation works out perfectly for Malik, and I predicted what the final question would be in the game about twenty minutes into the movie.  It makes for too simple of a plot.  You keep expecting worse things to happen to Malik, but everything keeps turning up perfect…and that hurts the movie.

slumdog-millionaire-who-wants-to-be-a-millionaire

Wait, you’re not Regis

All of the acting is fantastic.  Even the children they cast as the young Malik, Salim, and Latika are great (and their roles led to controversies in how the child actors were handled).  Patel and Pinto work great together and even play with the Bollywood stereotypes with their big ending dance number (to the fun Jai Ho).

I love Danny Boyle.  Even if his movies aren’t always the best, he handles them in interesting ways that are unique.  In this movie he presents Mumbai in a way that really gives it a feel.  Even the slums have an energy that really brings the movie to life.  The movie was criticized for exploiting the slum and the poverty, but people do live like the characters presented.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t turn out as happy as it does for Malik and Latika.

Slumdog Millionaire is one of those flawed best pictures.  It is entertaining and inspiring, but it also is easy.  It isn’t as generic as a Forrest Gump or Crash, but it still is just too rosy…especially if you’ve seen something like City of God that takes a much more real approach to the world problems of poverty and crime.  Slumdog Millionaire is worth seeing, but it is a heavy story buried wrapped in light packaging.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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