I am so glad that my first post of the new year is dedicated to such an awe-inspiring piece of work. Hats off to Danny Boyle. We need more slumdogs ... errr ... SlumDogs ... I think that word deserves more respect.
For starters, I am not going with any spoilers. Hence, its not a bad idea to read the entire post. So much for self advertisement.
The plot is the heart and soul of the movie. How does a SlumDog who has grown up in the slums and bylanes of Juhu (and conned lots of people for money) end up winning the biggest cash cheque of the famous show "Who wants to be a Millionaire?". The Director poses a question to the movie audience, much on the lines of the quizshow. He asks ... "How does Jamaal know all the answers? and gives us 4 options ... A). He knows the answers B). He is a cheat C). Its his luck D). It is written. I wont delve too much into further details.
The movie starts with Irfan Khan and Saurabh Shukla interrogating Jamaal (played by Dev Patel) about how he managed to win 1 crore in the gameshow. They definitely feel that he has cheated and they only want to know how he managed to cheat. Thereon starts the movie about how Jamaal knew the answer of each and every question. There are some twists too. There are 3 phases of life for Jamaal (along with his elder brother Salim and love interest Latika). Each of the characters in these 3 phases make you stand up and applaud. The innocence of being a kid is depicted beautifully. My personal favorite is Jamaal and Salim in phase 1. Just hats off guys ... !!
A lot of human emotions are on display ... NO ... not those feel-good emotions ... just the normal day to day emotions. For example, something as simple as ... you know only what you have seen or experienced. That scene between Irfan Khan and Dev Patel is amazing. Then there is LOVE ... for some LOVE is genuine while for others its an easy way to get into a relationship. For the wise and the realists and the practical, you can do most manageable things when you are in LOVE.
There are undercurrents of the most visible issues that plague India as a country. I am not surprised that a foreigner made it a point to remind us about these. Like the Hindu-Muslim tension, child labor and corruption.
As actors, all the actors who played the characters of Jamaal, Salim and Latika (in all 3 phases) are the only ones worthy of applause. To be honest, there is no one else with a lot of scope in the movie. My personal favorite is Salim (in all 3 phases). Irfan Khan and Saurabh Shukla are just about OK. I thought Anil Kapoor continued with his of-late reputation of hamming. Mahesh Manjrekar is hardly there.
The music is the highlight. AR Rehman steals the show with a most precise rendition for such a topic. This man is just amazing. It feels great when you watch a movie and get up the next day to Breaking News of the movie grabbing the Best Movie, Best Director and Best Original score at the Golden Globe awards.
Go ahead and watch it. You wont regret a single moment. Watch out for the Three Musketeers story from the very beginning. Its like a dream. Dont miss THE Amitabh Bachchan scene.
OSCARS ... here we come ... Cheers ... !!