Slumdog Millionaire (7/10)
by Tony Medley
Run Time 120 minutes.
This is an inventively told movie written by
Simon Beaufoy from the novel by Vikas Swarup and directed by Danny Boyle
that uses the Hindi version of ďWho Wants to be a MillionaireĒ to show
what life can be like in modern India.
Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is orphaned with his
older brother, Salim (Madhur Mittal), when a child. They hook up with
another orphan, a young girl, Latika (Freida Pinto), and the way they
survive is brutal. Jamal tells the story to a police detective who doesnít
believe that he can know the answers to all the questions on the show and
tortures him before the final question to get him to admit heís cheating.
So he tells his story, explaining how he got to know the answers to each
of the questions, and that is the basis of the film.
The plot really isnít whether or not Jamal is
going to win the money, itís about how and why he got where he is. All
three characters are played by three different actors, all at different
I finally saw the film at the UA in Marina del
Rey. The color and sharpness were atrocious. Iím assuming that this was
the fault of the theater and not of the filmmakers, because all the
trailers that were showed before the film (20 minutes of trailers, which
should be a felony) were equally dim.
This is a pretty interesting film, interestingly
told, although I thought the first hour was ponderous and difficult to
endure. It did pick up during the last hour when all the people had
achieved adulthood and we werenít dealing with small children. Jamalís
infatuation with Latika is a little hard to buy, considering the minimal
contact that we are shown them having. However, he made a good pick
because by the time she turns into Freida Pinto, she is beautiful.
The best part of the movie is the way it shows
what life is like in
India for those
unfortunate enough not to have much money. What happens to Jamal, Salim,
and Latika is brutal. This is a movie, so I have no way of knowing how
realistic it is. Filmmakers often insert shocking scenes for the sake of
Itís an entertaining movie, but Oscarģ-quality?
With apologies to John McEnroe, you cannot be serious.