6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2011
I was almost put off by a lot of hype trying to connect this film to Bollywood in some way which wouldn't have really been my cup of tea. What Danny Boyle has achieved here, however, is a stunningly vivid and touching film all about ordinary people which should translate to just about every country and culture in the world. A well deserved barrel load of Oscars and nothing to do with Bollywood at all.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2009
Despite the all-singing, all-dancing trailers you've seen for this movie, the reality is somewhat different. It's the story of a boy who's grown up in slums in Calcutta who somehow ends up on the gameshow Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. We cut between scenes in the studio as the tension ramps up, and flashbacks from his often harrowing upbringing. There is a lot of disturbing material here, this is no fluffy rom-com, and it's probably all the better for it. It's a well conceived story and it's beautifully rendered here, full of humour and action - just don't be misled by some of the happy clappy pre-publicity.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2009
I think this is a brilliant film. It's original and unique in it's own way. It is entertaining and mildly humourous. Sure i think its a little over rated but i think its worth the watch and definately would recommend it to anyone.
People say this film is "slow" and "boring"? I have to disagree. Because all drama's are like this...you can't expect it to be "oh he is being tortured at the beginning and then it tells you why in 5 minutes and then he is found not guilty in another 5 minutes and then be freed to carry on with whatever". It wouldn't really be a film if you don't know why this happened or that happened would it? It tells you the story of when they were young kids living in the slums up until their teenage years so obviously its going to be long. Whether the film is boring or not it's really a matter of opinion. People thinks "feel good" means all lovey dovey stuff and a film that makes them feel good about themselves? Ok fine it has scenes of children being tortured and made to do bad things and also has scenes of violence. What films nowadays doesn't have elements of violence etc etc??? The feel good factor of this film is that in the end they find love and happiness. This isn't a fairy tale or a fantasy film...nor is it action packed for people who thought it boring if you expected it to be so.
I enjoyed the film from beginning to end. Hope anyone who watches it would enjoy it too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2009
A true masterpiece from Danny Boyle and some fine actors from India. Has such a great story wich is not a true one (but it should be!!!)
The 15 years rating is absolutly correct because there are some parts wich are very hard and not suitable for younger children.
One of the best movies of this time. A must see.
The Blue-ray has a good picture and great sound but if you would like to save some pounds the DVD would be goods as well.
It is the story what makes this a masterpiece. The quality of the images/sound are good but this is not what makes this film brilliant.
There are some extras on this Disc worth watching.
Overall 5 out of 5.
77 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2008
As a British born Indian, I wanted to see Boyle take on his version of a bollywood film with a good mix of his direction, all the charm that most of Indian films have. Result, a good directorial effort with an Indian version of City of God; far less brutal and replaces that sardonic hardship from City of God to the hopeful dreams of a young boy from the slums, very much a style common in Indian films today.
I've been to India before and seen what this film shows. It doesn't make it less dreary by sugar coating; that's not Boyle's style, he will show what is there and this film depicts India's culture, beauty, depression, poverty, lustre, greed, vengeance, corruption and all the moralities. You might be mistaken into thinking I'm being patriotic but the fact is Boyle has made a very good film, with keeping the actual Indian viewers of this film in mind. He has given it a love story like most Indian films while providing the action and tension that so many Indian-film lovers sitting on corner streets in Mumbai and Delhi will want to see.
I've lived in West London all my life and this is as close to showing India any European film has done in the last 20 years, that includes Bend it like Beckham and Ghandi.
West-Londoner-born, like myself, Dev Patel made his début on SKINS, and excellent UK drama series involving the life of College/Sixformer teens. A good choice since learning an language and accent is easier, but also a familiar face to those who watch Skins. The main focus is on him becoming more than he is, a subtle underdog story that doesn't boast of its pious superiority. He just wants to find the girl, Latika, he met when he was a boy, save her from poverty, prostitution and give her a life she deserves. Along with that, Dev's character known as Jamal Malik has a older brother Salim Malik who cares for money and the high-life, anyway he can get it. It's the Romulus and Remus tale with loads of morality. There are 3 actors per character of Jamal, Salim & Latika, each depicting the 3 main characters at different ages who are excellently cast, cute and innocent from the younger ages; to the older actors who play them as time and chance have made them into what they are now, with their knowledge of the world changing their day-to-day perceptions. Dev's character gets the chance to play on "Who wants to be a Millionaire" in India (Indian Version) with familiar host and legendary Indian actor Anil Kapoor. What could a slum-dog know of the world, more than most. He's graduating from the university of life.
Contrasting, political, brutal, and bitter-sweet. 8.5/10.
on 6 February 2015
Bizarrely-improbable plotting that expects us to believe that every question asked by a quiz-show host would exactly and directly relate to the life of a contestant, such that he would have no problem answering any of them - despite his lack of formal education. (Like sitting an exam and finding all the questions are just and only the ones revised for in the past year!) This fatuity is not compensated-for by appealing to an audience’s sense of emotional reality overriding what they know is logically implausible.
The plot is contrived for no emotional reason since issues of Third-World poverty are skated over rather than dissected. The puppy-love story never rises above the merely cute since the actors cannot convincingly-create a romance that transcends time and place as required by the screenplay.
And it is the thinness of the script’s characterization – not the acting – which creates poor empathy for these characters. The filmmakers were clearly hoping the kids’ adorableness would overcome this problem. However, one of the themes of the film is that the feelings of the characters for one another are more important than 20,000,000 Rupees. Yet, this requires characterization-in-depth, otherwise how are we to assess the relative importance of money to them if we do not really know their minds? (The Deleted Scenes reveal the esthetic compromises made to keep the film’s running-time down – yet the characterization would have been deeper had they been left in.)
The style is very much borrowed from Bollywood - to good effect – but They Shoot Horses Don’t They? this ain’t. Undemanding fun, but it is very hard to see what – specifically – garnered this condescending troll through the misery of others eight Academy Awards, unless it was precisely that very trolling - that and White Guilt.
The movie never really rises above the patronizing level of the American tourists giving poor street-kids a Benjamin Franklin (100-Dollar bill) to ease their offended consciences – despite having been robbed by those same, Oliver Twist-like, street-urchins. It is hard not to see this as just another Bob Geldof-style slumming in other people’s poverty – much like the director’s previous movie Millions. The road to hell is certainly paved with good intentions:
The poor here do indeed suffer mightily, but the confidence trick being played on the audience is that a quiz show, rather than hard work or talent, can somehow obliterate and make-up-for the hard-won and deeply-ingrained lessons of childhood poverty. This fatally undermines any realism; leading us into the kind of fantasyland that a less brutal film would evince.
Ultimately, the movie cannot decide between Destiny as a force in ones life or Choice; making this a mish-mash of themes that never cohere and a confusion of aims that never hits its target. It does not even come out cleanly in favor of choosing ones destiny since winning the quiz show (& two crore Rupees) can simply be a matter of luck, not a matter of Choice or of Destiny.
An oddly-materialistic and guilt-ridden film pretending to be otherwise.
on 27 March 2012
(THE FILM):A Penniless, eighteen year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, he's 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, suddenly, he is arrested on suspicion of cheating. After all, how could an uneducated street kid possibly know so much? Determined to get to the bottom of Jamal's story, the jaded Police Inspector spends the night probing Jamal's incredible past, from his riveting tales of the slums where he and his brother Salim survived by their wits to his hair-raising encounters with local gangs to his heartbreak over Latika, the unforgettable girl he loved and lost.Each chapter of Jamal's increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show's seemingly impossible quizzes. But one question remains a mystery: what is this young man with no apparent desire for riches really doing on the 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... The result is the sweeping, stylish, intoxicatingly human experience of Slum dog Millionaire, the new film from acclaimed director Danny Boyle (Train spotting, Shallow Grave, Millions). Part exhilarating love story, part eye-catching journey into the underbelly of the so-called "maximum city" of Mumbai, part stirring tale of an Every man's triumph against a harsh, cynical world, Slum dog Millionaire is a visceral, action-packed Dickensian epic for the 21st Century. At the heart of its exuberant storytelling lies the the intriguing question of how anyone comes to know the things they know about life and love.just one question left to ask What does it take to find a lost love? A. Money B. Luck C. Smarts D. Destiny.this film .just mix them all together wow Slumdog Millionaire can be sum up in one word ((( magnificent))).
I know it's been said a million times already and I hate to sound cliché, but it's a statement that rings true every time you say it. Who would have thought Danny Boyle, a man from Manchester could have created such an award winning phenomenon. Slumdog Millionaire is a film I tried to keep away from as long as possible as I didn't want to seem like a person who jumps on the bandwagon. I guess it was inevitable that I was to see it eventually and tonight was the night. It has remained in my memory for a few hours so far and that lump in my throat has yet to subside. From start to finish I was completely engrossed and I have decided that those saying negative things about this picture are ones trying a bit too hard to steer clear of that dreaded wagon.
So the story itself is based around 3 main characters, 4 if you count the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" host. Jamal the main character starts off in a police station as he is accused of cheating to win the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" big 20 Rupees prize. Determined to prove his innocence to the Police, he starts telling them the stories of situations in his life which taught him the answers to the questions which he has inadvertently remembered for all that time. What we get to see as the game show progresses are a number of different defining events in Jamals childhood that are in one way heart breaking and in another heart warming.
He and his brother Salim remained very close to one another from birth and stuck together after their mother was killed. One night after the murder of their mother, they were sleeping in a container as protection from the rain and they met a girl named Latika. Jamal took this companionship from one of his favourite books and labelled them the Three Musketeers, although they could never remember the name of the third after Athos and Porthos. Salim's relationship is never too favourable towards Latika until they get older and after being split up at the still very early age, they meet up many years later and events get worse and worse with Salim raping Latika.
There are other events that take place which I will not spoil for the sake of your enjoyment, so I will now comment on the other amazing parts of the film. The acting was superb throughout and brought some genuinely surprising choices and showed us what they were capable of. Of course the young and teenage versions of Salim, Jamal and Latika were superb but unfortunately attracted accusations of these Indian child actors being taken advantage of. Whether they were or not doesn't take anything away from their fantastic performances. The adult versions of the three characters are played by the fantastically surprising Dev Patel (Jamal), Freida Pinto (Latika) and Madhur Mittal (Salim). Each delivered an astonishing performance, especially from the wonderful Dev Patel known originally to myself as Anwar from Skins in the UK.
The film was set mostly on location which allowed for the true tragedy of the Mumbai slums to be captured in all their glory. There have been things I've read that accuse Danny Boyle's picture of being demonising of the life in the slums. I don't know how you can demonise actual conditions being shown as they are, if anything I believe this is more complementary of the life in the slums. Although you could imagine it to be a very poor and dirty area, the slums are shot in a way that looks very artistic and in some senses quite beautiful. The soundtrack complements this immensely and I think without such spectacular music behind it, I think I would have had a whole different perspective on the film.
To those steering clear of the film because of its massive award success, I have only one thing to say. You're idiots, the lot of you. This is a beautifully artistic masterpiece that should be enjoyed by all film fans alike. I could talk for hours about the psychological implications of the life suffered by the children in this picture, but I have chosen not too. It's a brilliant film that I know as long as you give it a chance, you will love it.
Slumdog Millionaire is a film that, along with the Booker Prize winning novel White Tiger, attempts to show both sides of India - the light and the dark. It's marketed as a 'feel-good' movie but it doesn't start out that way, as it includes a lot of quite extreme violence, the kind you certainly won't see in feel-good movies like Mamma Mia for example. So the headline in the posters and billboards is a little misleading. What it is is a film that, as with some others directed by Danny Boyle, manages to combine the gritty, earthy reality of life on the streets with an uplifting sense of vibrancy and - in this case - even joy. It's a film about people living in appalling squalour that manages to be exciting and entertaining. The screenplay by Simon Beaufoy, based on Vikas Swarup's novel, is in essence a fabulous tale (or as we tend to abbreviate it, a fable) that is brought to the screen with some excellent camera-work that makes the viewer feel is if they are really down there in the slums of Mumbai. It's made to feel all the more realistic by the inclusion of at least two children who were literally taken from those slums in order to have leading roles in this film. Two brothers grow and develop but while one of them sticks to the straight and narrow, the other crosses over to the bad side, and while they may be living in abject poverty they still have lofty aspirations for the future - one of the many skills director Boyle has is to demonstrate that anybody, no matter how poor, can be ambitious and positive and this is never portrayed in a patronising way.
Mumbai is a city of perhaps 20 million people and most of them want to find not so much a way out, but a way to the top, and the theme of this movie is that of one person's struggle to achieve it (in his own very personal, romantic way) by the somewhat unlikely route of India's version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Basically he wants to find the girl of his dreams, a girl who he has known since childhood in the slums, and the best way to get her attention is to appear on the hugely successful TV quiz show.
I saw this first at the cinema and it was so good I bought the DVD too. It's a fantastic piece of cinematography and direction, there's a real story to it - even if somewhat unlikely - and I think it's one of the few DVDs that is worth owning as opposed to just renting briefly. The film isn't short at exactly two hours, but the deleted scenes on this DVD could all have been included and made it even better. Usually when you see deleted scenes you understand why they weren't included in the final cut; in this case I think the producers decided to stick to a 120-minute limit. If there's ever a 'Director's Cut' version, which could be 150+ minutes long, I would recommend it.
It's not the feel-good movie of the decade, as it is being promoted, but it's probably one of the best movies released in 2009. It fully deserves its 8 Oscars, including Best Picture, and really should not be missed if you haven't seen it already.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Never did understand why this harrowing and at times horrible film was peddled on us as 'an uplifting' tale. It isn't.
However if you're a fan - note that the ‘US’ edition of the BLU RAY on 20th Century Fox is REGION A LOCKED - so it won't play on our machines unless they're chipped to be 'all regions' (which most aren't).
Buy the UK version instead - it's dirt-cheap now - and a looker on the Format...