How can you not get swept away with such a movie? Such a story? This tale is not about Mumbai and Dharavi….or India….This tale is a universal one.
Put the characters in any country,any continent and they will still speak the same language.
Dickensian in character,the movie is not a ‘feel good’ movie.
Don’t damn or drag down the movie with such lame praise please.
It rises above the mere ‘feel good’ formula.
It speaks,it shouts,it pulses…with life…
It says persist and you shall win.
Strive and you shall achieve.
It follows a love story at the core,that’s where it’s heart lies.
A boy and a girl.
That is all.And yet much more…
It’s a movie which has been beautifully directed,even more beautifully cinematographed.
The music pulses,the beats pound somewhere in the background…but one is too engrossed in the story to pay complete attention and yet somehow the music is a central character all by itself too.There is the constant rattle of a train track,trains passing….all everyday realities for those who live beside it…all beautifully interwoven into the music.
This is why they call Allah Rakha Rehman a genius.This is why.
Slumdog Millionaire is made straight from the heart and that shines through.
The emotions hit you in the gut.
After a second or so of pondering over characters who manage to speak in almost perfect english,you get over it.
This movie is not about the so called ‘Real India’ that we want to hide in a corner.It most certainly is not a glorification of the slums and the poverty.
It is just a very human tale of a boy who was forced to grow up too fast.
A boy who wants to believe despite having suffered countless betrayals.He wants to love and be loved but there are hurdles,many of them.
Your eyes will get blurry quite a few times.
This is not just about ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.It is about the underdog whom we all secretly love.The one whose back we have got.The one who carries our hopes too when he wins.
You almost physically ,mentally and in every possibe way ,will him to win.
Win not just at ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ but in all spheres of life that matter.
This movie is totally unreservedly ‘Bollywood’ or if you prefer to call it’Hindi Movies’,actually all our movies, all Indian movies.:)
It has tadka(again if you want to call it that:) ),masala ,hope, a love lost, a love found,villains,the changing faces of humanity…everything.
Each character has a part to play.Each one has his and her own foibles.
Irfan Khan,Dev Patel(as an adult Jamaal),Madhur Mittal(an adult Salim),Freida Pinto(Latika),Saurabh Shukla,Mahesh Manjrekar and Anil Kapoor…..
Only Anil Kapoor could have pulled this off… shades of megalomania….a bit psychotic ,the one whom you hate and like in equal measure.
The grand eloquent gestures when Jamaal wins at each stage,answers questions…and the pettiness displayed when you least expect it.
I think Mr Bachchan would have overshadowed the movie(That is ,had he been asked to be a part of it..:D )
The way Jamaal and Salim become guides…you’ll have a few chuckles there.:)
The way these two brothers stick together.
A bond of Athos and Parthos.
Watch and fall in love with Jamaal at different ages.The child,the teenager and the adult.He steals your heart as a little kid.
Danny Boyle has made a movie for everyone,not just for India.
He hasn’t tried to make that deliberate effort at ‘Indianness’.
India is not being admired here on different platforms,by different juries.
It’s the human story that’s touching a chord in more ways than one.
This is why it’s winning accolades,winning awards….
It’s a hymn, it’s a paean to life.It’s a song,a pulsating one.
Go. Watch how a boy gets all the answers out of life itself.:)
EDITED TO ADD:- Be prepared for a scene in the beginning itself when Jamaal is a kid which might gross you out.
Nita’s review which is brilliant and in-depth is here…..Read it to get the complete picture…