Movie 4 d week : Slumdog Millionnaire (2009)
Language : English / Hindi
Director : Danny Boyle
‘Slumdog Millionnaire’, as I saw it, is two parallel tracks, one a game show ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ and the other Jamal’s life. The film traces the story of ‘slumdog’ Jamal from the days of his childhood. Day in and day out he, his childhood sweetheart Lathika and his friend Salim have to make choices. “It’s time to make a decision…”. On his decision depended whether he lived to see another day or not. Only now Jamal has to make those choices on a game show, ‘Who wants to be a millionnare?’ hosted by Prem Kumar (Anil Kapoor who has not much to do in his role that is nothing but Amitabh Bachan on ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’). While the entire film is contrived, the format gets predictable after a while but still manages to keep your interest. The film begins with Jamal being exposed as a cheat on the game show. He then narrates how he knows all the answers. “You don’t have to be a genius to know all the answers”. Watch this one and figure out for yourselves.
Jamal and Salim are played brilliantly by Dev Patel and Madhur Mittal respectively. Freida Pinto as Lathika is lovely. The kids who play the young and the middle-aged roles of Jamal, Lathika and Salim are brilliant too. Mahesh Manjrekar, Raj Zutshi, Saurabh Shukla, Irffan Khan, Uday Chopra and Sanchita Choudhary are all good in their respective roles. The soundtrack by A R Rahman is apt and the film ends with a song and dance that is seemingly Danny Boyle’s tribute to the Bollywood format. The story is by Vikas Swarup and Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy (also wrote ‘The Full Monty’). Co-directed by Loveleen Tandan who began on the film as Casting Director.
Other films by Danny Boyle include ‘Millions’, ‘Shallow Grave’, ‘Trainspotting’ (read the book by Irwine Welsh), ‘A lifeless ordinary’, ’28 days later’, ‘Sunshine’, etc.
Useless trivia : Mercedez Benz supposedly wanted their logo not to show on the car in the scenes shot at the slums. They, according to Danny Boyle, believe that it would harm their image. There is no way I will pick up a Merc now. Neither my first nor my next J.
A Priest prevented Danny Boyle from joining the clergy. “I don’t know if he was saving me or the priesthood” is what Boyle had to say (Courtesy : Wikipedia).