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Based on Vikas Swarup‘s Q&A, Slumdog Millionaire is a masterpiece created by director Danny Boyle with lesser known actors in lead roles. The movie, set around Mumbai slums, revolves around a ‘slumdog’ who wins the top prize by answering all the questions right in the game show Who wants to be a millionaire?

Slumdog Millionaire - Dev Patel and Freida Pinto

Slumdog Millionaire - Dev Patel and Freida Pinto

Jamal Malik, played by Dev Patel, who works as a chaiwala in a call center answers all the questions right and the suspicious host, Anil Kapoor, who also runs the show, asks for a probe. Mumbai cops, lay their hands on him and the story evovles as Jamal explains how he knew the answers to the questions asked. The story, though not extraordinary with drama, fantasy and love, has been well handled to keep you interested.

The mesmerizing city of Mumbai has be beautifully captured even though it mostly showcases slums. The story could have given rise to a perfect masala bollywood movie, but Boyle has made it an interesting flick. The screenplay gives a subtle touch of documentary style of film making, nicely portrayed in a commercial movie story.

Characters are developed wonderfully. Kid Jamal, played by Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, and middle Jamal, played by Tanay Chheda have got meaning ful screen presence. Jamal’s brother, Salim, also portrayed as a trio, makes an impressive character. Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, playing the youngest Salim needs a special mention. Jamal’s love interest, Lathika, is played by Frieda Pinto, Tanvi Ganesh and Rubiana Ali. The adoloscent Lathika, played by Tanvi Ganesh, known as Cherry in Pila street leaves a lasting impression. All the actors have done justice to their role.

Finally, background score and music. AR Rahman has given the soul to the movie, especially in the sequence where slum kids playing cricket in a private place are chased away by cops. Rahman’s composition is mesmerizing, although you can readily identify it to sound Rahmanic at times.

Definitely worth a watch, and a lesson to bollywood filmmakers as how to make a movie out of a masala story in a different way. I go with 4/5 stars for the movie and wish it wins an academy award.


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