Friday, September 14, 2012

48/50x2: Slumdog Millionaire

I honestly had no idea what this movie would eventually be about, but I have to admit the way that they put this movie together was definitely interesting and original.

Jamal (Dev Patel) is a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in the movie Slumdog Millionaire. This isn't the Regis Philbin, now Meredith Vieira, one that we are used to, but one hosted by Prem (Anil Kapoor) in Mumbai, India.

Jamal (who is also played by a number of different kids in flashbacks) uses what he has learned growing up in the Juhu slum and touring the country on trains with his brother, Salim (Madhur Mittal), to advance pretty far on the show - so much so that people begin to believe he is cheating.

The film uses questions that Prem asks Jamal on the game show to flashback to different portions of Jamal's life, which I felt was very unique and interesting.

A third child, Latika (Freida Pinto) is introduced during the Bombay Riots, which is where Jamal and Salim lose there mother. They join a small group of other kids without parents, who are trained by Maman (Ankur Vikal) to become beggars. Soon, the children learn that Maman is blinding children to help them in the begging and the three take off towards the train station. Jamal and Salim are able to escape, but Latika is unable to make it on the train and gets scooped back up by Maman.

This sticks with Jamal for years, and soon he talks Salim into going back and rescuing her from Maman. It is here that Salim makes a turn into a gangster lifestyle - using a gun for the first time, and eventually kicking Jamal out a hotel room so he could take Latika's virginity.

Jamal has always been in love with Latika, and he tries to do everything he can to get her out of the lifestyle that she is currently stuck in.

During a break in the bathroom, Prem finds out that Jamal does not know the answer to a question - so he writes the answer on the bathroom mirror. Jamal doesn't trust the answer, and after using his 50/50, he selects the opposite answer, which proves to be correct. Prem then has him arrested for cheating - and he spends the night in jail talking to the police and explaining how he knew the answers to the questions.

Obviously, these are a lot of knew actors for me. The only one I have seen before is Patel - and that is because he is now on the show Newsroom. But, I thought the acting was very good. Even the children gave great performances.

As I said, I have heard great things about this movie - and I really enjoyed it. The thing I liked the most is this unique way of storytelling. Flashbacks are used a ton in movies, but this was a very interesting way to use this game show in order to tell the back story.


1 comment:

  1. Glad you liked this one. It was one of my films of the year. Some of the actors were a bit more familiar to me, being from the UK but their relative obscurity helped with the plot. The things that stood out for me were the cinematography and soundtrack, and of the few I've bought.