Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire - finally! so glad I went to watch it!

If you're looking for screen caps of this film, go here - made a bunch :)

So with the Golden Globes nominations and wins for Slumdog Millionaire, my American friends who knows I love Indian cinema kept asking me, "have you seen this movie yet?" The answer was "no" until I saw it over the weekend. I'm so glad I did since I knew waiting to watch it on dvd would take too long.

For those who didn't know. Slumdog Millionaire is based on the novel, 'Q and A' by Vikas Swarup.

Slumdog Millionaire won all the awards it got nominated for.

Best Director - Motion Picture (Danny Boyle)
Best Motion Picture - Drama
Best Original Score - Motion Picture (A.R. Rahman)
Best Screenplay - Motion Picture (Simon Beaufoy)

I have to thank my friend for wanting to see this movie and literally coming to get me to go out with her. She's a movie fanatic but is interested in Bollywood now because of Bride and Prejudice -- it's the beautiful colors and beauty of Aishwarya Rai, I tell you! When she found out Slumdog Millionaire took all the Gloden Globe awards it got nominated for, she couldn't wait to watch it! I got another Bollywood converter!! Yes, she knows that Slumdog Millionaire and Bride and Prejudice are not exactly Bollywood, but it's a good start, huh? If anyone is interested, she's Black-American. She doesn't like to be labeled as an African-American. She wanted Bollywood movies for her 10-years-old daughter to watch since her daughter got hooked on because of the Cheetah Girls One World, so I gave her Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic and Raju Chacha.

Going into watching the movie, I basically knew what the synopsis was about. How could Jamal, an 18-years-old orphan guy from the slums, known as the slumdog, hence the name of the movie, get the answers right on this game show, Kaun Banega Crorepati, which is the Indian version of popular game show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Did he cheat? Or did he really know all the answers?

With performances, I thought both Dev and Freido were overrated. I rather give props to the amazing child stars in the film instead. They were the backbone of the movie and was shown more than Dev and Freido. Actually I'm very disappointed that they got more recognition and is out promoting the movie more. Sure, Freido is gorgeous and that has some selling points. However, I didn't think she was all that in the acting department. She was there for what? 15 minutes, the most? Dev was just alright. I felt his English wasn't that great and didn't hear him clearly at times. I didn't buy some of his facial expressions and he looked wooden.

I felt Madhur Mittal did a better job than both Dev and Fredio combined. However, he isn't even getting much recognition.

Thank goodness for Anil Kapoor and Irrfan Khan! Put some good Bollywood stars in the movie so the Westerners can see that India does have good actors.

Anil was great, loving the man more and more. I know that Shah Rukh Khan hosts the show in India but glad to see Anil play the host in the film. Nothing against SRK at all.

Irrfan, gosh this man is so underrated. Great to see him in this film. I hope others who are not familar with him will realize this guy is talented. Hey, they can even watch him in The Namesake.

Can not help it but I have to mention the child stars again. In the film, you were able to see different stages of Salim, Jamal, and Latika. Each one of those child stars acted better than the grown-up versions. My favorites were the youngest stars who portyrayed Salim, Jamal, and Latika. I want to give them extra props. The following can be found on Wiki:

Ayush Mahesh Khedekar as Youngest Jamal
Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail as Youngest Salim
Rubiana Ali as Youngest Latika
Tanay Chheda as Middle Jamal
Thanks to TheBollywoodFan for letting me know that Tanay was in Taare Zameen Par as one of Darsheel's friends
Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala as Middle Salim
Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar as Middle Latika

Cast of Slumdog Millionaire with the child actors! at the premier in Mumbai, India


The way the story unfolds is wonderful. I love how each one of the questions pertained to Jamal's life. The only concern I have about this is how each one of the questions started off choronologically to Jamal's life. It wasn't random at all.

Some critics are saying that why Westerners are interested in seeing only the poverty of foreign countries? I never thought of it like that. To me, I think it has a lot to do with growing up and living in America that I am interested. Maybe because I am a spoil, lucky Hmong girl who grew up in America and appreciate what my parents had to go through and made sure I didn't have to go through what they did.

In every movie, there is always a female involve. No matter how small her role is. Of course whenever you have a guy and a girl hang out, feelings start to develop but is three a crowd? My friend and I were talking about this. We came to a conclusion the reason why the older brother Salim kept pushing Latika out of his younger brother Jamal and his lives. Latika is a girl. She will slow the guys down. Plus Salim didn't realize how much Jamal truly loved Latika. Salim was sure that Jamal would get over Latika and move on but he was so wrong.

That's why Salim finally let Latika go to Jamal. He was willing to sacrifice himself. Growing up, Salim was always mischievious. He stole the autographed Amitabh Bachchan autograph from Jamal. Out of all the kids, Salim was picked for being in charge of the orphans. Even though he and Jamal both were okay living decent, Salim always wanted more. Therefore, he turned to living life in a gang. But you saw the soft side of him when Salim caught Jamal waking up early praying and asking for forgiveness for the sins he will commit.

Also, I think that without Salim being the way he was, Jamal would not have survived. Jamal is too naive while Salim was the tough one.

A Must-Watch!! Watch it! Definitely will buy on dvd when it releases.


Bollywood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dunkdaft said...

Agree there with tBF and Nicki.

When I saw promos on TV [grrr....still it hasn't released in India]
I just jumped from my couch, and said 'hey, that's Tanay'. He did sup. job in TZP. So expecting a treat overhere too.

I just loved child artists, the way they danced in 'Ringa Ringa'.

Friday is coming.....Yippee..

Nicki said...

thebollywoodfan - Yes, I liked it a lot. I know, I kept thinking about the child stars and wonder why they aren't mentioned more. Thanks for telling me about Tanay! I hope you get to watch it soon.

Darshit - Yep, it's releasing in India this Friday. Can't wait for your review!

ajnabi said...

You're the first person who's said Dev and Freida aren't very good in their parts; I kept on wondering if people were so distracted by the subtitles that they forgot to watch the performances. LOL I'll get to watch it soon I hope!

Nicki said...

LOL Ajnabi - I'm actually *not* the only person who has said that. A couple of people have mentioned it in Bollywhat as well. I'm very disappointed that the child stars aren't mentioned that much.

Anonymous said...

Yes the kids who acted as the main characters - Jamal, Salim and Latika at various stages are the real stars of this movie.

Danny Boyle himself thanked them for their performance when accepting his award for best director.

I really liked the child actors in this movie. You have done a good job in highlighting their performance

Nicki said...

Thanks so much anonymous for stopping by. That is sweet of Danny Boyle to thank the child stars but would be nice to see them in more photographs with him as well. I appreciate your kind words. Most reviews I've read have not given the child stars enough credit.

Bhargav Saikia said...

Hi Nicki, this movie is truly brilliant. There's so much optimism in the story from beginning to end.

You've done a good job with its description :)
I'll follow your blog posts from now on.

My Blog:

Nicki said...

Aaaww, thanks so much Bhargav Saikia. I really appreciate your comment. I'll check out your blog too.

dunkdaft said...

Finally, watched this last nite. Fabulous. I have put sum fav scenes with caps. Chk it out.
And u know what? Azhar and Rubina who plays youngest Salim and Latika; are *actually* from slums !!

Nicki said...

ThanksDarshit. Checking it out now. I did hear that Azhar and Rubina are from the slums. How ironic cause I enjoy their bits the most from the movie.

S.K.S. said...

Love this film! Saw it when it released in the cinema but haven't seen the DVD yet. Will do so. Child actors make the film FOR SURE. Freida is beautiful, but barely had anything to do acting wise; Dev Patel was average...he shouldn't have had a British accent while playing a Mumbai slum kid...

Oh and Tanay was also in Don 2006...he was Arjun Rampal's son. He's good!

Nicki said...

Thanks SubbyI enjoyed this movie so much regardless of how much I complained about what I did, hehehehe.

Yes, Freida is very overrated. Very gorgeous though. Even my brother who was wanting to see the movie so bad for Freida (cause he thinks she is hot) was saying, that's all she was in there for? Despite that, he loved the movie.

I never thought about the British accident for Dev, hahahaha! Good one. I just didn't like his acting too much and didn't understand him when he spoke sometimes. I had to put English subs, lol.

Thanks for the info on Tanaya. So freaking cute.