Review of Slumdog Millionaire  

Posted by Vee



A lot of people will try to pull you down once you attain the ultimate triumph. There will surely be detractors along with the appreciators. That’s exactly is something happening to Slumdog Millionaire. Not surprisingly the most of those detractors are our fellow-countrymen/women whereas West has embraced Danny Boyle’s version of India like never before. Even Mira Nair could not create the hysteria with her Salaam Bombay back in late 80s what Slumdog Millionaire has done in last couple of months since it’s release in select theaters of Northern America.

I remember getting in argument with a friend on Facebook when he commented robustly on my status message (‘Speechless after watching Slumdog Millionaire’) stating Slumdog Millionaire is bad remake of Mira’s cult classic ‘Salaam Bombay’. I leave it to the people who have seen both the movies to make their own opinion. For me the similarity ends with the fact that both are set in Mumbai and slums of Mumbai have been captured quite viciously by both the directors. Mira’s movie was and will be one of the best to come out from Indian Film Industry. But show some maturity by not comparing it to Slumdog Millionaire.

Amitabh Bachchan cannot fathom what the fuss all about Slumdog Millionaire is and mentions in his blog that Mumbai was shown in disgraceful manner. Few of our own makers here have shown their anger by saying that Slumdog Millionaire is a "generic western movie about India". I say what the fuck? First of all treat a movie as a movie. If Danny decides to make a movie based on a book written by an Indian (Q & A by Vikas Swarup; who himself says that he has his approval stamp) then I do not see any reason to malign him and the hard work of those associated with the movie. If it’s badly scripted/directed, if editing and actors suck then open your big mouth and rant as much as you can. But no way demean any movie based on how real/unreal it is. Is that the basis to judge a fictional piece anyways?

Mr. Bachchan played a character (Sexy Sam) well in his mid-fifties or something romancing and shaking his booty with girls half his age. K-Jo and Ekta promote infidelity at the drop of the hat and RGV doesn’t go beyond underworld stories where murder and rapes are child’s play? So, all that is acceptable and slums of Mumbai aren’t. A film-maker has all the liberty to make what he wants to and how does he/she wants to.

Bhandarkar made Page 3, Corporate, Traffic Signal and we acknowledged him by giving National Award every time. I am not saying adorn Danny with National Award, but give him and his movie a fair chance. Some of the French/Iranian/Korean movies which I see are upsetting to the core you feel disgusted later; not because they are badly written or shot but because they fucking tell the story in such a moving way you cannot but be in awe. No one complains. Most of them go to win the awards. So, why is there so much of fuss in India? Is it because a foreigner made it? Oh come on, I know we have few makers here who are better than Danny by leaps and bounds. Nonetheless Danny has made this movie and we better accept it the way it is. After all, it’s just a movie.

Everyone is saying that it is a rags-to-riches story of a slum boy from Mumbai. I would not say that. Rags-to-riches stories are those where the sheer hard work or the plain luck (by chance) get you the moolah. No doubt Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is playing ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ but he is not playing to win the money. He is playing hoping his beloved Latika (Freida Pinto) would be watching the show. And indeed she was. The movie in actuality is a love story than a rags-to-riches story by participating in a reality game show.



Youngest Jamal (Ayush Khedekar) and youngest Salim (Azharuddin Ismail) are brothers who pull off petty mischief every now and then. Always late for the school duo or musketeers take the youngest Latika (Rubiana Ali) as their third musketeer after their mother gets killed in the riots. Orphanage doesn’t go well and they all run away in the middle of the night only to be chased by the owner Maman (Ankur Vikal) and Co. Salim and Jamal manage to get on to the moving train while Latika is running along with the train whilst holding Salim’s hand. Despite the desperate cries of Jamal to pull Latika in, Salim intentionally leaves her hand.

The fate takes the brothers to Agra and back to Mumbai (it was Bombay when they had left). It had been seven or eight years since the last time Jamal had last seen Latika. They finally trace her. She is being taught classical dance to be later sold of course when Jamal sees her through a key-hole. Salim exclaims she is hot and opens the door. All three are united but life changes for all of them thereafter. Salim ditches his own brother at gun-point after throwing him out of house only to be left alone with Latika. Latika too agrees to sleep with the brother for the sake of Jamal’s life.

Few years down the line Jamal working as a chaiwalla in a call center chances upon Salim’s contact number and meets him. In one of the most poignant scene I have seen in recent times, the meeting of the two brothers is well executed (technically, watch the scene where Jamal imagines he jumped off the building with Salim) and well acted upon; Jamal’s continuous outburst of “There was no message” shows 18-year old Dev Patel is a name to reckon in years to come. He is simply brilliant in that scene and the one after when he looks wrathfully in Salim’s eyes and says, “I will never forgive you.”



Jamal inquires about Latika. Salim chooses to ignore the question. Only when he follows Salim one day that he realizes that Latika is now a mistress (or wife probably) of gangster Javed (Mahesh Manjrekar) for whom Salim in fact works. He enters the well guarded house on the pretext of being a dishwasher. He requests Latika to run off with him which she refuses while putting forth question “what for?” “Love” Jamal says. It never happens as Javed is home then and Jamal loses Latika for third time now. The next is climax which I would not reveal.

I never felt so elated even when Bhuvan in Lagaan hit the last ball six in the climax. I still remember the whole theater just erupted with a feat (one experiences when one achieves that himself) when Bhuvan hit that six. I found myself hugging a complete stranger standing on left to me in the theater that summer morning of 2001 when Lagaan was released. Slumdog Millionaire, almost same experience but more euphoria than what Aamir & Co provided me with then in the climax; nothing taking away from the glorious climax of Lagaan though.

Coming to the performances, all three Jamal will steal your heart. The second Jamal (Tanay Chheda) who was also seen in TZP (Ishaan’s crippled friend) is convincing as a guide of Taj Mahal when he tells the Firang couple that Mumtaz died in a road accident while giving birth to child and Taj Mahal was actually built up by Emperor Khurram. Haha. Hilarious. Dev Patel is a fine actor and he will go places. He says it all through his eyes and that is what I guess Danny and other technicians would have felt to concentrate mostly on his close ups. His boyish innocent face with popped-out-bear eyes said more than the words could ever. But it’s Ayush as youngest Jamal who is the soul of this movie. That five or six something boy is absolutely incredible and the fact that he in reality is a slum boy makes it even more unbelievable. Where the fuck he learnt to act? All the three versions of Salim and Latika could not be better and special mention should go to youngest Salim and Latika along with the Villain Ankur Vikal. Frieda has been hogging all the limelight at the moment at all the right places and she deserves it. She is breath-taking in climax.



Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, and Saurabh Shukla in their miniscule roles are apt. It was quite surprising and implausible to see such a host of a reality based game show. But as rightly justified later by Anil that it’s his game show and he can do whatever he wants puts all cases to rest.

Coming to technicalities, everything from editing to screenplay, cinematography to background will mesmerize you. Within few minutes into movie and you get to feel the A.R. Rahman’s magic when cops chase the slum boys in the dirty lanes and pipes. The background score adds to the narrative and is evenly played depending on the situation with an utmost ease along with the songs ‘Ringa Ringa, ‘Paper Plane’, ‘O..Saaya’. However it’s ‘Jai Ho’ (comes with the end credits) which will make you shake your hip too along with Dev’s and Freida’s. Shot at CST, Jai Ho is a lively number by Sukhwinder Singh, Tanvi Shah and Mahalaxmi Iyer. Loveleen Tandan who co-directed the movie with Danny is also the Casting Director. What an ensemble cast she chose. Bravo!!! She played a very crucial part in the making of this movie. She has been previously associated with Monsoon Wedding, Earth and The Namesake to name a few.

It has its own flaws. Manjrekar changes the channel and the music comes on TV. The song is ‘Aaj ki Raat’ from Don but TV shows ‘Fanna’ song from movie ‘Yuva’ (Kareena moving his hands). As the movie progresses, all the leads speak English (I accepted that though many haven’t) but it’s the accent of Dev Patel which seems quite unrealistic. It is not tough to pick English but it is quite tough for somewhat literate boy to pick accented English. Was that because he worked as guide to foreigners at Taj? Or just because Dev happens to be British in real life, the angle of call center chaiwalla was added to give a leeway that he might have picked up the accent at call center? Whatever, I call it cinematic liberty which according to me if done in a lenient way shouldn’t harm the flow. And it did not.

Slumdog Millionaire is an excellent cinema in all terms. Three people who deserve all the applause are Danny Boyle (Director), A.R. Rahman (Music and Background Score) and Simon Beaufoy (Screenplay). These very three people won the Golden Globe along with Best Movie-Drama. The movie has got 11 BAFTA nominations along with the very gripping “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Oh, another masterpiece; Brad Pitt is marvelous and Cate Blanchett is alluring) and hopefully Slumdog will continue its success rate at Oscars nominations as well and eventual win thereafter. Hopefully.



A friend who has watched the movie and appreciated the direction and music cannot seem to digest all the adulation the movie is receiving. His complain is ‘Oh, you glorify the poverty of India and you win the awards’. I sneered at him and said almost what I wrote in the beginning while adding that ‘Why are you so negative about it. A film-maker made a nice movie and he is getting appreciated for it. Why the fuck we need to nit-pick in this very case and ignore many such incidences just because he happens to be a firang?’ I hope people start appreciating/ridiculing cinema the way cinema should be.

The movie is having it's theatrical release on Jan 23rd in both English and Hindi (Slumdog Crorepati). Go ahead, book your tickets and enjoy. Each to his own, though its better you watch the English version.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 and is filed under , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .

60 Pointless but Viscous Comments.

Every review of SM I come across, I just read the first paragraph to know whether it is a positive or negative one. Actually, it seemed so interesting that I kept reading on and on, thankfully there aren't any spoilers in your first two paragraphs...

But finally, its releasing here tomorrow... Can't wait to watch it and have an opinion myself (after all, opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one)

Will surely come back to this after that... What's more exciting than a nice argument, innit?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7832705.stm

AB has denied criticizing the movie.
We have to stop being so xenophobic! Satyajit Ray also got Oscar by "showcasing" poverty only!

Rakesh: That's nice. And yeah.. every one has got one like an asshole but you know some asses give a loud fart and some just murmurs. Some are smelly and some ain't.

Yes buddy. It is.. hope u enjoy it too.

Reema: If Amitabh is denying then he is definitely lying from his teeth. Blog posts can be edited,,, isn't it?

We do not have to be xenophobic, but I do not think Ray got award cuz he showed poverty.

Nice detailed review.
Funny you mentioned the Don-Yuvaa mix-up. I noticed that too but didn't mention it in my post thinking that it would be just nitpicking.

As for Big B's comments, I think his was a typical Indian protectionist response. He would've been better keeping his mouth zipped up, especially as he hasn't even seen the movie yet. Some people just never learn.

Do send your friends my way on: http://anorak75.wordpress.com/ to read my take on SM.

Anorak: Thanks and welcome to my space.

Well, I could not help it.. Haha, it surely can be termed too much of nitpicking but as I said, hardly matters as that doesn't deter the flow.

Big B made a fool of himself and now he denies that. How silly is that!

Oxy Boyyy...I didnt read the review this time. But will after watching!

Good review and a nice blog:)
The honest efforts from the SM team is reflected in the movie.

When it comes to a "Good" movie, don't know why people behave contra and seek joy in finding faults..again as you said for each his own..

Where did you watch Slumdog, it has not released in India, and I refused to watch it on pirated CD. :(

I agree with your review (I did nt read the story though as I want to watch it on big screen)that movie is well-made and that deserves credit for it. And I agree when you say it isnot same as Salaam Bombay. I agree credit goes to Danny Boyle for making such a gripping movie. Perhaps it was not an intention to take advantage of slums. We know it exists. But still I have this niggling feeling that hurts since Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchaali to Salaam Bombay to Slumdog Millionaire, it is our poverty that gain foreign media attention. :( I wish a part of our countrymen were not so poor. I wish we could do something about it.

And rags-to-riches story interests everyone for most of us derieve hope from it.

Vimmuuu: Boy, That's totally acceptable. Do watch and come back.

Shayari: Thank You and welcome to my space. The efforts are visible, right in your face.

Poonam: I watched it online. But anyways, even that's illegal, so I am your guilty person. Hang Me.. But what could I have done.. I couldn't help it. It was irresistible.

Poonam, that's just a way to see the things. Pather to Salaam to Slumdog indeed got lot of mileage but there are many more movies which got recognition in West that had no poverty angle whatsoever. Gandhi, Monsoon Wedding, Before The Rains, Taare Zameen Par, An Encounter With Faces to name a few...

I too wish that something could have been done for that. I do my part, wish others could too.

bhai bata diya karo..me so lazy and late

u already know yours are the words that i'll echo.
tc bro and hugs

V-Mere Bhai: Oye Hoye, thik hai, agli baar se pakka.... and I know so very well that you always support me... And that's why I love you.... Muaaahhh .. Love You so so so much...

Hmmm skipped the story part...As far as the first part of your post is concerned i agree. It is the same case as Adiga, people have to pull down successful people.We as a nation have a problem when our negative side is portrayed. But that said i would also say that i have read AB's blog as well & it went over my head but yes am sure he hasn't written anything which criticizes the movie what i felt was that it was the western perception he was talking about. In today's time our media puts everything out of proportion & we to jump in the baraat, this needs to change. We should stop reacting to every news, as you said at the end of the day it is just a movie.

Jaisa ki mene bataya - the english speaking boy is explained well in the book, the movie perhaps skips that part. n there are some other departures from the book too. but not to compare.. i will watch this on the BIG SCREEN soooooooooon..

I dont give an ef for negetive-positive reviews. I hated HAHK, whereas the nation loved it, among several other notable deviations between public opinion and mine. Until I realised that a movie is a personal experience and you should judge it on your own steam.

as for depiction of india, jaisa hai waisa hai. if we are so bothered about how foreigners perceive it, we should clean up our act.

The surprising thing is that no one is hating the author for writing the book, but everyone is after Boyle's ass for showing it on the screen!

If there is a problem with seeing the shit, clean it up!

Nice review and awesome pics attached at the right places.

Nice review...haven't seen it yet, but will do so over the weekend.

We will not do anything about our deficiencies but will get upset when people point them out....

Cheers,

Quirky Indian

Smita: Alright, I understand. Many skipped that. Koi gal nahi..

And for AB, I would say he indeed has made those remarks. Agree that Media goes overboard but tell me this. Kya Amitabh ne khud aisi movies me kaam nahi kiya hai? Wasn't that our very great Amitabh Bachchan who agreed to work in 'Shantaram' and If u have read the book, it depicts the same Mumbai which Danny has shown. Now, AB has issue with that. Oh, whom is he kidding? He is the most famous Indian from the film fraternity and his remarks do carry weight enough to scrutinize; be it any kind of remark. I personally feel he has no rights to make any comments whatsoever about any movie if he has not seen the movie yet. It's a personal choice. You can go and run down Sholay or Dil Chahta Hai but only if you have seen the movie.

Hmmmm true, AB's words carry weight for sure and I absolutely agree with your point that anybody should reserve their comments until they actually see the movie. Vaise I have started feeling that AB & his better half are always putting their foot in their mouth. Did u see Jaya's interview on NDTV lifestyle? She came out as such an arrogant person ki I can't tell you...


@ E-I-S-I

Obviously the book will not be criticised. How can it be criticised, it hasn't won any awards A-La The White Tiger.

We Indians have a tendency of pulling down things when they are popular, what better way to get fokat ki publicity.

Good news, Oscar Nominations for

Best Director
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Picture

:)

Ava: Satya Vachan.

The movie deviates a lot from the book and Swarup ne khud apna approval maara hai.. And even if he had not, WTF..

Rightly said, it's personal experience and should be just that.. I toolike u hated HAHK, HSSH, MPKDH, and other Barjatya stuff while nation swooned. I won't challenge other's psyche just because they seemed to love it..

http://www.imdb.com/features/rto/2009/oscars

me keeping an eye here as usual.

any other place bro??

E-I-S-I: Smita answered that and I agree with her.. Had Vikas won some awards for the book, he too would have been dragged in this mud..

Thanks Man.. they are indeed awesome pics..

10 Nominations and 3 for ARR.. Do we need to say more.. ;)

Quirky: Exactly. Wonder why they do not seem to understand such trivial stuff and jump guns.

10 Nominations says it all.

V-Bhai: That's the link I am checking too plus I am watching online NDTV.

Smita: Haha, true.. foot-in-mouth disease is something all Bachchans suffer from.. yea al of them..

ARR has got 3 yaar, and under one category 2 of his songs are fighting against each other.. awesome.. That category is sure shot ARR's.

Oh yes ARR for sure is getting one home for us. The modest fellow he is, he says he will not celebrate nominations as he has to work :D but lemme clear my stand am no ARR music fan. I only worship RDB.

Smita: He is modest beyond imagination. And yes sure he is getting one there.. for sure one..

Now, this part I do not agree to. I know you worship RDB but u like ARR just cuz RDB songs were good doesn't make sense... I mean RDB's songs are nothing compared to his other previous and after works. Roja, Raangeela and Dil Se will win hands down MUSICALLY in front of RDB. RDB doesn't stand change there as far as just music goes. And I just named three cuz they are at the top in mind.. otherwise he has given much better music.. You should not mix music of RDB with the movie per se.

When i said i worship RDB I meant songs only. And ARR might have given better music but it doesn't mean i have to like all of them. It's my personal choice no?

OHh.....i dint watch it yet but seeing the hype and all, i heard that its a bad potrayal of mumbai....is it?
somehow i was put off seeing it, mainly coz the songs [though of ARR ] when i heard for first time, dint appeal so much but i think i wud watch when i have time!

First time here, saw u on Smita's blog, Nice blog u have! and cute comments i used 2 read on smita;s

Perfectly said Oxy... it is a good picture and what more it depicted a part of truth in India.. No need to worry about that when it comes in film... every country has their own faults

Smita: Absolutely... Pls maarna mat mere ko..

Sahaja: Welcome to my space.

It isn't the bad portrayal of Mumbai. It's the apt portrayal. Cynics can say whatever they wish to but you cannot run away. And even if the portrayal is not what they wish to see then why such a fuss. It's just a movie.

I wonder what will happen once Mani's 'Ravana' releases. Seems the movie is told from Ravana's perspective.. I see Hindu fanatics creating havoc already.

Well, they are not actually a typical routine songs which comes from Bollywood (including ARR's). It is more of an international standard and the emphasis is more on the music than the lyrics. It is indeed a nice album.

Cute comments..?? Lol.. *blush blush*.. Thanks..

Kanaguonline: Yups buddy. Rightly said. There are many INDIAa that exist together in a single India. And SM is just one such India. And same goes for any country.

Its funny how they called the movie completely original!
The book (Q/A) was an awesome read and so much better than the movie could have ever depicted.
I guess its one of the those movies with a good premise and even better execution!
:D

Vivek: The makers never called the movie original to the book. If someone else did, then they are not responsible. The book is adapted into a movie and script is worked upon and changes made to give it a feel of a cinema. A lot can be said when you make a movie out of book. I personally feel that Books somehow turn out to be better than the movies which eventually come. But, that goes as long as movie follows the book. Here, the author Vikas clearly told that the movie doesn't follow the book in its totality.

I am glad u liked the book.

First time here. Love the theme of your blog.

As for the film, i too loved it and am surprised by all the negative criticism in India.

If our Indian filmmakers made efforts to move off the usual formulas, maybe we could have had an Indian make such a movie. But that didnt happen, and now that the movie is winning awards, everybody is going crazy.

Amreekan-Desi: Lol, Loved ur profile name... Welcome to my space.

True. That's what I feel. And guess what? The rights of the Book Q & A on which the movie is loosely based were already bought by Film Four which is associated with Danny's movie. And now Indian Film-makers are thinking why did not we buy it?

Oxy boy...watched SDM today but unfortunately I disagree with you. NO KBK this time :(

I mean, the movie is good. But didnt live upto all the hype for me. I am not trying to be one of those psuedo critics in PFC, but there were so many liberties taken in the movie.

"They jump out of a train and suddenly starts speaking accented English. Its very much before the Tajmahal scene, so their english isnt from the tourists. Salim carries a gun, but from where did he get the gun and the bullets from all of a sudden, how does he now how to fire a gun? and how is that particular incident even getting Jamal to the right answer? which school in India teaches you 3 musketeers in the primary level? Why on earth is Prem against Jamal ? A couple of them more which I dont quite remember now."
A lot more sequences were just coincidences. Jamal meeting his old friend Arvind at the subway, Jamal dialling all the numbers at the call centre and catching hold of his bro. I mean, are all these searches even possible in a city like Mumbai ?

I happened to read this review in rediff after watching the movie and agrees a lot to what I feel :

http://www.rediff.com/movies/2009/jan/09review-slumdog-millionaire-sumit.htm


When movies like Ghajini/RNBDJ isnt spared by crtics, why are the pitholes of SDM classified as cinematic liberties by the same lot? I agree the movie was shot and executed well and I personally liked it because of the feel good factor. But is it seriously worth all the hype? Cant imagine this movie without ARR background score; the best part of SDM was the music dept(and not becuz im a fan of ARR)!

and the Jai Ho song at the end, it didnt move me at all. That looked like the culmination of a typical Bollywood masala movie, where in at the end of the song, the extras board the nearby trains. I used to get a lot more moved listening to the track while riding. The rest of the songs were aptly placed though.

Again, to each his own views. Phew !

You know oxy, I didnt get too hyped up about SDM either. :( I have read the book but the story is changed, so the explanations in the book about various questions are skipped.

I just wasnt so kicked about it.

Oxy, I'm taking the liberty to engage Vimmu here.

Vimmu,

First of all, let me say that I dislike Sumit B's review of the movie. He says that "the execution falls very flat because of two basic flaws: The language barrier, and a wishy washy story line."
However, I feel the execution is what made the movie excel!
This movie had a "different" feel to it. We as an audience clamour for such a feel and when we are given it, we still want to compare it with mundane stuff and say that it is not properly done! He gives the movie 2 stars? Why? Does he want to get more clicks to his review by being "different" and appearing to not give into the hype? LOL!

Having been brought up in Bombay, I can tear Sumit's review to shreads, but then let me stick to replying to your points.

They jump out of a train and suddenly starts speaking accented English. Its very much before the Tajmahal scene, so their english isnt from the tourists.
A: They were educated in English, learning 3 Muskeeters in school.

Salim carries a gun, but from where did he get the gun and the bullets from all of a sudden, how does he now how to fire a gun? and how is that particular incident even getting Jamal to the right answer?
A: Salim got the gun from the underworld. Salim was a "dada" since childhood and continues to be one when he grows up. He can easily procure a gun from the teeming underworld in Bombay.

which school in India teaches you 3 musketeers in the primary level?
A: A convent funded school that runs on charity. You can find such institutions throughout India.

Why on earth is Prem against Jamal ?
A: Prem answers the question himself by saying "It is my show!" He does not like Jamal taking the limelight away from him. His ego is further hurt when Jamal guesses the right nswer after Prem feeds him the wrong one. The "star" ego is taunted as Jamal counters the jabs thrown at him with panache!

A lot more sequences were just coincidences. Jamal meeting his old friend Arvind at the subway.
A: This was a cinematic liberty. Whats wrong with it. If you know Bombay, you would also know the hot spots in it. And if it was meticulously researched, it would not be special enough to be a part of an extraordinary story.

Jamal dialling all the numbers at the call centre and catching hold of his bro. I mean, are all these searches even possible in a city like Mumbai ?
A: Why not. The call center software has powerful data mining facilities. Add the ingenuity of Jamal and its very much possible.

When movies like Ghajini/RNBDJ isnt spared by crtics, why are the pitholes of SDM classified as cinematic liberties by the same lot?
A: Because Ghajini and RNBDJ sucked in parts! Perhaps these were the same parts where every nuance was explained to the audience instead of assuming that the viewer has some intelligence. SDM doesnt do that and thats why it remains crisp and fresh throughout!

I too was not moved by the Jai Ho song. Frankly speaking, I was kind of surprised ARR was nominated at all! Perhaps because I think some of his other works are far superior to this one.

To be diplomatic - no offence to your views buddy! I for one didnt like TZP as much as the rest of the junta. Different strokes for different folks!

Oxy, hope u dont mind me jumping the gun.

cheers!

Finally Oxy, I did see it :) and Loved it.

Read your review and agree completely - It is a movie which will have clichés, stereotypes and co-incidences. Tell me a movie that didn't have any of these and I'll tell you a gulab jamun that doesn't taste sweet. Actually, a lot of my post is similar to your arguments.

The point about them speaking English is definitely a cinematic liberty taken to cater to the western audience and yes, it never did harm the flow.

hey! a gr8 scene-by-scene review! i too loved tat movie, n the climax the most of all! i personally think that people who can accept the bitter truth that all the incidents(except possibly the hero winning the award)are true and happening all around, would love the movie for what its worth, and the music adds more worth! but the people who would garble about India's image being tainted n all that shit, i think they are all cats who just wanna close their eyes n claim that its night. but gr8 review dude!

@Vimmuuu: Ah, So there u went and said all. Cool, appreciated. Sorry that I am replying late (as I was away on vacation during long weekend).

Coming to your comment, Vimmuuu let me first say that what you are doing is nothing but a nit-picking. I see that EISI has already replied to you and I guess I should reply to you, but tell me one thing; Will that change the opinion which you have made of the movie. When it comes to movies, I have often seen that once the opinion is made, no matter how much other person justifies, it ain’t sufficient or for that matter no justification will be sufficient enough.

Dude, I do not find that accented English was a flaw. I will tell you how? The movie is a British movie and is made for International audience and to be brutally honest it’s made in English in the later 2/3rd part just keeping the awards in mind. Yes, what’s wrong in that? I saw couple of movies last week. Vicky Cristina Barcelona which won GG is both in Spanish and English. The leads switch from Spanish to English and back to Spanish every now and then. Then I saw a movie called ‘Valentina’s Tango’ where the first half n hour is in some language (I don’t know what) and then the leads run away from their native to America and they speak English in the later half. Ok, you might say they picked English after coming to America. But, the two kids who grew up have drastically different accent. One has a typical American twang (of course, they took Mexican-American actor George Perez for that and the other role was played by some local guy. So, you see one has accent and other doesn’t. In case of SM, Jamal has got an accent as he is a brit guy whereas Salim and Latika do not possess any accent. It need not be justified at all. The movie is not a Hindi movie. I will give you a very classic example now. Last year famous cinematographer and director Santosh Sivan made a movie called ‘Before the Rains’ set during the nationalist movement of 1930s. The movie is in English and the set is interiors of Kerala. The leads (Rahul and Nandita) and other few key people (though illiterate) speak chaste English. Got the point I am trying to say?

Youngest Salim if you remember was picked as the right hand man of that tall goonda. He was given the job which was nothing but that of a goonda. The middle Salim too was shown as short-tempered, rebellious person. It’s not at all difficult for kids living in slums to join some gang and some get to lay their hands on gun quite early in their lives. Here I will tell you to watch movie called ‘City of Gods’ which has slums of Rio De Janeiro as backdrop and kids half the age of middle Salim are shown shooting with ease. It’s futile to show how these kids get pistols and bullets. They just seem to get it because they live in the middle of crime. And that particular incidence leads Jamal in answering that question as Salim says, “The man with the colt 45 says shut up.” That scene is shown in reverse. And now that youhave picked this incidence I wonder how could you miss ‘Surdas’ incident. At least in this case Salim says the word ‘colt’ which might have made Jamal think that ‘Colt’ could be the answer but for the question “Who wrote Darshan do Ghanshyam”, Jamal tells the story where Arvind was blinded and he was next in the queue. But nowhere anyone suggests/says that Surdas wrote this verse. What would you call that? Does it mean that if you are to sing this song after being blinded, Surdas must have written because Surdas himself was a blind man. This could be the flaw but not the ‘Colt one’ boy.

The three musketeers episode and Prem being against Jamal has been descrived quite well by EISI. I will add to that saying Prem Kumar is saying to himself that ‘He is the original Slumdog who became a millionaire’ and he is not able to digest the fact that there is going to be another one. He is too much into himself to see that happening and gives the wrong answer. And the rest of the questions too are aptly answered by EISI bro. All those things are possible..

If you are trying to nit-pick so much then I can tell you for sure that bring me any of your favorite movies and I can tell you at least five flaws. As for the Rediff’s review I read it the day it was published and I just laughed out loud and closed the site. There was another review on Rediff which covered the aspects quite well but not Sumit’s. If you read Sumit’s review carefully it clearly shows that the man has written the review without watching the movie. Trust me, he wrote without seeing. He just picked cases and references from here and there and collaborated and posted. If anyone is trying to run down a movie they should do that with valid points and references. The movie no doubt was well shot and executed. So that ways Sumit’s review falls flat.

Ah, Ghajini and RNBDJ are totally different topics… One was flawed to the core and other was almost there. And why are we even comparing them? SM is no doubt gives u a feel of Bollywood Masala flick but that is not the reason to compare it with other Bollywood flick.

And now here I would disagree with both you and EISI. For me ‘Jai Ho’ rocked and moved me. Whether I listen it on iPod or Laptop or watch it on TV or big screen it will always move me. When I say that I mean to convey that along with the music I somehow give a lot of emphasis to the lyrics and when you hear something like “Ankhiyon ki neend maine Phoonkon se uda di; Ginn gin taare maine ungli jalayee hai” how can you not move? I mean you see the whole movie (Jamal’s search of his love) and then this song to end it. It’s amazing. Having said that, I would say this is not ARR’s greatest work.. His Roja, Dil Se and Rangeela and many more were far better than SM but I am not gonna put ARR’s works up against each other.

@ Ava: Well, you are one of the few I know who read the book before watching the movie. And I very well know how does it feel after recently being cheated with 'The Kite Runner' movie. But, the same movie was loved by my nephew who had not even heard of 'The Kite Runner' till it showed in the credits. He found TKR a very touching movie whereas I was completely devastated and promised myself (once again, doesn't work though) that never ever I will watch the movie based on a book. You see, it all varies. I can't say I too would not have been kicked had I read Q&A. But I also know that the story has been tampered with (but of course, with the consent of the author).

@E-I-S-I: Ah, that was quite a comment. And I am thankful you came up with some very valid justifications.

Of course, I did not mind. Cheers!!!

@Rakesh: Oye hoye, I am glad u loved it. Lol @ gulab jamun reference as I said something akin to Vimmuuu as in get me any movie and I will nit-pick and bring out the stereotypes and flaws.

I will check out your version soon.

@AV: Hehe.... Lol @ Cat reference.. so true.... thanks

loved the movie, and your review. seriously, cannot imagine why all this hullabulla over a movie.. guess they have nothing better to do. :P

nice blog you have...

oh, btw, if you call my brother as your lil brother - then i guess am your sister??

:P

:P

Nice review. I haven't seen the movie yet and I really don't get affected much by spoilers et al .. so I have been through the comments section with relish as well. So far I have concluded this is a good movie provided you are willing to go along with the flow of the story.

And oxy, and you are building relations as you go along, eh?

@Rain Girl: Thanks. U know what? Like the movie is over-hyped by now, the criticism is over-hyped too. People should just chillax. Just a movie people.

And well, virtual bro's sis doesn't mean a sister to me as well!!! Hehe, ... and u know why we call each other bro cuz I feel he is my 'brother from another mother' for various reasons.

@Avionic: Hey U!!! Hope many go beyond the spoilers too.

Well, I think I am not. What should I say if they do? Well I said already. :) How have you been? Long time, eh?

Oxy, I finally watched the movie. I was disappointed. Maybe hype worked against for me. I enjoyed all the scenes you mentioned. But I was not as moved as expected to be. I never faced euphoria when Jamal won, perhaps I knew he will. I could not believe in the loe story. I thought allowing chai wallah to take call was taking creative license too far. I have worked in call center for 6 months long back. They are paranoid about security, how could chai walla get in? Too good to be true-kind of movie.

I guess, to each his own. Though I dont accuse Boyle of slum-voyerism.

Poonam: I am sure it's the hype that worked against. Happened to 2 other friend of mine. More than the reviews of us bloggers, it was media who committed the crime.

Jamal's win and Love story is def each to his/her own but allowing chai-walla to take call is not a flaw actually. The thing is the guy requested him to fill-in for sometime till he comes back (probably few mins) and the reason he requested cuz he knew Jamal is an intelligent and smart boy (a reference made prior in the classroom when he answers the question asked by the trainer). So, I guess that question was base to show later that Jamal is capable of taking calls. One point proved. Now coming to the 2nd that it is a case of creative license stretched. Well, dear I agree that it is highly impossible but I have seen that happening (I worked too for 3 months). Few guys befriend others to fill-in while they go for sutta break. I mean, of course no one asked chai-walla or housekeeping boy like in movie but then thats fairly shown if boy in question is a smart one.

Glad u enjoyed at least some scenes. ;)

And yes, Boyle is absolutely clean. Thanks

Honestly stretching creative license is not a deterrant to enjoying a movie. Ghajini was full of flaws, yet I enjoyed first time. (Second time I happened to catch, I thought what bullshit.)

I mentioned this improbability because where I worked (in callcenter) this situation was imporabable. chailwaalahs were not allowed even inside and hard to ask soemone to fillin...but then this is beside the point. It irked me only because this is reach of security and a foreigner depicted that (security has been a huge concern a year ago). But then perhaps Vikas Swarup wrote it.


Yes, it was hype taht wporked against and I dint identify with the love story. :(

When are you posting your Luck by chnace review?

Poonam: Hmm, I understood. It is a breach, but that doesn't mean it's a flaw. It can be depicted as an offense , probably it was, cuz Jamal was scared of filling-in and he double checks with the guy when he said, 'back in 5 mins' or so..... So it was a breach but at the same time it was not shown as something usual.

By tonight or tomorrow for sure I will post LBC...

am i too late here .. may be
All i can say is .. if people would have watched this movie without the hype it would have worked far better...

as for the movie ... when we can hail Singh is king or tashan or more idiotic movies .. i think we cant do much but surrender to this movie

@Vishwam, Nopes, you are not. It's never late for anyone to read n comment on any article written anytime. :)

I guess u r right abt the hype thing. Few of my friends were disappointed cuz of the hype.

Yaar! What are you doing in IT industry? Amazing review!

I loved the movie! I probably would have loved it more if I had watched it in a theater. I couldn't wait and watched it on my laptop :)

Yaar! Amazing review!

I loved the movie! I probably would have loved it more if I had watched it in a theater. I couldn't wait and watched it on my laptop :)

@Varun, U r being too nice in ur comments. Thanks so much!!!

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