Feb 3, 2009 - film/tv reviews    3 Comments

Slumdog Millionaire Review

I watched this last night. I’ve been dying to see it since I first heard about it months ago!! There’s so much buzz around it and the premise just seemed so unique and interesting.

It’s a great film, very powerful. It brings home a lot of issues specific to india and the third world like poverty, orphans, slums, prostitution rings, child labour, gangsters, human trafficking, child begging rings, stealing, ripping off tourists, torture. Brought out all these ugly things that should really make this a depressing movie, but somehow the story is actually uplifting. All the actors were excellent as well. Especially the one’s who played the kids.  It’s not exactly a comfortable movie but it is one that will open your point of view and stay with you for a long time.

Some of the things I didn’t like: There’s a lot of bad language that I think they could have toned down. (Understanding the bad language in both English or Hindi probably made it worse for me. Kind of like double expletives.) There were some torture/violence/brutality/vulgar type scenes but I’ve seen much worse and the point is to show how horrible it is over there. Overall it’s still worth seeing if you’re into these types of films. It’s definitely not for everyone. I think people who would like it are those independent film buffs who watch a lot of crazy stuff. It showed quite a lot of India’s ugly underbelly of the abject millions of poor and reminded me a lot of films like Salaam! Bombay and Shadows of Time.

MAJOR SPOILERS:

One thing that I really disliked was that they showed his brother, who is a bad/shady character that works for a gangster praying on a janemaz in a kufi at some random point (probably before going off to kill someone) and then he raises his hands and makes dua like ‘oh God forgive me for my sins’ and in another place he’s like ‘God is great!’ uhhhhhhhhhhhh guess we cant have any type of indian movie without the muslim sterotyping.

I didn’t understand his whole thoughts on his mother’s death? He blamed both “Allah and Ram”? I didn’t really understand the brother’s character until I read some more things about it. I felt the ending was really open ended. Like what happens now?? Would the gangster find them? What would he do with the money? Maybe it just doesn’t matter? And the whole bollywood song at the end…cute but is it in character or out of character…seemed weird. I like how they did it in Bend it Like Beckham, kind of as a joke and funny bloopers thing.

Anyway over all excellent, I’m still thinking about it now and will probably watch it again for the nuances!!

3 Comments

  • Haha I’m SO with you on the understanding bad words in two languages thing! I watched it with a friend (not desi) and they’d repeat it and I’d be like DON’T SAY IT, IT’S SO BAD! :-X

    & I thought the gangster died at the end? When the older brother was in the tub and the gangster and his body guards broke into the bathroom.. didn’t the older brother shoot him and then get shot himself? Maybe I made it up in my head?

  • I liked your review….now I see that Slumdog millionaire won like every Oscar it was nominated for. I think it wasn’t as great as such a hype was over it….it’s your rags to riches story–indian style! I liked how they used real kids who lived in the slums for the movie though. By the way when he blames Allah and Ram for his mother’s death was because his mother was killed by an anti-Muslim mob. He is bitter because simply religion was the reason for his mother’s death and I think because of that. As for the gangster brother praying and stuff, I don’t think that enforced stereotypes actually in my opinion it shows that the guy wants to right his wrongs (praying etc) but knows he’s not in the position to easily do that.

  • anam i watched that scene again like three times in slo-mo on the internet and it’s like 3 of his goons that go into the bathroom and kill him but the gangster isn’t there???

    suman true when something gets all hyped up it’s hard to live up to expectations but i still think it’s an awesome film. yes he blamed religion for that but that’s why i didn’t like that comment… is ‘religion’ to blame or wack ppl? about the praying scenes yes i definitely think they were there to show how he was conflicted and asking for forgiveness for his lifestyle. it highlighted how he is a ‘grey’ character forced into doing things against his will to survive but always trying to do the right thing in the end. i just hope ppl get that and not make the stereotypical link!!!