Sunday, January 18, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Growing up orphans in the slums of Mumbai, brothers Salim and Jamal barely eek out an existence. Living on a trash heap , the brothers and their young female friend, Latika, are taken in by criminals and turned out as beggars. This starts the threesome on a path of day-to-day survival that lasts into adulthood.

Used and mistreated by adults, Jamal, Salim and Latika learn hard lessons about life and about the art of survival. The most important of those lessons: destiny isn't something one simply allows to happen; even though "it is written," one can influence the outcome. Jamal's strong will and love for Latika helps him control his personal destiny.


Slumdog Millionaire is visually stunning and intricately written. While the entire cast delivers, it's Dav Patel as Jamal who is the heart of this film. The audience quickly comes to love this character for his determination and his sincerity. Patel gives a performance that demonstrates at once strength and vulnerability. His performance is, simply, brilliant.

A British flick directed by Danny Boyle, Slumdog tells Jamal's story through a series of flashbacks he experiences while a contestant on India's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. The technique is incredibly interesting, and allows the story to unfold at a satisfying pace. It's a great, great story told in an interesting style that stays with the viewer after the closing credits.

Slumdog is food for the soul. And the sort of movie I wish Hollywood would make.

8 comments:

Paige said...

I soooo want to see this!

The Film Geek said...

The hype is legit, Paige. Hope you get to see it soon. Take a couple hours from moving and check it out!

primalscreamx said...

I've been really conflicted on this one. On one hand, Danny Boyle has never let me down. Loved Trainspotting, Sunshine and against hopes, even loved 28 days, but I guess I've never been all that interested in India cinema.
Maybe I just haven't seen enough to get a feel for the region.

The Film Geek said...

I think it transcends the region, Bill. After watching it, I recall thinking how un-foreign a film it felt.

Well, you know what I mean.

Woody said...

It definitely defied region and exceeded the hype in my opinion. I think it was sheer brilliance, the way the story sort of unfolds through the game show. Why can't Hollywood make more movies like this?

Chris James said...

I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard that this has more of a feel of a British flick than one from India.

Read Me said...

After watching Slumdog Millionaire and going back and reading your review again, I think you summed it up brilliantly. I tried, but you said all the things that needed to be said.

The Film Geek said...

Thank you. I'm so glad you saw and liked the movie. It still moves me to think about it.