Grand Slamdog


What if someone from lower strata of the society suddenly becomes an instant celebrity because he knows all the answers to the questions in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Will you think it is a sham? He cheated? Or he is just plain genius?

Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire is an urban drama of a young Mumbai vagabond named Jamal Malik (Dev Patel), his life littering the murky and dark streets of the Indian city. His childhood is spent drifting from the changes and problems of Mumbai, including religious conflict between Hindus and Muslims (which led to his mother’s death), city dwelling (squatting), black market (his engagement with a syndicate dealing with begging along the streets), and Bollywood (the scene where the young protagonist is coated with poop is darkly funny).

The film is chopped based on the questions of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. It so happen that for every question, the contestant happens to know them based on some instances on his life. Of course, the love angle is at the focal point of the story. Dev Patel’s character said that his main reason for joining the contest is for him to find the girl that he wants to be with, Latika (Freida Pinto).

I love the juxtaposition at the end of the film where he won the 20 million rupees while his brother died at exactly the same time, with money scattered all over him. You win some; you lose some.

The story is beautifully written, the musical score great. Although you get to see the filth of Mumbai in the movie, it resonates with so many rich stories. Stories that we all can relate because it is universal.


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