Having won 8 Academy Awards, including the main one (Best Picture), one has to wonder if this movie is worth all the hype and accolades it received. Well, my answer is an unequivocal "YES"! I certainly enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, and I found myself swept up in the exciting and original storyline.
Basically, Jamal Malik has just won 10 000 Rupees on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. But because he grew up in the slums of Mumbai, his knowledge is questioned and he gets accused of cheating. The police inspector, who's trying to get to the bottom of things, want answers from Jamal. Like how exactly did he know all those answers. And the manner in which Jamal tells his story to explain each answer is one of the greatest movie adventures in years.
Each answer has a story, and as the movie progresses, each story inexorably links Jamal to the girl he has fallen in love with over time. Credit to the director (Danny Boyle), who masterfully weaves a tender love story into a gripping tale of mystery, while including a surprising amount of suspense.
The performances from the young newcomers are incredible and I've developed a genuine crush on Freida Pinto, she definitely has a big future ahead of her. My only real criticism of the film would be of it's subtitles, which are somewhat small. Please note though that the whole movie is in English dialogue, but there are certain scenes where the characters speak in Hindi dialect requiring subtitles. But this shouldn't distract from what turned out to be a very good movie with a fantastic ending. (4 out of 5, by Carlisle Johnson)
Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”
But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost.
Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show’s questions. Intrigued by Jamal’s story, the jaded Police Inspector begins to wonder what a young man with no apparent desire for riches is really doing on this game show?
When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers are about to find out…
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Review This Product
Fri, 11 Sep 2009 | Review by: Micky B
Without in any way trying to repeat all that has already been written and said about this great picture: for <i>my/i> money, it's most deserving Oscar is for the <i>editing!</i> There are times when the story jumps from the past to the present (and vice-versa); also from fantasy back to reality...and the continuity linkage in every instance is handled in a most competent and totally non-confusing manner.
The flawlessly neat way these linkage sequences have been created is worth the price of the movie alone! Why, the very <i>essence</i> of contemporary India is so vitally captured; to the extent that one feels one can almost <i>smell</i> the country much of the way through! Then again, the multi-award-winning musical score has a lot to do with this too.
While I must agree with Carlisle in that one wonders whether the whole movie is worth ALL the hype and accolades it received: I must concur that it is a superior and enjoyable cinematic experience indeed, and one that will remain as a milestone of its particular genre - even when surpassed by other productions in times to come.
And director Danny Boyle leaves the audience in no doubt that he is in full control at all times!
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