Slumdog Millionaire-Movie Review

Or else, can I say, Slumdog Crorepati - Movie Review [Hindi movie title]
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A foreigner’s guide to make movie / documentary on India:

You must include all, or one of the following to make it award winning one.

1. Slums ‘n poverty 2. Taj Mahal 3. Typical ‘dance with chorus’ bollywood 4. Rajasthan 5. And most recent – Call Centers.

And Slumdog Millionaire, contains everything.


Okay, I am not complaining, but why only ‘these’ things are being picturized in this wide wide country with so much else to see?? Or, they are interested only in getting much awards, following what their mentors did earlier?

Putting this apart, for last paragraph [where I have discussed ‘negativity’ of the movie. I must admit, this is a brilliant brilliant piece of movie making. Truly a feel good movie as it is pronounced. From razor sharp editing, to breathtaking cinematography and as everyone is going ga-ga over, Rahman’s absolutely intriguing music. All of these and much more, makes this movie ‘a must watch in lifetime’ movie.




Biggest ever mistake done by Producers of the movie, was the decision to release the movie after a month it is released all over the world. I remember getting DVD of the movie [that to with crystal clear sound and picture] on 27th December from piracy circle. Though I was not interested in watching pirated one, so I kept my calm since that day, and watched on screen good month later on 23rd Jan. Meanwhile, I think whole country has seen the movie on DVD, looking at piracy circuit and Movie’s popularity all over.

Well, now lets go through the movie. As Terra Bytes of data has been written over the movie, so I won’t go into much details.

But this one is a-la-Manmohan Desai flick. Believe me. 70’s flicks, starring angry young men. Parents die. Brothers get departed with sister. The train sequences. Their hands fall short. Suddenly after some years, they meet, and find each other on different ways of life. One is going good, other is bad. And voila !! Heroine, in hands of villain ! Going to do a Mujra !! [Salaam-e-ishq meri jaan…]

Well, sounds familier, isn’t it? But I must admit, everything is shaped so well, so realistic, that it looks completely new. Never before seen experience of slums of Mumbai. The way they shot, Nehrunagar and Mahim Slums, it great, hard hitting and a slap in your face. Though, the organized Beggars, reminded me of ‘Traffic Signal’. I think, Danny was inspired by that movie, if he admits it or not.

Everyone has performed so well. Anil was damn good. I liked the way he took risk for such character. Cause back here, people don’t like such characters played by their beloved actors. But I am disappointed, why Irrfan gets Policeman roles only? Though he was good.



Salim played by three characters, was well executed, angry young man character. I liked Ashutosh and Madhur. But It’s Azhar [actual slum dweller] who won my accolades. I liked him in the scene just before the train chase.




Lovely chubby Ayush, as smallest Jamal. Then took over by brilliant Tanay. Both were superb. Though Ayush looked more suave to be a slum dweller. I liked Tanay being little learned and balanced between crime and virtues, boy. Dev Patel, in some scenes, reminded me of Imran Khan, in Police custody scenes. Dev, was somewhat okay, I loved Tanay over him [TZP you know]


While Tanvi, was good at dance. Rubina who is actually from slums, acted very well. But Frieda took me over. She is good in whatever 15 minutes she has got to play her part. I loved her in each and every scene.


Talking about scenes, here are my most favorite ones

This scene - above, clearly goes for Rahman. My heart missed a beat while watching this. And equal credit goes to this actress. WHO IS SHE?


Now, this, ‘rubbish’ is favorite of all. Me too, joining the bandwagon. I loved how Ayush, expressed his love for the ‘Superstar’. [Though, I am completely disgusted by the visuals, Danny could have used something less weird for this]

I think, inspiration Danny got for this, must be from Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. See below, it’s clear.


And,

This is one below, I liked most. And a scene which is followed is also a highlight of Azhar’s fine act. But I am not putting it, cause it will spoil.


Okay, Ayush looks more sober then a slum dweller, especially in this scene, but I liked both of them getting together in this one. They had good chemistry!!

And below, last one, absolutely lovely sequence. Gives lump in throat. Rahman, again, sweeps it.


Dev and Frieda looks so much in love.



Negativities:

First of all, the opening scenes were so much in your face, that I couldn’t stand to it. But, then I thought, lets face it. Cause it is there in our country. But on the other hand, I firmly believe that director has been tempted to use such visuals just to make his movie sell outside. Just imagine, this movie, telling a plain story of Indian boy becoming Millionaire, without the slum sequences – who in the world would be interested in?? No doubt, it has been filmed absolutely amazing, but I was disappointed.

Again Danny disappointed me and showed that he is ‘British’. By making fun of ‘Mahatma Gandhi’. In this scene….


He depict here that even in India, people just don’t care about him, that they even don’t know him.

Other things…

Why they haven’t released simultaneously in India? Even James Bond movie can do ‘World Premiere’ in India, why we were spared from this one? Was it to give us feel, that we are still behind of times??

Why Loveleen Tondon, co-director of the movie, wasn’t called to attend Golden Globe awards night?


Anways, these are MY thoughts. Feel free to disagree with them. And put yours in comments.

My Rating: 4 / 5


I will be adding Indian Audience Reactions to Slumdog Millionaire, later in a separate post.


11 comments:

  1. Hi Darshit, you have quite a few contrasting views there!

    I'm going to disagree with a few of them :)

    1. I think it was a requirement of the script to shoot the movie in the slums, show the Taj Mahal etc. The screenplay is adapted from a novel (Q & A) so I guess the director has been loyal to the author's description of the story. And besides foreign filmmakers are instantly attracted by India's beauty and of course the Taj Mahal, it's a totally different experience for them...so maybe in other movies you've seen them, not necessarily award winning ones. I think the only foreign films shot in India which won Oscars etc were Gandhi and A Passage to India. I've seen both of them and they're not one bit showy.

    2. The film didn't release simultaneously in the UK also. First it was released in the US so that it could compete at the major award ceremonies. That's a typical practice in Hollywood.

    3. About Mahatma Gandhi, you'll be surprised to know that I've seen village kids not knowing who Gandhi is at all. I've had a lot of experience working with village folks through the Red Cross, so I feel what Danny Boyle has shown it's pretty true. Infact in Delhi, I've known high school students who haven't even heard of Assam. They don't know if Assam is a part of India or not. There's a lot of ignorance around. Sometimes it's unbelievable.

    4. Danny Boyle is inspired from his own previous film Trainspotting in the 'shit' scene. Watch Trainspotting if you haven't already. Amazing movie!

    Lets not be afraid to face what has been shown in the movie, the poverty etc etc. That is what is common in most parts of India, most of us are only acquainted with the metropolitan city life. And as I said the movie's setting is a part of the original novel, so I don't think Danny Boyle has shot the film in this way to win laurels.

    Anyway, I'm glad you liked the movie overall :) The comment is a bit long ;) Sorry about that!

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  2. Forgot to add one thing, Danny Boyle has shown India's rapid industrialisation and hinted at India's booming economy too. So it's not all poverty and slums that has been depicted in the movie. I feel what has been shown is pretty true.

    Waiting for your comments now! LOL!

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  3. Don't know about the actress, but that was a very little scene. So who cares about her!?

    I liked the movie, it contains some great masala ingredients. You haven't talked much about Anil. Though, I liked his performance and the lines he speak are brilliant.

    And yeah, they are 'British'. It would be better if an Indian director makes a film and insult Benjamin Franklin!

    Audience reactions are truly positive, in my opinion. But I'd like to see your thoughts later.

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  4. Glad you like the movie overall. Actually Bhargav Saikia's comment is quite amusing. Interesting. Again, I stand by what I said about Freida - very overrated. The child stars are better.

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  5. For what it's worth, Danny Boyle's films show the gritty (and sometimes gross) side of existence no matter where they're set. Have you ever seen Trainspotting?

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  6. Wow, I really like the way your post was set up with the various fonts and image sizes--cool!

    Great review, I agree for the most part, but I liked Tanvi the best as Latika. She was just sooo beautiful, but had screen presence too...

    The children were so adorably amazing. Slumdog Millionaire was their film. But....

    Anil Kapoor was so good at being shady!A memorable performance as well.

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  7. I haven't watch this movie yet. Until i read your review the movie is not too appealing for me but after this review i will watch this movie. I hope that some music of the movie is heart warming. I better watch this soon and comeback here for a decent comment. Regards.

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  8. Nicki: Why is my comment amusing!?

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  9. Bhargav: Hi, it seems the discussion has gone quite far.

    1. This was not meant like that. I have put it in light hearted way. And complaining cause I wish more of the India should be exposed, don't you wish to see mesmerizing North East shall be on screen?

    2. Still I think, if it is shot completely in India, he should have released [or premiered] it back in India. One reason I think is, Danny [or producers] was concerned about opening collections. Because promos are not something, Indian audience will come to cinemas for. And Look how clever he is, they planned it after Golden Globes and even a next day after Oscar Nominations are generally announced. There you Go !! Bang Opening !!

    3. Accepted. There are contradictions in our country. I accept it. But I don't think, anyone is there who has not heard of Assam. It surprises me, because even in many Tea ads, Asaam is very well known ! A Brit has no rights to make fun of our national hero.

    4. Oh..this comparison was to show a very similar themed scene from another classic. I firmly believe that it is inspired from that. And I don't think 'getting inspired' is Bad thing. It is always welcome if it results in creative masterpiece. I haven't seen 'Trainspotting', but again, it was released 3 years after Schindler's List !! I will search for the dvd though. I would love to see more of Danny.

    I am not living a Metropolitan city life. I am a very much Indian, middle class person. Living my humble life, and presently working in a place, where I can see how India is progressing [Danny has shown to some extent]. Cause many places around me, are so much remote, and still India-has done much about them. Everyone is well connected, infrastructured, water in desert and much more to talk about. I don't think I am good enough to discuss all this. But every moon has its own scars. So that is with India. We have poor people. But we are overcoming it. We are not a country, who has got independence since 200-300 years. And each 20 kms, locality changes. Language changes. Still we have reached this place it is important for us. We will surely come over the poverty and world will see that.

    I think this is getting way much more. Anyways, OK, it was there in novel, I don't have problem. My problem is with everyone. Even to some extent, I don't like Satyajit Ray for that. That's other thing. But everyone is so obsessed with picturisation of only these things. I remember getting many customer representatives, who are from other countries. When we go out and show them temples etc. Their interest only lies in cows roaming on roads, dogs and beggars !!! What will you say about that??

    You seems quite right getting the favour of Boyle, but as an Indian I must say that's not the actual India. U can feel the Sand, Stones, Air, historic places and personalities, the spirituality i - That too is actual India. And you know it too..
    The movie shows the Only Dirty part of India and not the Picture of Real India at all.

    On another blog, I have read very apt line. 'As an Indian, I hated this, but as a movie buff I loved it''

    Ahh..this has got really heating up. Anyways, it was really good realisation for me too. To know contradictory views. Thanks for your comment. It always good to discuss and resolve things. :-)

    theBollywoodLover: I should Google now for the actress name. She was fab. Yes, I haven't talked much about Anil, and Irfan too, cause much has written about them already. So I have only focused on the 3 musketeers. ;-)
    Audience reaction is taking time, don't know if i will be able to write it or not !!

    Nicki: Yes, as a film it was superb experience. About Frieda, I quite liked her [boys, you know]. But yes, Children were the highlight of the movie.

    Ajnabi: Thanks for your complements. Oh yes, Tanvi looked beautiful. Especially when she comes out of bath to take towel and says to Jamal 'I trust you'. [I like curly hair]. But hers was quite a short role. Yup ! Anil was damn good as Insecure person.

    Entertainment Blog : Welcome !! Do Watch this movie. U know what? After watching this, I SMSed all my friends that - if you miss this, you will regret it. Fantastic celluloid experience.
    Waiting for your comments, again.

    Bhargav: I think what Nicki meant was - Interesting.

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  10. For all its "masalaness" and its "realistic" depictions of things, I found the film grossly overrated. Its neither realistic nor masala (as my post about it must have made clear! lol) but I think its biggest crime is that its not entertaining. I sat through it because I was determined to see the latest "good-new-movie" and not because I wanted to or enjoyed it. And great thought about MD - we seem to have parallel ideas! :-)

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  11. Anonymous10:16

    About the late release... I am a business student and did case study on the marketing of Slumdog Millionaire... The movie was not being sold for high prices before it got international acclaim.. and when that happened the movie got a good price in India too... So the release strategies were amazing... and if you see it from a business perspective... even after the piracy... the movie made tons of money for the makers...

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