2005: Black (India); 2006: The Lives of Others (Germany); 2007: Juno (USA); 2009: Slumdog Millionaire (Britain). Every year it happens to me, watching a film from any country, that makes me think, be entertained, and fuels my passion to one day be a filmmaker and share my vision with the world. I had the pleasure to watch Danny Boyleís, Slumdog Millionaire, with no knowledge of the plot, and being blown away by the endearing story. Was the entire movie really shot in India? Wow! You see the slums of Mumbai in all itís glory, you see the innocence of children running through the streets through riots, you see the bustling commuters of a busy city as the backdrop of searching for someoneís true love.
Based on the book Q & A by Vikas Swarup, we are introduced to Jamal (Dev Patel), who is on his way of winning KAUN BANEGA CROREPATI (Who wants to be a millionaire?), yet there is scepticism from the game show host (Anil Kapoor) that a slumboy could know the answers and he gets him arrested. The policeman (Irrfan Khan) demands to know how Jamal could possibly know the answers to all the questions, and thus begins the journey of his experiences through flashback. With each question asked in the present, we learn from his past, that he learnt many things that common people would never know, without reading a book. As we move from flashback to the current time, where Jamal is proving his innocence, we learn that his real goal is to reunite with his true love Latika (Freida Pinto), whom heís been searching for since he was a boy.
Slumdog Millionaire is the feel good movie of the year and is the biggest contender for best picture at the Oscars on February 22nd. The pacing of the story is fast-paced and you become eager to know how Jamal gets the answers right. Even though life has been unfair, heís shown as a fighter and just never gives up despite all obstacles.
The film sets a benchmark on all levels. The adapted screenplay by Simon Beaufoy is suspenseful and intriguing. The cinematography is award winning by Anthony Dod Mantle. Editing by Chris Dickens is crisp. Music and score by AR Rahman blends perfectly in the background to the plot. Director Danny Boyle zooms competently through Jamalís life and with ease so the viewer canít help but fall in love with the main characters and the story. There is no bias, there is no religion, and the filmmaker ensures that even India is seen as a character in all its beauty.
Thinking about this movie makes me smile and proves that the magic of movies is very much alive! Slumdog Millionaire is among the finest and most compassionate films Iíve ever seen about an underdog and is highly recommended to everyone. Enjoy!