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Slumdog Millionaire
Year:
2008
Country:
USA, UK
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Romance
IMDB rating:
8.0
Director:
Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
Dev Patel as Youngest Jamal
Saurabh Shukla as Sergeant Srinivas
Anil Kapoor as Prem
Jeneva Talwar as Vision Mixer
Freida Pinto as Latika
Irrfan Khan as Police Inspector
Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail as Youngest Salim
Ayush Mahesh Khedekar as Youngest Jamal
Jira Banjara as Airport Security Guard
Sheikh Wali as Airport Security Guard
Sanchita Choudhary as Jamal's Mother
Himanshu Tyagi as Mr Nanda
Storyline: The story of Jamal Malik, 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 India's (2000) (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, the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions. Each chapter of Jamal's increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show's seemingly impossible quizzes. But one question remains a mystery: what is this young man with no apparent desire for riches really ...
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Reviews
This movie is a necessary fake!!
Other than the two little ones who play Jamaal and Salim at their infancy, everything else in this movie is so fake!! Everybody speaks English!! American tourists who just had their merc stripped off give out another 100 bucks(are they stupid?)!! On one hand the movie is set in the dirtiest and most vicious of places in mumbai, on the other hand it has the noblest of all concepts, the Hollywood version of romance!! Other than the two toddlers, the rest of the actors playing the two brothers at different stages in their lives have "Non Resident Indian" stamped over their faces!! Young wannabe criminals don't look like Salim does, neither do they carry colts?!! In beggar camp Latika, while crushing red chillies, wears rubber gloves?!? Well she wasn't exactly doin the dishes in her kitchen was she??

The movie says that the makers took the worst of India in one hand and Hollywood in another and decided to bridge the gap!! But the gap is just too big for one person or a whole generation of people to bridge!!

I did like the youngest of the actors though, the movie remained palatable till they were around!!

I also hope this movie does something to draw the attention of the world to how people in some parts of the world live in abject poverty, don't know what, if at all anything, that will result in though.
2009-03-11
A boy survives the horrific slums of modern India and must answer questions on a TV game show and prove that it is life and love, not cheating that has given him the answers.
Kudos Danny! This film is the best film I've seen all year. Hands down. It's brilliantly directed, the casting and performances are superb, the story is both riveting and heart warming. The locations are mind bending and the realities of life in modern India are both fascinating and appalling. It's a shocking, thought provoking, make-you-feel-good- to-be-alive kind of film.

The audience broke into applause at the DGA screening. Every one I heard leaving the theater said, "best movie of the year."

This is the "CRASH" of 2009.

I think word of mouth will give it lift off! Too bad it's a limited run. Somebody need to get behind this movie, if for no other reason than it has all the makings of a great, classic feel everything movie.

Thank you Danny and all involved. You made magic!
2008-11-03
D - Highly Overrated. Final Answer. Where's my check?
Here's yet another extremely overrated film from 2008 catered specifically to awards and little else. Color me unimpressed.

While it's not as dire as Benjamin Button or as erroneous as The Dark Knight, Slumdog is certainly not a good film. It's not technically bad, either. It simply exists. It's a movie you watch rather than experience.

I am literally in a state of shock these days at all the films masquerading as high-class or even art when they are riddled with so many *fundamental* mistakes. Screen writing 101...they get that stuff wrong! Not the hard stuff, the simple stuff. How? I am baffled.

Slumdog's story relies damn near entirely on coincidence, which is a hugely detrimental factor when attempting to create audience sympathy. I didn't feel for the kid on the show. I wasn't given a reason to. If that were me on that show, I would have never been asked questions that I just so happened to know the answers to by chance. This kid just so happens to know the answer to the questions he is asked and little else. He lucked out! I did not sympathize with him, I envied him! I simply could not put myself in that situation due to it's complete insanity and lack of realism.

The search for the girl is introduced rather late, and before then, there isn't much to root for in this story. So essentially, you can begin watching this film at that point and completely understand the plot and miss nothing of importance.

The fact that the kid had one question left was not properly communicated to the audience, which diluted the suspense of the situation.

The fragmented nature of the story doesn't make it easy to understand the narrative, even when the concept alone creates the plot beats for you. This film seems to go out of it's way to make things extra-complex, as though it's trying to cover up something that's lacking...

Another thing that jumped out and bothered me...there are plenty of scenes that simply have nothing to do with the kid on the game show...or scenes that take far too long to get to the necessary bits of info that we need. It plods around for quite some time as if it's trying to make up for something that's lacking...

I also do not enjoy the new-age, pointlessly over-stylistic directing style employed here. It was distracting, perhaps to cover up something that's lacking...

When something, *anything*, is not right, you look at the fundamentals. This is true in everything from football to film-making. Without knowing, or by simply ignoring the fundamentals, you end up with horrendously flawed films such as this, The Dark Knight and Benjamin Button. And what's really sad is that these are the most highly-praised films of last year.

When did the standards drop so low? Did I miss a meeting? And can I still vote?
2009-03-15
Beware - torture and child abuse.
An opposite perspective. The graphic scenes of torture and beating' of young people are exploitation and should not fuel a story which receives acclaim. Repeated and repeated and repeated scenes of India's widespread and grinding poverty may be appropriate for a documentary of social ills and class warfare but not for entertainment.

It is dishonest story telling to use torture, child abuse and the innocent despair of young children as the basis for an ending that exploits "Western Liberal Guilt" and is lauded in the process. If scenes of torture and child abuse are not your fare then beware of this movie.

The direction and editing were first-rate: crisp, dynamic and emotional.
2009-01-24
Oscar waste...again
After winning eight Oscars I was all set to experience a masterpiece. I dunno, but I didn't get it. Do I need to watch it again? Is this a new genre? What am I missing? I did not enjoy the cinema theater experience - as I rented it and watched it in HD. That might've contributed to my lack of understanding or sensory deprivation.

Hence, I saw what seemed like a "young love" story set against the sometimes horrid background of Mumbai, India. The slums and all that goes with it. The flashback sequences with the young children, then as young teens is compelling. Then suddenly we're thrust into the future rooting for the still young Jamal Malik the contestant on India's version of "Who wants to be a millionaire." All of the questions somehow reflect and ignite memories of his street urchin childhood. This is not an innovative concept. We can all guess the ending.

I grant you - the photography is beautiful and I guess the kudos for sound, editing, etc., that the academy bestowed are probably deserved. Dev Patel as the older Jamal seems out of sync. He's just too pretty and does not fit the part.

Well... One of the best movies... ever made? Nope! Not even the best of 2008. Good, compelling, interesting and no more.
2009-06-01
this film may be the single gravest insult to the intelligence of the audience ever suffered at the movies
moronic, predictable, disgusting, with every moment drawn out teased out ad naseum, with possibly the all time worst performance by a lead actor in a feature film, utter drivel, crap, I just sat through a packed house screening of this film in LA after which the audience applauded and could only ask myself "how stupid can people be?!" I have to admit there have been a dozen or so movies that have left me feeling "this might be the worst film I have ever seen" but I honestly think this one absolutely takes the cake... TOTAL GARBAGE!!

My review doesn't contain enough lines... but I can't think of anything to add. . . of course it's doing great at the awards ceremonies. . . it's like... such is the state of the world. . . Obama help us!
2009-01-24
"Slumdog" beautifully bridges life in India and Western film
It doesn't seem like a stretch to suggest that America might now be ready to embrace films in the style of India's Bollywood films. While "Slumdog Millionaire" is far from a Bollywood tragic love story filled with singing and dancing, the way director Danny Boyle will rivet audiences with his film that is authentic to Indian culture while using a distinctly Western style of film-making might be enough proof that there is a profit to be made here.

"Slumdog Millionaire" is a drama exposing the tragic effects of poverty in gigantic Indian cities like Mumbai that is also fused with a modern day Indian fairytale. Jamal Malik is a young man on India's "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" and is a question away from one million dollars when he's arrested on suspicion of cheating. Because Jamal is from the slums of India and has no educational background, it seems entirely improbable if not impossible that Jamal could make it this far, but each question is connected with distinct and sometimes painful memories for Jamal. It's as if he is destined to win, even though he only went on the show to impress a girl he has loved his whole life, Latika.

Danny Boyle ("28 Days Later," "Sunshine") takes us from memory to memory as Jamal advances question by question toward the million dollars. These memories offer vivid insight into poverty in India as well as the lives of Jamal, Latika and Jamal's older brother Salim. As children they are left parentless and taught how to swindle tourists, leading to lives of little fulfillment or even corruption. Despite being separated, Jamal and Latika are reunited several times and in fact Jamal's only motivation in life is his love for her.

While the young, unknown, Indian actors are absolutely amazing in this film, the biggest kudos go to director Boyle, who creates an astonishing film. For Boyle to go from science fiction and zombie thrillers to taking on a project as daring and unusual as "Slumdog Millionaire" proves that he's not only a brave director, but a versatile one. His great success with making this film intense, eye-opening and full of heart all at the same time prove that he's also an incredible one. "Slumdog" is just the beginning for Boyle who might be one of the most progressive and talented directors working today.

It's hard to be completely blown away by a film whose core message is about destiny and leans on the fact that Jamal is simply fated to do this well in explaining what has unfolded, but like any good film ought to, Boyle makes you a fan of the characters and not care as much about the logistics as you might normally do. The fact that this film starts out so dramatic and real makes it hard to embrace the fairytale it blossoms into, but it's the great visual storytelling along the way that makes it so enjoyable.

~Steven C

Visit my site at http://moviemusereviews.com/
2008-12-22
one of the worst to get an academy award
This movie is an insult to the viewer's intelligence.

I saw this before the Oscar hype and seriously I found it insulting in so many ways.

The movie's name reeks of colonial overtures. Seriously is it so tough to find a name which isn't downright insulting?

While I agree Hindu-Muslim riots are a reality in India what I found to be utterly derogating was a kid of 6-7 yrs portraying Ram with a bow and arrow with a menacing eyes ready to pounce upon younger version of Jamaal.Even more so as the movie portrays somewhat a contemporary (early 1990s) event which is quite well-documented.

Slums are also a hard reality not just in Mumbai but throughout the whole of India. But even there people exist who help each other, share whatever meager things they have with others etc. even though here portrayed as some dystopia where all they do is blind the kids, run brothels etc.

More than the socio-political portrayal this movie takes all the negative things that has ever happened to anyone in India and make it happen to one single person by which it takes poetic license a bit too far and also tests the very premise of probability theory.

ARR has done far more ear-pleasing compositions than what he has done for this stupid movie.

While I can write a research paper dissecting all the plot holes each one of them larger than the rings of Saturn I won't do it as it's already been done by so many people.

And lo!! behold!! we have 8 Academy awards to show while The Dark Knight and The Wrestler doesn't even get a nomination in many of the relevant categories :(
2012-07-29
No Top 250 material.
Overly sentimental, anything but credible and ridiculously over-hyped, this petty excuse of a movie managed to reel in a multitude of Oscars. I have to admit I wasn't exactly bored while watching it, but a second viewing just isn't going to happen.

The storyline's a wash - to name just one inconsistency, as Salman Rushdie pointed out: from Bombay to the Taj Mahal by jumping a train? Really? -, the actors don't bring anything truly endearing or sympathetic to their characters, and the 'award-winning' music is more often a nuisance than an extra to the whole movie-going experience. Don't get me wrong: I love M.I.A., for instance, but for the biggest part it just didn't work for me.

In fact, the only virtues of this film are the often astonishing landscapes, the energetic, yet dynamic camera work and the rhythmic, punctual direction. But you simply cannot make a good movie out of those three elements - except if you wanna go all 'Koyaanisqatsi', which I love. But they didn't.

Hence: six out of ten.

P.S.: To be completely honest, I would probably rate this a seven, seven and a half tops if it weren't for the suffocating hype surrounding the film, but I feel like bringing the overall score down a notch in my own humble way, because 'Slumdog' simply doesn't deserve such a high rating. I mean: Top 250? No.

Let's just wait and see who will remember this film in three to five years' time.
2009-04-01
Great picture of India and that's all...
Slumdog Millionaire has its merits. It shows the reality in India: the misery, the super population problem, the absence of public hygiene politics, the unprepared police, the children's exploitation. The movie has an original editing and a good photography. The young actors did quite a good job too.

As for the storyline, I think it doesn't surprise anyone. The love story, the bad brother vs the good brother, the redemption of the bad, and the "it's written" conclusion are all very cliché.

Anyway, I'm happy for a non-American movie achieving this kind of success. I think it's time to recognize that there are good movies outside Hollywood.
2009-02-21
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