Director Danny Boyle’s film, Slumdog Millionaire, has become a raging success. Nominated for ten different Oscars, including best motion picture and best music score, it is no wonder that Mr. Boyle says his Bollywood hit has been like a dream come true.
Slumdog Millionaire is the story of Jamal Malik, played by Dev Patel, an orphaned boy from the slums of Mumbai who is about to win India’s version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”
When accused of cheating, Malik is detained by the police, who force him to divulge the source of his answers, which happens to be his fascinating, and often gruesome, life experiences.
This film of flashbacks shows a side of India rarely seen, depicting a landscape that is both beautiful and yet inescapably hopeless. From blind beggars to the growing business center which transformed the Mumbai slums, the complexity which is India is seen in the life of Malik as he retells his story of growing up under hell-like circumstances and overcoming all the odds.
If you are worried that this will be just another film to make you feel all warm and cuddly, that love conquers all and even a slumdog can have his day, do not be. This is not some Hollywood concoction that was written in a week and filmed in the next. There is realistic zest amidst a surrealistic soup of the grandiose concepts of destiny and hope.
There is enough action to give Jack Bauer a run for his money and a love story which is both believable and relatable. The characters are portrayed with a deftness that most American Hollywood actors should be envious of, while the cinematography, also up for an Oscar, plunges the audience into a world so culturally unique that most Westerners cannot avoid being mesmerized.
Whether you are looking for a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat or an intercultural experience that will enlighten you about poverty in India, treat yourself to Slumdog Millionaire.