Monday, January 12, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

For those of you watching the Golden Globes last night, you were thoroughly introduced to this gem of a film (which took home several awards including Best Director and Best Film). NavyGuy and I were able to check it out while home for Christmas; we had a random Friday night open, and realized that seeing it at the Sundance Independent theater in Madison may be our only shot. Though, I suspect with all the word of mouth buzz it's getting, plus the awards, it's going to be coming to a theater somewhere near you soon!

Why go see it then? There are a wealth of great films out right now, and you might be tempted to go see something that feels, a bit more familiar. A bit easier to watch. With recognizable movie stars. And an easier name to remember.

You'd be crazy (CRAZY I SAY!) to miss this one. It's worth coughing up the $8.50 to see it in the theater, and here's why I became such an instant fan (and unpaid PR girl for Danny Boyle):

1. The premise is fun. Jamal, an 18 year old, manages to get onto the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and answers a lot of questions correctly - a lot. So many that the authories get suspicious. You see, Jamal is just a "slumdog," (the derogatory term for a poor child growing up in the slums in India), and no one believes that he could possibly know the answers with his lack of formal education. Through a series of flashbacks, Jamal shows how random experiences in his life allowed him to know the answers.

2. The main character, Jamal, is played by a great young actor Dev Patel. He's a British actor who's only other work is a teen television drama called Skins. The movie's director got wind of him through his daughter, who had seen Patel on tv and thought he'd fit the character of Jamal perfectly. Patel is a cutie pie, and he's fabulous to watch on screen.

3. Equally fabulous are the young actors and actresses who play the characters of Jamal, his older brother Salim, and fellow slum-child Latika, (the girl who steals Jamal's heart) as youngsters. The kids who play these young versions of the characters are both hysterial and heartbreaking.

4. The music in the film rocks. There's a mix of songs traditional to India, some modern pop, and a great instrumental song called "Latika's Theme," which shows up whenever there's a crucial moment between Jamal and Latika. Topping off the great music throughout the film is the traditional Bollywood "dance scene" at the end of the movie featuring the main characters and tons of extras dancing it up in a train station. You leave the theater itching to break into song or at least hip hop down the street to your car.

The movie is just plain great. Not being a formal movie critic, it's hard for me to explain exactly why it's so fabulous. I just know I love it - and I know that if you like romance, like music, like comedy, like drama, and like characters you can root for, you will like this movie. Get thee to the theater! (P.S. For those of you who are subtitle-phobic, have no fear - the majority of the film is in English.)

2 comments:

historygirlie January 12, 2009 at 7:39 PM  

Seriously, lady......you and Maverick see more movies in a week than I've probably seen, at the Theater (not theatre!) in the past 5 years.

I'm a bit jealous. :)

But, now.....START WATCHING JOHN ADAMS!!!!! :)

Seriously. Now.

keby January 12, 2009 at 8:05 PM  

I loved Slumdog Millionaire too. It made me feel so happy after watching it!

You'd love the theater in Oak Park, they usually do a great job of having more of the independent films available such as Slumdog Millionaire and Milk. Plus, it only costs $6.50!

I agree with historygirlie...you must start watching John Adams!

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