Slum dog millionaire

………………………..by now these three words automatically come to fore in a discussion when somebody mentions about slum dog millionaire. – 1st A.R REHMAN, 2nd golden globe awards, 3rd “it talks about a teen from the slums of Mumbai”. And then suddenly we are becoming proud enough to call ourselves Indians. So what in this movie makes us proud enough to shout at top of our voice our nationality, other than the music is composed by A.R Rehman, and the actors have done a commendable job (except Irfan, I think the performance was below his own standards). Let us take some time out and think (who have watched the movie, obviously)
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
…………………………hard to find anything let me try to help………………. Can we be proud of taking away from the children their childhood, which is what is being done in this country every day every moment somewhere or the other (there is a “MAMAN” in every locality). Can we be proud of the way in which the law enforcement agencies function here, be it of inaction when action from them is most needed or there going all guns after the accused to extract confession from him. They have already declared him/her as criminal, based on certain biases which they always consider to hold true? So what are we proud of, maybe it is too complex and confusing question to answer. We can leave this discussion as it is, it is becoming too discomforting for both of us!
Let us talk about the movie and what I liked most about it.
This movie is about a 18 year old uneducated, slum born, orphan who does what no educated- doctor, layer , engineer or general knowledge wala has hitherto done. He wins Rs 20 million on the game show “ Who Wants To be Millionaire”. He is being arrested on doubts of cheating , after that is being tortured to know how:
1. Police officer: what the hell can a slum dog……possibly know?
Jamal: the answers!
The way Jamal explains the reason he knows the answer for each question, with each answer the mystery of Jamals life gets unraveled bit by bit. The story telling is such that it keeps you glued . some of the parts which I liked most are:
2. The shot in which the security personnel are chasing the kids through the slum , the sleeping dog opens its eyes and raises its ears , and the kids rush by it, is awesome!
3. when jamal along with salim and latika are being brought from the dumping grounds to the Maman’s place . As they arrive , seeing all the children playing , the smile and glow on the face of jamal & company tells it all, no words required. Fabulous work kids, hats off to you.
4. when jamal is getting ready to sing the famous bajan of Surdas before Maman, not knowing that Maman intends to make him blind and earn dubble through this heart touching bajan ………Jamal and Latika in their innocent discussion-”bas Maman ko mera ganaa pasand ayai to bohut maal milaay ga…dhair saraiy paisay Latikaaa !”..….beik nahi mangni padaigey.. “beik ! tu pagal ho gayei hai,.. habour road pai banglai main rahain gain , tu main aur salim teeno musketeers” habour road sachi !…….. “haan……..chandni ki raat main, tu aur main. Tum aisay dance karaiginaa……………..” jaisa tum dance kar rahi ho na waisa gana mat ganaa …………………… “mairey bari aagayi”, theek sai ganaa…………………………….. “aaaj hamara time badal gayaa bhaiii”……………….
5. “……………is this heaven,. you are not dead, ……………” And the aging process that goes with this , makes me to go to my childhood when I was watching a movie and it started with a young boy running ( why he was running I don’t remember), by the time boy completed running he was transformed into the young man all had to watch. But the only difference in this movie is that you don’t realize when the transformation actually happened.
6. …………….Jamal becomes a tour guide at the Taj Mahal………….. “but as you can see the swimming pool was finished on schedule”………………………….“she died in an accident” , but i read that she died of child birth, “exactly sir she was on way to hospital” ………… “the guide book was written by some good for nothing Indians”
7. ………. Acting as a tour guide to an american couple…….. “this is the India’s largest dobi-ghat, it is said that every person in Uttar-Pradesh is wearing a kurta that has been washed at least once here..”
8. In between the game show there is a commercial break and Jamal has to answer the question , “who has most first class centuries”, he is sitting in the washroom not knowing what to do, enters Anil Kapoor , he comes to know that Jamal does not know the answer so what does he do, he feeds Jamal with the wrong answer. Telling Jamal he can become the second person to become Raja from rags, as him. Its human nature, you want to lonely at the top, you don’t want anybody else to do what you were able to do. You don’t want to loose the no. 1 spot. And then comes the unexpected move from Jamal by not choosing the answer provided by the lonely man at the top.
9. All along the movie salim is heard saying “ GOD is good”, but as he dies he says “ GOD is great”. I don’t know what was running through the scriptwriters or directors head , but this shows that how much attention was paid by them to what may appear minute things, but actually are things of great significance and add value to this movie.
10. Salim lay’s for himself the death bead of money, it seems similar to what Alexander did . when Alexander was on his death bead he told his minister that when his body is taken for burial his hands should be clearly out of the coffin , so that people could see that even after ruling half of the world he was taking nothing with .!! I don’t know whether this shot was shot in this way by keeping this thing in mind but I don’t know why I remembered this when I saw it…………
There are many more things that I liked about the movie, but if I would had mentioned them too then the enjoyment you would get by watching the movie would had been lessened a bit . and I don’t want that to happen. No doubt there are some minor errors in this movie as well . I am trying to be different today, I am supposed to be good at seeing errors and mistakes so I am trying to see only what is good ,trying to change….. know bad habits dry hard by the way I couldn’t understand how come Jamal found and called his brothers mobile number from an non-domestic call centre, ops! …………. It is better I stop here………… . After watching the movie you can at least say we have got some good writers in this part of the world unless you go by J.W. Eagan’s saying “never judge a book by its movie. ( no offence ment for the writer, haven’t read the book yet!)… so enjoy the movie…….

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5 thoughts on “Slum dog millionaire

  1. MAn!!! That’s a complete movie you’ve written down..That is a real nice thought..But most people will write and forget about it..Are we really on for DOING something about this?????

  2. Mann's Heart says:

    still have to watch the movie…waiting for exams to get over but i think now its high time i see it…nice insights into movie..

  3. Mann's Heart says:

    now i have to see the movie..cant wait more..

  4. AM says:

    I like the movie for it’s feel good factor. It was almost like those fairytale love stories, where happy ending was inevitable. But I feel it was over hyped. Unlike many I don’t think the movie was abt India or problems relating to India. Neither did it try to give solutions to Indian problems. It was a thoroughly enjoyable show and I like the narration style. However it was not one of those life transforming stories (I don’t think it even wanted to be).On the whole I think Danny Boyle achieved what it set out to achieve i.e. to capture an International audience. Indian is just a Flavor !!!

  5. I think I have said enough on the movie being overwhelmed by the praise, that it probably didnt deserve. In Salim’s retrospacteive words, It was good, it wasnt great. You’re quiet an observer, its not surprising to me 🙂 Also, I loved the comparison you drew between Salim and Alexander. Brings in a whole new mad variety of thoughts for him , now. I’ll save it for later.. but interesting post, Ifti!

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