Thursday, January 8, 2009



I just saw one of the best films I have seen in my lifetime. Though not long, my life has been filled with many cinematic features. And this one was one of the best. I saw Slumdog Millionaire on pure curiosity. The name alone is strange enough to pose suspicion. Then I discovered it a story of a man on the India version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire??" If the title or concept doesn't catch you, go because I told you to. (eat your vegetables too!) Rarely do I give a movie as much love as I am about to divulge. So heed that notion, and know that this is a good one.

Slumdog Millionaire is about a young man named Jamal who is a contestant on the previously mentioned game show. He has some success as the title of the film might suggest, and the story develops from there. Jamal is the slumdog, which is slang for a gypsy or a homeless person. Jamal has no education in his life, just himself and his older brother Salim surviving the harsh conditions of poverty stricken India. How could a slumdog ever become to have success on that show? Did he cheat?? Is he a genius?

The film takes us through many moments in these two brothers lives to get the answers to those very questions. The two brothers had to be played by multiple actors obviously to be able to show a time line of their lives. We are first introduced to these characters as they are young children. That's when you are drawn into these characters personalities. Even as children the audience is captivated by the type of life that these two live through.

As Jamal and Salim get older we see new actors playing the same role, which can be a difficult transition for film sometimes. This film does it superbly. Not only once, but as our characters become adults there is another transition to new actors. All the actors that played these brothers added something to their character. The film is really not about being a millionaire at all. Its about a love story, and a damn good one. Our main character Jamal first meets his better half Latika as a child, and as you'd guess we see their story unfurl as the characters grow up. The film builds and builds on these slumdog's difficult stories, their personalities, and the audience's wonder.

Overall, this movie was perfect from almost every angle. Starting with the perfectly composed script. It builds up the whole film from so many different aspects. It has development of its characters throughout, intelligent dialogue, an interesting story, and even surprise woven in. The script was held up by very good acting, and very likable characters. Each actor that played one of these brothers brought something to the table. The direction and editing were also top notch, and made the film as powerful as it was.

Another fantastic feature of this film is the soundtrack. No only the chosen songs, but the time at which they are played in the story fit the mood so perfectly. And what do I say every good film needs?? Well that's absolutely correct, an ending. Obviously from reading all the previous words I just wrote you must know that it's a good one. And you're right.  I have over 200 DVDs in my personal collection, and this film will definitely be part of it some day. The true testament to this films greatness is what side of the shelf it'll be on. (all my favorite DVDs are on the left side, and so will this film)


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