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Slumdog Millionaire

March 9, 2009

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.

Having heard so much about it and seen all the “rave” ratings and applause for Slumdog Millionaire, I finally got to watch this in the weekend. It was a pretty good watch, and although I may not be a film critic, I’d say it was pretty unique and worthy of the prizes it has received.

There were quite a few funny scenes (such as when Jamal’s covered from head to toe in poo and meeting the celebrity that he admired as a child). The violence was reasonable, not too “out there” unlike action movies. The flashbacks in telling Jamal’s life story and how he knew each answer was very clever. It was rather saddening to see the conditions India’s slums are in as well as how some of the children are treated.

I enjoyed the movie and having heard that the book (Q&A) which this was based on is even better than the movie, I will probably find some time to read the book next month – work permitting.

Here is Slumdog Millionaire’s IMBd site: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1010048/

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