Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar Watch: Slumdog Millionaire

Movie Title: Slumdog Millionaire
Starring: Dev Patel, Frieda Pinto, Irfan Khan and Anil Kapoor
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Genre: Drama
My Rating: 8.5/10

There are entertaining movies, feel-good movies and touching movies. The touching movies usually win awards. One hour to go before the Oscars, I thought I'd finally blog about this super-hyped movie I watched last night. If you noticed, I said super-hyped and not over-hyped. Slumdog Millionaire does deserve all the praise and acclaim it's getting. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but have a mild feeling of ambivalence nonetheless.

Set in Mumbai (Bombay), India, the story is about how a rag picker from the slums (poorest part of town) wins 20 million on an Indian version of the TV show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" 18-year old Dev Patel played the protagonist, innocent and battered throughout his life, works as a tea-boy (chai-waalah) at a call center for a UK telecom firm. The host of the show (Kapoor) and the police strongly believe him boy is a cheat, and the latter interrogate him all night long, but to no avail.

I won't go any further into the story, but would recommend this movie for anyone who appreciates a well-made and thought-provoking movie. It has many sad moments, a few happy ones, a couple of laughs, and a few tears as well. The acting was plausible. This is definitely not a Bollywood film, but had Bollywood touches. Shot in Bombay, casted some Bollywood stars (Kapoor, Khan etc.) and the music as the icing. A.R. Rahman's score and soundtrack collaboration with Sri Lankan singer M.I.A. was one of the best things about the movie.

Good luck to Slumdog Millionaire at the Oscars tonight!