Saturday, January 03, 2009

Watch Slumdog Millionaire

Included in TIME's Top 10 Movies of 2008.

One young man, Jamal (Dev Patel), has miraculously, or suspiciously, spanned those two worlds. A tea server, or chai wallah, for a telephone marketing company, he has won a fortune on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The show's host (Anil Kapoor) is so skeptical of Jamal's ability to answer the questions that he has policemen try to torture the truth out of the lad. His explanations all relate to his hard life as a homeless orphan in the company of his brother Salim (Madhur Mittal) and, not often enough, with the winsome, consistently abused Latika (Freida Pinto). Salim is a type-A troublemaker, a fighter and conniver, restless and reckless, and thus the ideal complement to Jamal's caution, sensitivity and resilience. These flashbacks constitute the body of a sharp, teeming, dark, very romantic film. -

This Indian movie deserved my Wow! I actually enjoyed that one! moment. The movie was charming, easy to follow and very much relatable (and it wasn't TH - trying hard, if I may add). It showed the conditions of the poor in India, organized crime, and crooks that ruled the streets. Yet, never dwelling too much to outshine the movie's plot. For instance, there was this scene of the women washing clothes on a murky brown water river. Also, the public toilets where the poop fall directly into the swamp. You watch scenes like that and you know they are serious societal conditions, but before you can even dwell on that thought, the movie takes you to more important development on the lives of the character that eventually lead you to put that thought on hold so you can concentrate on the story.

Watch the trailer here and go and watch the movie! go, go, go!

Digression: I've been entranced by Indian films since my melancholy nights in Dubai circa 1999. It kept me company during those times when I missed home, well, cable TV to be exact. Reminded me of summer afternoons and those films I watched on PPP (Piling-Piling Pelikula) . Those 70s and early 80s films featuring the likes of Rogelio dela Rosa, Charito Solis, Nida Blanca and Gloria Romero. The Indian movies that I saw, though, centered more on the bare-chested men than their damsels in distress. There were a lot of dancing too which required a lot of hip work and the songs, so LSS-ish!

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