Friday, November 19, 2010

'Slumdog Millionaire' is a great movie, even if a lot of it's in Hindi

I scratched another Academy Award Winner for Best Picture off of my list of movies to watch a couple of days ago and this time around, it was the 2008 winner, “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Released in August 2008, this movie was directed by Danny Boyle and was based on the 2005 novel, “Q & A” by Vikas Swarup.

Set and filmed in India, this movie stars Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Anil Kapoor, Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, Tanay Chheda, Irfan Khan, Rubina Ali, Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar, Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail and Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala.

If you haven’t seen this awesome movie, it’s about a young man named Jamal Malik, who grows up in the slums of Mumbai, but eventually gets the chance to rise out of poverty when he appears on his country’s version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Malik does so well on the show that the show’s producers – as well as the police – think that he’s cheating.

Much of the movie involves Malik’s relationship with his brother, Salim, and Malik’s childhood sweetheart, Latika. Through a series of flashbacks, you see how the three grew up in the slums together and how their lives went different directions for various reasons.

This movie contains some very strong and unforgettable scenes of every day life in the Juhu slums of Mumbai. Its residents, especially children, are portrayed as having to survive while surrounded by dangerous neighbors, filth and extreme poverty. It’ll definitely make you thankful for what you have and maybe make you feel a little guilty for taking what you have for granted. (If it doesn’t, it should.)

Due to its setting in India, about 20 percent of the movie’s dialogue is in Hindi with English subtitles.

“Slumdog Millionaire” was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won eight, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing. It also won Best Film honors at that year’s British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) and Best Picture (Drama) honors at the Golden Globes.

This movie was not only a critical success, but it was also a huge financial success. The move was shot on a $15 million budget and went on to post revenues of $337.9 million.

I had never seen this movie prior to a few days ago, and I have to admit that I really enjoyed it. It was part crime drama, part love story, part thriller with a dash of comedy thrown in for good measure. While watching it, I couldn’t help but be reminded by a number of other movies, most notably “Schindler’s List,” “Kids” and “David Copperfield.”

In the end, I really enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to anyone out there who has never watched it. How many of you have seen this movie? What did you like about it? What did you dislike? Let us known in the comments section below.

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