Perhaps when you are reading this review, the director, actors, technicians and others are flying in the heaven of happiness winning the Academy Award for 2009. It would not be a very surprising because the film has already won 60 awards on various categories from different corners of the world and still nominated for more than 30 awards. Yes, I am talking about the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, a great direction of Danny Boyle.
What you will do if you see that a teen from slum participates on the TV program ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’, hosted by famous Indian actor Anil Kapur and wins one billion prize money while many other professors, brilliant students failed. The protagonist character Jamal Malik is the Nineteen years old teen who is gonna win one billion prize money only answering the last question. But he was arrested under suspicion of cheating before the final question, scheduled for the next day. Taken into police remand and while being interrogated, he reveals the secret of knowing the valuable answers. Every answer brings the dark side of slum life especially Mumbai slums, brings a lovely and romantic story of three musketeers, two brothers and a girl, Latika, the story pulling character of the film.
The film tells the life story of two brothers, Jamal and Salim, who were born and brought up in a slum of Mumbai, India. In a Hindu-Muslim riot, their mother died and their uprooted life. They were befriend with Latika, another slum orphan who also lost her mother in the riot. According to Jamal’s favorite book in school. ‘The three musketeers’, he named Salim and himself as Athos and Parthos and Latika is the third musketeer.
The three children soon be discovered by Maman, a gangster who collects street children, trained them to beg by singing and sometimes, make them blind to earn more. Unfortunately, Salem become a part of Maman’s operation but brotherhood comes to the forward while Maman tried to blind Jamal Malik. They three musketeers tried to flee, Salem and Jamal Succeed but Latika couldn’t. She was recaptured and raised to a prostitute that will fetch much more higher price. So a new life starts without Latika, away from the Maman’s hand, by selling goods in the train, stealing foods from the passengers, and fake tourist guide of Taj Mahal and pickpocketing.
Jamal couldn’t forget Latika, so returning Mumbai, he found out Latika and tried to rescue her from a brothel. In the consequence, Salem drew gun and killed Maman, the gangster who raised Latika. Thus, Salem also become a terror and joined the counter group of Maman, Jamal flew away because of his grievance upon his elder brother. Years later, Jamal become a cha-walla (tea bearer) in a call center, found out his brother Salem and Latika again because of love for her, and planned to flee away from Mumbai to any other city. So Jamal attends the TV program ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ and wins the first prize.
Director Danny Boyle expressed his brilliance in this movie. The total film is shot in various locations of India, especially in Mumbai and almost all characters are from India. Four boys and girls are used to represent various stages of Jamal’s and Latika’s life. Dev Patel is the brilliant actor who acted as Jamal Malik in the teen age. Renowned composer A R Rahman composed the background music of the film as well as the songs and he is also nominated for Oscar.
Slumdog Millionaire, a film with the story of people of your age is in front of you. So why wait, get the movie and watch, right now!
[Published in a local monthly]