General ramblings

Slumdog Millionaire

Absolutely loved this movie! The first part of Slumdog Millionaire was extremely good and actually has a very Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay kind of touch to it.At one point, I felt that by the end of the movie, I’ll probably walk out with a heavy heart. The second half of the movie is a little less intense…if you know what I mean. Overall, it’s a good watch for sure. Dev Patel plays the main protagonist and has done an amazing job.

Not sure if the movie will win an Oscar nomination or a win. But you never know! People are saying that it might win an Oscar. A.R. Rahman, the music composer has won a Golden Globe nomination. I love the OST of the movie, O Saya. In fact, I’ve listened to it more than 20 times in one evening. 😐 Yeah, I’m a bit of an extreme case. You can listen to the song on my tumblelog.

I watched this movie in an independent theater here and was pleasantly surprised to find the theater PACKED! There is this one scene in the movie where the main actor, as a child, falls into a pile of shit, and runs all the way to Amitabh Bachchan to get his autograph! The entire theater was roaring with laughter. I was no exception. The scene was very well crafted. Kind of silly, but it did the trick!

Anil Kapoor as the game show host is quite bearable. Nothing spectular, but good enough. Irrfan Khan was definitely a surprise element for me. I’m a huge fan of his and loved him in movies such as Maqbool and The Namesake.

Danny Boyle has made a phenomenal breakthrough by directing this movie Bollywood style. You won’t even know that the director is not Indian! I liked the fact that he showed the slums of Mumbai with an uplifting tone. Whenever Indian slums are shown in International movies, I always get the feeling that the movie makers are trying to cash in to India’s poverty. However, this movie is quite an exception.

I would like to think that this is the story of a boy who wins “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” because he’s lucky and because he knows how to differentiate between right and wrong. His circumstances are not stellar, but he knows how to get by his day to day life. And of course, were it not for the love of his life, he wouldn’t have done anything. 🙂 The movie has a very strong undercurrent of love and loyalty. If I write more, I’ll give away parts of the plot. But you’ll know what I’m talking about once you watch the movie for yourself.

Within the first five minutes of the movie, Hindi slangs such as “Chutia” and “Madarchod” will make you feel completely at home. While Indians like me laughed out loud, Americans clearly missed the joke. Weird that not all Hindi dialogues (especially the slangs) had English translations…which brings me to this- I wish the director had let the dialogues remain in Hindi for most part. The 20-80 Hindi: English ratio didn’t go down very well with me and I’ll tell you why. First off, even I had trouble understanding the English accent used in some parts. Not sure if British/Americans etc. will understand. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t! Dubbing all the dialogues in Hindi (with English subtitles) would have given the movie an authentic feel. I didn’t like the way some of the dialogues were delivered. Dev Patel, however, was excellent with his Indian English pronunciation.

The movie has been released in the US with limited prints- it seems like the Producers were having trouble finding enough distributors.

It is a feel good movie towards the end. Not sure if this was a conscious decision made…but it seems to work this time.

Rating: 7.75/10

Trailer:

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34 thoughts on “Slumdog Millionaire

  1. Thanks for the great review…dying to watch it now…
    7.75?
    🙂
    you seems to be having a great mechanism for rating the movies…!

    Anyway, i think i know what you meant by the abnormality in the dialogues…

    And of course the ost is addictive.

    • Arjun-I didn’t want to quite rate is 8+ because of the usage of English language. It’s a great movie nonetheless. And O Saya is frickin’ addictive. Dev Patel is hawt too 🙂

      carrot- Of course, The Dark Knight is my obvious choice too. Kind of weird that it received only one nomination for The Golden Globe. I think it is a great movie. I’ll buy the DVD for my personal collection. Already watched it twice in the theater. Oh, btw, don’t miss Slumdog 🙂

  2. Slumdog Millionaire has been stirring up a lot of buzz… too bad these kind of films take months to show up in our theatres. Seems like it is an Oscar contender for best film (I prefer The Dark Knight though).
    Just too bad the dialogues are in English rather than in Hindi… 🙂

  3. Thanks for this review Ruhi, I am dying to see this movie after reading so much about it! Dunno why it hasn’t been released here. 😦 Irrfan is someone I like too and I love Rahman’s music!

  4. Ruhi

    The film is based on one of the few fiction books I have read. It is called ‘Q&A’ and was written by a civil servant. I bought it as ‘airport fiction’ for an hour long flight some years ago. I missed the preview shows to which I had tickets 😦 so have to wait till January to see it in the cinema and see how true it is to the book.

    Danny Boyle specialises in ‘gritty’ without the pity. His star product was Trainspotting – before this came along, of course. Dev Patel’s last venture was a teenage drama called Skins. For many reasons, Skins is a first even by Channel 4’s standards of commitment to the indie sector. I have watched some of it in repeats and while he is natural as a British-Asian teenager, this film does stretch him, I imagine, out of his comfort zone.

    This film is definitely on my must-watch list but tick follow tock follow tick, I have to wait till Jan. Lucky you 🙂

  5. Arvind- 🙂

    Shefaly- I haven’t read the book. Trainspotting is supposed to be Danny’s greatest movie, but I even enjoyed the lesser known The Beach, starring Leo DiCaprio. Have you seen it? I haven’t seen Dev Patel in Skins. So I can’t benchmark him against his previous performances, but I think he did quite well in this one.

  6. Ruhi

    Yes I did watch The Beach. Mainly for the lead male I think :-/ Trainspotting I found hard to finish watching (but did finish) but its viscerally disturbing element is hard to deny. Once I had lived in and travelled around Scotland, I came to appreciate the film’s grittiness much more.

    Some of Skins may be on YouTube. Wait, I checked, they have their own channel on YouTube. It is very au courant in terms of British teenagers and quite hard-hitting. Great creative experiment too as part of the stuff shot was developed through audience texts and feedback etc. Clever stuff.

    Between films I have to watch and books I must read, I best stop sleeping or eating/ cooking 😉

  7. Nice review, looking frwd for the movie to show up in india…Rahman has done a good job..but i didn’t like his work in Ghajini though…and yes, the new blog avtaar is cool…very girly, i must say,…

  8. Shefaly- I can’t give up on sleep either. I think I’ll stop working 8-5. 😛 I need to retire by 50 for sure. Even at 50, I’ll be too old 😦

    Nikhil- You talking about yourself? 😛

    Kiran- Thanks 🙂

    Prerna- Thanks. Supposed to release some time in January! I’m sure you’ll like it 🙂

    Raman- I have heard a couple of songs of Ghajini. The only song I like is “Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gaye”. I have seen the video, but didn’t like it much. The music of this song’s okay- nothing like what he used to produce before. Was listening to Roja and Thevar Magan in Tamil a couple of days back. Has his style changed? Have we as listeners changed? I’m not sure.

    The new theme can be found at http://ntuat.wordpress.com. Just copy and paste, if you have Custom CSS. 🙂

  9. Actually, I don’t think ARR ever had a style of his own – he could do folk (from movies like Bombay, Uzhavan, Karuttamma etc.), melody (Mudalvan, Iruvar), fun (Jeans, Gentleman, Uyire), romance (Roja, Indira), action (Jodha Akbar), rap (especially with that singer called Blaaze)…and we can just go on…

    Basically, he needs to understand the story, look at what the director wants and create a tune. And except for Bombay & may be Dil Se, I don’t liked his music for the dubbed movies too because the lyric – tune fit is just not right.

    But definitely, in the recent past, his charm has vanished. I remember having stood in queue (much like what ppl are doing for harry potter books or apple products) on the release day to get a CD…that kind of enthu is missing now..

    Meanwhile, I recommend Ilayaraja – if you do understand tamil, you’ll get to see some exemplery examples of lyric – tune – music – orchestra – vocal match.

  10. Raman- Actually, I think he has a very distinctive style. Doesn’t matter what genre of music he is composing. Within 10 seconds of listening to any song, I can guess whether it’s been composed by Rahman. He likes to use a lot of folk beats always. I’ve seen Sivamani and Blaaze live in concert actually, when I was in Pune. Was an amazing experience. Rahman was here in Chicago, but I didn’t go. Was too lazy. If he had visited 5 yrs ago, then I would have probably gone.

    No, I don’t understand Tamil. Still, I listen to all his songs- language no bar. I think you might like this Mexican band called Rodrigo y Gabriela. Not sure if you’ve heard them before. Brother and sister pair that composes most of their music using Spanish guitar…that’s all. And the way they invent their beats by patting against the body of the guitar is extremely innovative.

    Heard a lot about Illayaraja. I’m sure I’ve heard a lot of his songs, but I don’t remember the exact names because of language problems. Do you recommend anything in particular?

  11. Yes, ARR can be recognised amongst others – but I think that’s bcos he has been compartmentalised that way. May be if you listen to Harris Jeyaraj, you’ll find him similar to ARR.

    Ilayaraja, hmmm…i can’t suggest any one – I like a lot of songs. May be you’d like to know that a song composed by him in the movie Dalapathi (http://www.musicindiaonline.com/p/x/1JQgyh4BcS.As1NMvHdW/) was chosen the song of the century by BBC (http://www.thehinduretailplus.com/thehindu/mp/2002/12/03/stories/2002120300160200.htm) from over 800 songs.

    You can also listen to http://www.musicindiaonline.com/p/x/K4xgJS1nOS.As1NMvHdW/, http://www.musicindiaonline.com/p/x/xJygvK1.2S.As1NMvHdW/, http://www.musicindiaonline.com/p/x/G4mgfZ13B9.As1NMvHdW/, http://www.musicindiaonline.com/p/x/GJvgU7n8Fd.As1NMvHdW/ & http://www.musicindiaonline.com/p/x/r43gp84ckS.As1NMvHdW/.

    These are songs I have practically grown up with so I will be a bit biased. So do let me know what you think of these. 1 major feature of Ilayaraja’s work is his emphasis on the quality of lyrics which you may miss due to the language barrier.

    Haven’t listened to Rodrigo y Gabriela – will find out more on them.

  12. Raman- Sorry, your comment got marked as spam because of the hyperlinks. 🙂
    I’ve heard that song from Dalpathi actually. The Hindi version was quite famous too. Same goes for Kanne Kalaimaane. Don’t know what the Tamil version is called, but there is another song from this movie called “Aee Zindagi Gale Laga Le”. One of the few old Indian movies that I’ve watched. Must say that these songs sound much sweeter in Tamil. The original sweetness somehow gets lost due to translation in other languages.
    Liked all the songs, by the way. I wish I could understand the language though. Maybe I’ll find tamil to English translation somewhere 🙂

    You can watch this song on youtube- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0CsLefLisE By Rodrigo Y Gabriela. Metallica’s “Orion”. One of their best, I would say.

  13. Hi there!

    Just stumbled upon your blog through your Twitter profile!

    You’ve got a nice blog, mam 🙂

    I’m also eager to watch this movie which I believe is releasing in Jan 2009 in India.

    Added your blog to my GReader and now me would be a regular reader of your content 🙂

    Take care!

  14. Loved the music!! listening to their other numbers on youtube…thanks for the link…i felt the drumming tempo slowed down in between leading to a slight disharmony…nevertheless, it’s just not an easy thing to do and they have done it phenomenally well…i like the sound of spanish guitar…desperado & once upon a time in mexico OSTs were my long time favs..check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4-mcaA_dJk

  15. Pingback: Film Review: Slumdog Millionaire « La Vie Quotidienne

  16. Pingback: Slumdog Millionaire (2008) « Stuff

  17. Pingback: Film Review: Slumdog Millionaire | La Vie Quotidienne

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