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Slumdog Millionaire

 

 
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Runtime: 120 min
 
Synopsis: A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers.
 
Release Date: January 23, 2009
 
Written By: Simon Beaufoy
 
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Posted February 25, 2009 by

 
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slumdogI guess a man needs to score 20 million rupees just to get the attention of a woman huh…

There is a huge underlying theme in Slumdog Millionaire… yes when you look up the plot you will probably want to ignore it but it is a film that needs to be seen to be appreciated. The underlying theme is the same as the one heralded by City of God which is the theme of overpopulation and poverty. Beyond the poverty we are treated to a cruelty dealt to children beyond anything you would want to imagine.

I started watching this movie, wondering what all the hype was about as the main protagonist undergoes a series of flashbacks into his childhood. The flashbacks start off funny and innocent enough before spiralling into some truly nasty themes. We see people getting burned and killed in the streets over religious agendas (what’s new right?) and we see droves of children tortured and maimed in order to earn adults money. Beyond all of this what truly made me disgusted was the line between the haves and the have nots… it’s a pretty thick line and the people with money are cast in the ugliest light possible.

Being that this is just a movie, I know it is showing us India through a microscope but if the number of homeless, poor children is close to what was being depicted it amazes me beyond belief. As stated before though this is a problem, the biggest issue is the fractured mindset of people who separate themselves via caste, money, race, religion (the list can keep going) and will pass over helping anyone outside of their social arena. This film brings this across in a simple story, showing us a plot line of a boy who gets on the Indian Who wants to be a Millionaire but shows us an ugly place through his minds eye of a childhood you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

The movie itself is about Jamal Malik, a young man who makes it out of the slums to become a contestant on Who wants to be a Millionaire. As lame as that sounds, it comes with a bit of Jamal’s history, a love interest, gangsters, thieves, prostitutes and corrupt cops. All the elements of the most popular movies of our time, so it works. Beneath the grit and grime of Slumdog Millionaire lies a love story of the purest kind, one that I have not seen in awhile but I will leave it up to you to watch and see.

Great visuals, great soundtrack and a rags-to-riches story with a bit of gangster thrown in, Slumdog Millionaire is a movie for everyone.


Greg Dragon

 
Cinephile and opinion writer, Greg Dragon has been a fan of movies since the 80's when Kung Fu theater was all the rage and Roger Moore was James Bond. Greg is the founder and lead critic of Spicy Movie Dogs. You can follow him on Twitter @Rafacus or on his Google+ account.