To say this movie is one of the biggest sleeper hits of all time would be arguably the biggest understatement I’ve ever made on this blog. Released in 2008/2009 Slumdog Millionaire, based loosely on the novel Q&A by Vikas Swarup, cleaned up at the 2009 Academy Awards winning eight out of the 10 awards it was nominated for, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song, Best Director for Danny Boyle and the biggest one of all Best Picture. If you have not seen this amazing movie here is the spoiler alert. I DO NOT OWN THE PICTURE.
The film opens with Jamal Malik (Dev Patel with Ayush Mahesh Khedekar as the child and Tanay Chheda as the teenager) on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and is one question away from winning 20 million (about 310,000 in U.S money but still nothing to sneeze at.) However the police detain and torture Jamal believing he is cheating because he is just a Slumdog and he wouldn’t know the answers. Through a series of flashbacks we learn, along with the police, just how Jamal knows the answers and who matters in his life.
As a child Jamal, along with his brother Salim (Madhur Mittal with Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail as the child and Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala) flee their village during the Bombay riots after their mother is caught in the blast. Jamal convinces Salim to take another child from the slum; Latika (Frieda Pinto with Rubina Ali as the child and Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar as a teen) saying she could be their third Musketeer. The three of them stick together for a long time until they meet Maman (Ankur Vikal) a gangster who uses children for his profit. Salim deliberately leaves Latika behind when he and Jamal escape, much to Jamal’s horror. Jamal spends the next few years trying to find Latika, having fallen in love with her, but many obstacles including Salim stand in his way. About as far as I can go without giving away the rest of the film.
I actually watched the Oscars that year and even though I had not watched the movie yet I was pretty happy when Slumdog won basically all of their awards. I had wanted to see the movie as soon as possible. It took a few years, but I did watch it last year and absolutely loved it. Dev Patel was incredible as Jamal, his character had me hooked every time he was on screen, and I will say he is pretty handsome. Frieda Pinto is also amazing as Latika, she is so sweet, beautiful and strong; I could definitely tell why Jamal fell for her. The other characters are just as amazing; I cannot say enough good things about this movie. My favorite scene is of course the ending with Jamal and Latika dancing to “Jai Ho” in true Bollywood fashion; I have never seen a Bollywood musical, or anything Bollywood for that matter, so this for me was just awesome. If you have not seen Slumdog Millionaire put this at the top of the list. Just a word to the wise put on the closed caption, there is a lot of whispering.