Slumdog Millionaire. Don't just take my word for it. Take Amreen's. Or Ali's. Or pretty much anyone out there who has seen the film. I have yet to meet a person who has seen this film who doesn't just love it. So my hubby & I figured we couldn't miss this one & used Grandma being in town (yay Grandma!!) as an excuse to get out of the house. Totally worth it!
Slumdog tells the story of 2 brothers growing up in the Dharavi slums of Mumbai & how their paths diverge & then converge at critical points in their lives. Early on in their lives the brothers, Salim & Jamal, befriend another young orphan, Latika, & forever change her life. Salim seems to be guided through life on his quest for money & power, while Jamal is guided by what he sees as his destiny. (I don't want to give any more of the plot away…just go see it!! Wait, finish reading, then see it!)
What sets the story apart is that it is told through a series of flashbacks which help explain why Jamal, a (seemingly) uneducated "slumdog", would know the answers on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Honestly, I thought this was pure genius. It sets up many "a-ha" moments for the audience, one in particular, near the end of the film, that lead to a collective gasp/sigh by the theatre-goers. Much credit has to be given to screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, who managed to weave all of the different story-arcs of the novel Q & A, into the millionaire subplot. If he doesn't win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, he is downright robbed.
What struck me from the get-go was how beautiful, yet tragic this world was that our main characters lived in. And how fully realized that world was. Irish-director Danny Boyle, famous for films such as Trainspotting & 28 Days Later, is a shoe-in for a best director Oscar. From the naive eyes of someone who has never been to India, I was shocked that a director who was not a native could bring that world so to life for me.
I would be hard pressed to argue against Slumdog in any of the 10 categories that it is nominated for at this years Academy Awards. I will definitely be eager to see the results. But as I said, don't take my word for it, go & see it for yourself. It is worth the $10. Heck it is even worth the popcorn & candy.
As an interesting side-note, two of the three young actors (youngest Salim & youngest Latika) are actually from the slums of Bandra, a suburb of Mumbai. Danny Boyle & (producer) Christian Colson have set up both education & trust funds for both children, such that "they will hopefully gain benefit from the film long after the film has disappeared and long after the media who are chasing them at the moment sadly have lost interest in the film." Boyle went on to say "that's been our approach throughout and I think it's the right approach."