Film Review: Slumdog, a hit!

By on January 12, 2009

So I booked to see Slumdog thanks to the glowing recommendation by Dr Mark Kermode, BBC Radio Five Live on a Friday afternoon with Simon Mayo. For cinema buffs the finest feast of film reviews known to man or woman…that is if you can cope with his rapid fire delivery and interruptive style. What is he on? I had to agree with the good doctor that the marketing has been a little misleading. This was no Bollywood/ MamaMia but a gritty and gorgeous tale from the energetic genius of Danny Boyle and bits borrowed from Vikas Swarup’s novel Q&A.  

Set in Mumbai and, with recent shocking events still fresh in mind, the opening sequences are instantly over-whelming.  Such panoramic poverty and a claustrophobic existence for those poor souls holed up in the slums. The stench was there, the heat, the fear and the drama and excitement…link this with the brash and flash of the Who wants to be a Millionaire studio with India’s Chris Tarrant, Prem Kumar ( Anil Kapoor, superbly unpleasant)  The star is Jamal Malik (Dev Patel from Skins) and he is on the TV Quiz Show. From the slums but now a humble tea-boy working in a call centre yet somehow he knows all the answers and begins to win round after round.. 

How does he do it ?  The eyes have it – what a performance from such a young actor.  Award winning without a doubt.

Flashbacks reveal young Jamal as a child racing through the degredation of the slums, in order to survive with two friends (the three musketeers) they become as smart and slick as the slimy males who prey on these wide-eyed innocents.  The pace is fast and furious, a rollercoaster of adventures, emotions and horrific scen  His love for Latika (Freida Pinto, beautiful, calm and gentle) threads through the story and brings hope and a chance to win millions of rupees…or does it. 

There are extraordinanry shots of modern day Mumbai, a contrasting kaleidescope of colour, wealth, inhumane conditions, filth and noise. The speed of life in 2009.is breathtaking. Slumdog Millionaire is brutal, bollywood and brilliant.  I left the cinema energised and hopeful.  

Surely an Oscar nomination at least.


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Official Slumdog Millionare Site
Golden globes

About Val Dawson

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