Adapted from a novel, It begins with Jamal Malik, an uneducated man from the gutters of Mumbai, being tortured by a policeman because he was suspected of cheating in the Indian version of the famous game show, ‘Who Wants To Be a Millionaire’. The film reveals Jamal’s life story as he gives explanation for his answers in a series of flashbacks.
Slumdog Millionaire is a touching film, at the same time a little disturbing. I was sitting comfortably at home, having a bowl of cereal while watching a slum kid got blinded by a gangster who uses spoon to gouge out his eye to turn him into a blind singer-beggar so that he could earn more money. I couldn’t continue with my cereal.
Watching the lives of those kids makes me feel somehow guilty of my own life. I know it’s just a film but I believe young Jamal’s life represents thousands of slum kids’ situation. It reminds me of my hometown, Jakarta, where there are heaps of beggars; kids, disabled, etc. I begin to wonder if they went through such torment.
Apart from that, I have to point out one apparent mistake. In the movie Latika, the love of Jamal’s life, rushes to answer the phone when she realises Jamal uses his Phone-A-Friend lifeline to call his brother who had just given his cell phone to her. In reality, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is not a live telecast, so Latika wouldn’t have known Jamal was making that phone call.
The mistake is pardonable because this movie is after all a 21st century fairytale. It is a true celebration of life; how beautifully each scene stacks up, the emotion stirs within the audience, etc. Every adult deserves to watch this.
Mel says: 8.4/10