Slumdog Millionaire (Based on the book Q&A by Vikus Suwarp)
Dir: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tardan
Cast: Dev Patel (Jamal), Anil Kapoor (Prem Kapur), Frieda Pinto (Latika), Irrfran Kahn (Police Inspector), Madhur Mittal (Salim)
Script: Simon Beaufoy
Length: 2 hrs.
Rating: R (Originally the rating was PG-13, but the MPAA bumped it up to R because of its intensity. I'd say this one deserves its R Rating. It's violent and terrifying at some points.)
So this movie replayed on TV yesterday and it gave me a reason to review this movie again. I loved this movie when I first saw it (Don't remember if it was last year or two years ago) and I realized how much this movie deserved all these Oscars. You probably know the story: A young man participates on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and gets all the answers right. How did he do this? The host (Anil Kapoor) thinks he's cheating, but he gets a chance to explain his moving and powerful, if not frightening and terrible, story about what lead him to all the right answers. Add a beautiful love story in the mix, and how could you not love this?
In a way, this reminds me of all those cheesy fairy tales. You know, poor boy grows up in the slums and has a hellish childhood then he finds love, and gets a whole load of money... Don't let that scare you away. Because this is one brutal, violent movie. Not that there's a lot of blood and gore and violence, but when it does happen, it's shocking, and it makes you see India in a whole new different way. I gotta admit, there were some times when this movie made me feel uncomfortable, but if this is real life for the poor in India, I prefer that my stomach was turned. Danny Boyle creates a unique atmosphere that will definately not be for everyone, but it's an atmosphere that I really enjoyed.
The child acting in this movie is amazing. These kids have never acted in their lives? Seriously? They seemed to be acting all their lives. Plus, what a great cause, these kids were given money to go to school and to make their lives better. What was also really engaging were these kid's faces, they lit up the whole screen and made you terrified for them when they are thrust in these situations. They never really felt child-actory if you know what I mean. But it's not just them that are mind-blowing, Dev Patel as the grown up Jamal is perfect for the role, he embodies a sense of vulnerabillity and passion, and together with Frieda Pinto as his love interest, they make a wonderful pair. That scene when they see each other again in the mafia boss's house, I'm not gonna lie, my heart was beating a thousand beats per minute.
Then again, you have other great performances besides the two leads. It's official now that I love Irrfran Kahn. He was great as the father in The Namesake, and he's great here as a harsh police inspector, and those two roles cannot be more different. Anil Kapoor is really charasmatic, and I was torn by Salim, who's nice for one second, and a complete jerk the next, so you really don't know what you think of him. Every character has an emotional depth and Jamal's overall story isn't written in a cheesy way, only strong and poingant. When I first saw it, it became one of my favorite movies so please give it a try.
Overall: It's a wonderful effective love story that brutal and violent, and it won't be for everyone, but if you haven't already, I strongly recommend SEEing it.
Kiddie-tron: Definitely not for kids. It's graphic and some parts are terrifying. I would say, maybe fourteen if they can handle it. :)
Slumdog Millionaire is available on DVD and Blu-Ray