Monday, February 9, 2009

The millionaire

Too late to write you think so. Well, not really. Its still there. A hot topic even at the Oscars. Slumdog Millionaire. The lesser words said about it, the better. Reality bites. An amazing portrayal of Mumbai and the life at Dharavi slum. Can’t get better than this. I am not saying that films have not been made on the slum or the life there. It has been. Books have been written. But, this kind of perfection, you would not find anywhere else.
Just a thought…if it was an Indian filmmaker, this script would have not seen these good days. No offence to Indian filmmakers. The perfection in editing and cinematography is practically possible only by Hollywood or Western filmmakers. Maybe it would just take a Sathyajit Ray to make such a film.

The film has a mild touch of City of God. If you have not watched this one, then its not worth it by saying that you are a movie buff or whatever. Gory, yet, reality. A Brazilian movie about a kid called Rocket who grew up in the violence in a slum and goes up to be the underdog and also does a Robin Hood stunt. The concept of `The Three Musketeers’ in Slumdog Millionaire also seems to have been borrowed from City of God, which has `The Tender Trio’.

Danny Boyle has for sure been influenced by that script. At the same time, he has kept the flavour of Bollywood and Indian filmmaking. Even the titles have a 70s look, just like he mentions Amitab Bhachchan and his film Zanjeer. It does remind you of your childhood when you grew up watching his films. Everything about the film is breathtaking.

If you still have not watched Slumdog Millionaire…then you must. A synopsis for you:

Danny Boyle
Loveleen Tandan (co-director: India)
Simon Beaufoy (screenplay) and
Vikas Swarup (novel)
Love and money... You have mixed them both.
Slumdog Millionaire is the story of Jamal Malik (Patel), an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India¹s "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?"

But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika (Pinto), the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show¹s questions.

Each chapter of Jamal¹s increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show¹s seemingly impossible quizzes. But one question remains a mystery: what is this young man with no apparent desire for riches really doing on the game show?

When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers are about to find out.