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Slumdog Millionaire – movie review

A realistic, gripping Bollywood drama produced by a Hollywood Studio


Slumdog Millionaire, movie review

Slumdog Millionaire is an adaptation of the novel Q & A written by the Indian author Vikas Swarup. It is Slumdog Millionaire in English and Slumdog Crorepati in Hindi, directed by Danny Boyle, written by Simon Beaufoy, and co-directed in India by Loveleen Tandan.

The protagonist Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s smash hit TV show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” Slumdog Millionaire movie review…

Arrested on suspicion of cheating, he tells the police the incredible story of his life on the streets, and of the girl he loved and lost. But what is a kid with no interest in money doing on the show? And how is it he knows all the answers?

Its the moment of truth in the studio. Before a hushed studio audience and standing under the blazing studio lights, 18 year old Mumbai slum kid Jamal Malik faces his final question – and the chance to become a millionaire.

The show’s host Prem Kumar (Anil Kapoor) has little sympathy for this rags-to-riches contestant. Having clawed his own way up from the streets. Prem doesn’t like the prospect of sharing the Millionaire limelight, and refuses to believe that a kid from the slums could know all the answers.

When the show runs out of time and breaks for the night, Prem already has the police waiting outside the studio to arrest Jamal, who he is sure must be cheating.

Interrogating the contestant through the night, the Inspector of Police (Irrfan Khan) finds that Jamal is as confused as anyone else by how far he has come in the contest. They revisit the questions one by one; Jamal explains how he came to know each answer. As he does so, the extraordinary story of his young life begins to emerge.

Jamal is a story of modern India. Growing up in the slums of Mumbai, as a young boy his mother is killed in a religious uprising. Jamal finds himself living by his wits on the streets with Salim, his older brother, and Latika, an orphaned girl Jamal comes to care for, and as they grow older, to love.

Jamal picaresque childhood, lived out on the poorest fringes of the city doesn’t tarnish his good-hearted nature. But his brother Salim hunders for wealth and power. Tensions and rivalries between the brothers intensify as they grow into young adults, until a betrayal forces the three friends apart, and Jamal loses Latika, just as he realises he truly loves her.

When Jamal (played by Dev Patel) finds her again, things have changed irrevocable. Salim is working for a violent gangster – and this gang lord has married Latika.(now Freida Pinto) Jamal puts everything on the line to free the love of his life, only to lose her, and his brother again.

Despite himself, gradually the hostile Inspector is drawn into Jamal story – and starts to believe that this slum dog is actually telling the truth. In a final exchange we learn the real reason behind Jamal’s decision to appear on the show in the first place. Finally convinced, the Inspector releases him to go back onto the show, to answer the final question.

Overnight the story of Jamal’s dream run on the show and his subsequent arrest has turned him into a media sensation. On the other side of the city, Salim and Latika see Jamal on the news.
Shocked into conscience, Salim sets Latika free from her violent husband’s imprisonment, knowing fully well that this seals his own fate. Latika drives across the city to the studio, while Jamal returns to the hot seat for the final question, but Latika is caught up in Mumbai’s gridlocked traffic.

As the whole of India watches, breathless, Jamal asks if he can phone a friend for the answer to the final question which would make him a millionaire, he dials the only number he knows- his brother’s mobile phone. The phone, which his brother Salim gave to Latika for her escape rings… and Latika answers the call. The lovers are, at last, together. This is our Slumdog Millionaire.

Slumdog Millionaire has swear words and portrayal of the filthiness of the slums which of course is a reality. The film does not have any technical brilliance or creative excellence, could be since the director chose to be realistic and has used the typical bollywood style of story telling. It has what many bollywood hit films have – victory of the underdog – a feel good factor!

Cast of Slumdog Millionaire:
Jamal (boy child)- Ayush Mahesh Khedekar
Jamal (adolescent) – Tanay Chheda
Jamal Malik – Dev Patel
Latika (girl child) – Rubina Ali
Latika (adolescent) – Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar)
Latika – Freida Pinto
Salim (boy child) – Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail
Salim (adolescent) – Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala
Salim Malik – Madhur Mittal
Prem Kumar (Game Show Host) – Anil Kapoor
Police Inspector – Irrfan Khan
Constable Srinivas – Saurabh Shukla
Javed (the don) – Mahesh Manjrekar
Jamal’s mother – Sanchita Choudhary
Maman (child beggars’ boss) – Ankur Vikal
Slum kids – Shah Rukh Munshi, Mozhim Shakim Sheikh Qureshi,
Boy in Rama’s costume – Devesh Rawal
German Tourist at Taj Mahal – Janet de Vigne
TV show director – Rajendranath Zutshi
Vision Mixer – Jeneva Talwar
TV Reporter – Rhea Lawyer
Newsreaders – Tanya Singh, Anand Tiwari, Faezeh Jalali, Meghana Jhalani, Anju Singh
Call Centre Manager – Saurabh Agarwal

Credits & Crew of Slumdog Millionaire:
Studio – Celador Films, Film4
Producer – Christian Colson
Director – Danny Boyle
Co-director (India) – Loveleen Tandan
Written by Simon Beaufoy
Music by A.R. Rahman
Cinematography – Anthony Dod Mantle
Editing – Chris Dickens

Supporting Cast of Slumdog Millionaire:
Sunil Kumar Agrawal, Jira Banjara, Sheikh Wali, Himanshu Tyagi, Sharib Hashmi, Virendra Chatterjee, Feroz Abbas Khan, Virender Kumar, Tiger, Chirag Parmar … Young Arvind , Nazneen Shaikh, Farzana Ansari, Anupam Shyam, Salim Chaus, Singh Shera, Harvinder Kaur, Narendra Singh Bhati, Satya Mudgal, Kinder Singh, Christine Matovich Singh, Thomas Lehmkuhl, Siddesh Patil, Najma Shaikh, Saeeda Shaikh, Alka Satpute, Tabassum Khan, Sitaram Panchal, Nigel Caesar, Ajit Pandey, Kedar Thapar, Amit Leonard, Rajesh Kumar, Sagar Ghopalkar, Pradeep Solanki, Abdul Hamid Sheikh, Dheeraj Waghela, Arfi Lamba, Taira Colah, Varun Bagri, Ankur Tewari, Anjum Sharma, Deepali Dalvi, Anisha Nagar, Farrah Shaikh, Mamta Sharma, Neha M. Khatarawalla
Slumdog Millionaire, movie review