Slumdog Millionaire is definitely a coming-of-age film for Indian cinema.
I happened to see the movie last week. And when I got out of the theatre, I was filled with a good feeling. The impact was tremendous.
People all over the world have come up with mixed reviews for this piece of art. They have have appreciated, criticised and questioned the storyline, depiction of slum life, portrayal of characters etc.
The movie has already created waves in cinema world over and has bagged 10 Oscar nominations which is indeed a wonderful feat in itself. A R Rahman's music adds another feather in the cap.
My personal opinion about the film is that it is very strong.
What the movie shows is nothing new....we know how kids grow up in slums, we know how orphans are thrown at the mercy of goons to beg, we know that prostituion is a reality and we know how Kaun Banega Crorepati was a rage in Indian audiences.
What is different about this movie is the simplicity and a touch of reality at the backdrop of a very touching love story.
Every charachter is accurately sketched. Jamal's relationship with his brother from his childhood, adolescence and youth represents different shades and situations which determine their individual traits.
Their abiltiy to survive through adversity shows that ordinary people can do extra ordinary things.
And Latika, Jamal's love interest is forced to choose the wrong path but ultimately unites him after numerous ordeals.
The most challenging part of the movie was to correlate the events in Jamal's life with every answer he gave on the show. The reasoning behind his every right answer is exhibited in artistic way. It generates pathos, humour, anger, curiousity at each answer.
Prem Kumar, the host of the show is a blend of many shades. He is shown as a typical Bollywood hero. He is popular, charismatic and influential. He plots the arrest of Jamal and in the end understands that real life hero is greater than a reel-life hero.
And it shows Mumbai, and why it is still a city of dreams:)
So, here goes the story line.....
The movie is neither a make-believe, nor an exaggeration of events and situations. Those who claim that western directors only display the dark side on Indian society then I feel that when Danny Boyle chose this subject he would not have been biased, not prejudiced about Indians. It is not just about slums or the word "dog" attached to it. The director picked up the novel Q & A as it represented a fresh approach, a positivity, a newness and above all how human beings can rise up to the occasion. It speaks volumes about the strength of human charachter from the angle of protagonist.
And I really wish from my heart that Slumdog Millionaire gets as many awards as possible. Oscars...yeah!