Slumdog Millionaire

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Directed by: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tanden
Screenplay by: Simon Beaufoy
Edited by: Chris Dickens

Jamal is being beaten and tortured, the Indian police convinced that no one who was born in the slums of Mumbai could possibly correctly answer so many questions on the game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, without cheating. As he is being interrogated, a rerun of the episode plays as the interrogator asks him how he knows the answer to each question. 

As we hear each question being asked over the TV by the pompous host, Jamal flashes back to his life wherein each answer to the question is given in the context of a memory.

The movie tells the story of Jamal as a child, a teenager, and as a young adult though not always in that order. His flashbacks take him to many different years in his life. But no matter what memory he is reliving, his status of slumdog has followed him all the way to the hot seat.

The movie shows, with great cinematography, what life is like for many people in India who were born into situations beyond their control. Those who were born into poverty, who were left orphaned to beg on the street. Or in the case of Jamal and his brother, who were forced to cheating and stealing. Living off of tourists's open purses, parked cars, and stealing their shoes from outside of mosques, Jamal lives this life of survival by following his older brother. But Jamal does not want to be a part of this nefarious underground gang who profit from orphaned children, beautiful women, and other illegal dealings. He wants to live a better life with Latika, a beautiful childhood friend who has come and gone too many times in his life.

Slumdog Millionaire is a great story about the way people perceive others and the myriad of ways those people can surprise us in the best possible way. If you're looking for a moving, feel-good movie with a bit of romance give this one a go.

The movie won eight Academy Awards in 2009 for: best motion picture of the year, best achievement in directing, best writing, best achievement in film editing, best original score, best original song, and achievement in sound mixing.

I give it 4 out of 5 popcorn.

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