Sunday, December 28, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire - My Review

It is no mean achievement on IMDB to get an 8.6 rating from almost 9000 votes. And I voted this a 10.

Slumdog Millionaire - the book, was on my must read list, but I could not lay hands on a copy. So, the next best thing was to watch the movie, and we managed to watch the DVD this afternoon.
The movie is depressing and uplifting at the same time; and the final feeling is one of exhilration. When Jamal Malik won the million, it is almost like someone we know has won it.
Danny Boyle has managed to do something that most of the directors could not - make a great movie out of a great book.
Without spoiling the suspense for you, I can tell you this much - You MUST watch this one.
Slumdog Millionaire is the story of Jamal Malik, Salim Malik and Latika - three orphans who move up the ladder of life in their own ways. Every frame of the film sticks to the premise and not once does it slip past and lose track of the story. The life in the slums, the various escapes, all the fights with life, the little victories, the big disappointments, the underlying comical vein, everything takes us deep into Jamal's life and that is what leads us to laugh and cry with him through out the film.
The characterization is extra ordinary - like Salim's which can neither be classified as a villainous, nor can it be termed heroic. The various facets of life in all its vibrant colors , right from the slum to the set of Who wants to be a millionaire have to be experienced!
The surprise package is Anil Kapoor, who plays the host of the show. His character too is extremely well defined, and as usual, he carries it with great aplomb.
Like the sentence on the poster, this truly is 'A movie to celebrate and a hymn to life'.
One more thing - and probably the most important thing is the music. It is a cliche to state that Rahman is a maestro. Don't listen to the sound track. Watch it and experience it. Rahman's status as a master just got a little more exalted (if it is possible!)
Do yourself a favor and watch this movie!

Dasvidaniya, Gran Torino and more!

Does this mean I am growing old? Or is my taste in movies changing so drastically??
Not just movies actually; but I see myself enjoying more 'parallel' things rather than the more traditional main stream things!
Like we spoke about in the 'Mithya' review earlier, I guess I'm becoming the multiplex variety too. Does that mean I am becoming more intelligent, or more frustrated with life?
I absolutely loved Dasvidaniya ( Vinay Pathak's tear-inducing performance is an absolute master piece, and the beauty is that the story is told in such an unassuming way that everyone who watches will go home feeling more laden, more mature and a bit more.
Same thing for Gran Torino. Termed as one of Clint Eastwood's last films, Gran Torino ( is another touching film belonging to the same genre. With another very unassuming story, the story slowly grows on you and by the time the end comes, you go home with a heavier heart.
Now, why did all these simple emotions take center stage? Where were all these directors all these years? And where was this section of the audience hiding? Whichever language you take, movies that are 'zara hatke' have slowly crept up on us and suddenly you become a more intelligent cinema goer!
As I said, not just cinema, most of the things in life for me have taken a different kind of a meaning. That does not mean I don't enjoy the wham-bam kinda movies now. Just finished '21' and 'Oceans Eleven' and I enjoyed them too! Looking forward to watching 'Street Kings' today.
All parallel cinema does not make sense. Like the very strange movies that have cropped up nowadays; movies that you don't understand the purpose of; movies that should have been shelved as a silly thought in the minds of the directors! But then, like we were talking about earlier, this is the Emperor's New Clothes phenomenon. You need to say 'Wow' at the end of the credits or you are termed as an insolent, insensitive and inebriated (Ouch!) fool, not worthy of watching meaningful cinema.
Anyway, there I go ranting again. Coming back, I guess my whole generation is growing older - atleast in its taste of entertainment. So, guilt-free watching ahead!