Friday, April 10, 2009

Movie review : Slumdog Millionaire

I was fascinated by this dialogue from Forrest Gump when Forrest's mother tells him....

"Each of us have a destiny & we have to figure it out for ourselves…."

I realize sometimes there is nothing to think through or figure out what life has in store for us, but to just wait & watch destiny unfold itself into the aspired good for us. Well, the good may not be the exact 'ideal' good you may have aspired for but the best destiny could ever offer & you are deeply thankful for it considering the facts that the aspiration was too high in the first place itself. This masterpiece of art goes based on above simple yet elegant concept, which is narrated in simple situations with just a handful of characters...the harsh realities of life in a slum being told in a way that will reveal the truth & agony to its very core, at least making you finally relax in the comfort of thought that..."thank god, it's not me".

The story is centered around life of Jamal Malik, candidate in hot seat of English version of 'Kaun Banega Crorepati'.
As a ordinary slum boy Jamal grows up in Dharavi, largest slum of Asia where life teaches him to accept the things which cannot be changed & make the best of what is present. Those innocent young hearts become victims of anti social elements like Hindu Muslim riots, they are made to beg etc. Jamal & his brother manage to lead a life by petty things like robberies…the one in which Jamal becomes a fake guide of Taj Mahal is hilarious.

With no schooling, unlike his brother Jamal grows into sensitive, compassionate kid, manages not to get into the world of serious crime but lands up as a modern Chaiwala (modern chotu) in a call centre. He gets onto the 'Who wants to be a Millionaire', host being Anil Kapoor not because he wanted lots of money but because he aspired for something which was more valuable to him than money.

How true is that ? Even for others, money is just a means to ends. Money is not the ends itself. When the ends are met the value of money seems to dwindle away.

The story is beautifully presented, the core being the harsh realities of slum life & the shell being the glamour & fame of kaun banega crorepati TV show.
It's a difficult to digest the typical English ascent in the entire movie. A typical Mumbai Hindi or Marathi would have been better, but nonetheless it's a wonderful piece of art.
Altogether a must watch…

Note: Thanks to piracy which lets you enjoy the show even before weeks of official release & lets you have your say in the news channel's discussions nowadays on topic : "Indian poverty sells well".

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