Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire --- Movie Review

The film that is probably the strongest contender for this year's Academy Award , Slumdog Millionaire , has finally released in India and now we get to know what is the hype all about . The fact that it is a great film is already proved and it has already got a nod of approval in the form of the Golden Globes . So in this review my stress would be more on the point that why do we , the people of India, need a film like Slumdog Millionaire . A film like SM is obviously not made for the sole cause of entertainment and most of the things that are depicted in the film are known to an average educated person in India . So then why do we need such a film ? The answer to that question , in my opinion, is because we who are fortunate enough and educated take these things for granted and are comfortably passive about it . We just ignore the so called truth of our society and live in our own world . And a film like SM reminds us that though we are part of the Developed sections of our nation , still there are some sections which are completely ignored and practically impossible to live in .

Slumdog Millionare is probably just like a normal film for people living outside our country but it is a Mirror for people of India . It reminds us of the problems and sections that we still need to work upon and sections that cannot be left ignored if we want to develop completely . We should not take for granted the life that we lead and care for the unprivileged people too is what the film talks of . Though it is basically a Masala story of a Boy's journey from Rags to Riches with a love angle but what lies in the underbelly of the film is more interesting . The film depicts the life of Slums in the truest possible manner and there is at no point any kind of exaggeration . This happens and we just don't know because we are comfortable in ignoring it . Even if we do know then nobody cares to even talk about it .

It addresses a range of problems that India faces like Communalism , Illiteracy and Population . And it is the poor people , the people who dwell in slums that get affected the most from the above mentioned problems and they are the ones that pay the maximum price . They have to get into things like prostitution , Beggary , Drugs , Stealing and also Killing just for the sake of survival . These are all the things that the lead characters of the film , Salim , Jamal and Latika get into to survive there way through the tough life of a slumdog .

I won't reveal much of the plot so that you can enjoy the film if you haven't seen it yet . The plot anyways revolves around all these problems with a backdrop of a quiz show , "Who wants to be a Millionare" or the KBC . The film stars some of the good actors of our country like Irrfan Khan , Saurabh Shukla , Mahesh Manjrekar , Anil Kapoor and the brilliant kid Tanay Chedda . I've mentioned these names before Dev Patel and Frieda Pinto because it is probably these guys who could relate maximum to the story and understand it at much better level than the two main leads . These guys have seen a part of this reality and are well aware of it . There couldn't have been better people than these that could have played the parts better . So Lavleen Tandon who is also the co-director does her job of Casting very well . Her casting plays a big role in the film and probably she deserves a much more praise than what she is getting . I mean Danny Boyle couldn't have possibly managed to cast such fine group of actors since he doesn't know most of them . Apart from these , the lead actors , Dev Patel and Frieda Pinto , also acted very well and it was very refreshing to see good actors on screen instead of Sons/Daughters of already established actors playing the part . Dev does a fabulous job and the innocence of his personality suited very much to the character of Jamal . Frieda's part was small but a well acted one . The entire cast on a whole was perfect one and everyone did their respective parts well .

The two things apart from Casting and Direction that played a huge role in the film were the Screenplay and the cinematography . Simon Beaufoy does a great job on the screenplay and has kept it as tight as possible . The cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle did a fine job capturing the Mumbai slums even though he is not an Indian . The fifth important thing was obviously the Music by the maestro himself , A.R. Rahman , who kept it pretty simple and right on the money . He added a lot to the thrilling portions of the film through his music and I must say Danny Boyle very wisely used his music . This is not though his best and still he is winning all the awards . Now that he is a well known name internationally I am sure the World will now see what a gem we had all these years . He for sure would get nominated and probably even win more Oscars in future . He does a good job with the tracks O Saaya , Jai Ho and Liquid Dance .

And last but certainly not the least , Danny Boyle , the captain of the ship , who carried the project on his shoulder . He has done what sadly no Indian producer or Director dared to do in past . Still , I wont take anything away from Directors like Anurag Kashyap , Rajkumar Gupta and several others like them who have earlier tried to show this in parts . But it is Danny Boyle who treated the subject with utmost sincerity and honesty . He has made a fine film and there is no doubt about it . Danny Boyle has made sure that though film talks about serious issues like poverty etc. still it has enough entertainment to increase the reach of his film . He has made a film something like Rang De Basanti of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra which had clear message wrapped in all the masala of an entertaining film . Calling it a masala film would not be right since it doesn't have all that stereotypical elements . But it is certainly entertaining emotional story filled with emotions that a typical masala film has like romance,revenge,sibling rivalry and love, a villainous character like that of Anil Kapoor and lots of Thrills and action sequences .

Danny and the whole team of the film have managed to create an entertaining cum awakening film that deserves every bit of success that it is receiving . Yes it shows the poverty of India and whats wrong in that ? If we very proudly boast about our growing economic status in the world and the "Feel Good Factor" , then we should also be ashamed of the other side of our nation . There is no doubt that poverty exists every where in the world and it is not only in India but why should we care about the rest of the world anyways . We have a responsibility towards our nation and its a little sad that a guy like Danny has to come and show it to the whole world including us .

Film Rating :
Four and Half out of Five Stars ; fantastic entertaining film which is a must watch for all the people of our country .

1 comment:

  1. The storyline of how the protagonist knew the answers, because of many memories that are burning, cold and sweet, is simply superb. But it's the prejudiced image of India, which spreads from the portrayal of the Mumbai underbelly to the doors of the Taj, that makes the movie just another picturisation of the great Indian poverty.


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