Movie Review – Slumdog MillionaireDecember 15, 2008 Written by JP [Font too small?]
Today I’m going to be writing a different type of blog. I’ll be reviewing a motion picture that I think might warm your heart and lift your spirit. I know this isn’t the typical fare of a health blog. But it will be a regular part of this health blog. Films can provide us joyful entertainment and laughter. They can move us and help us to understand life in a different and more meaningful way. When I find a film that meets some those criteria, I’ll happily share it with you.
The Slums of a City Can Be a Palace for the Heart
The film Slumdog Millionaire, directed by Danny Boyle, opens with a young Indian man, Jamal Malik, being harshly interrogating in a police station. His supposed crime is having cheated on the game show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”. The questioning quickly becomes more and more intense. The methods applied become more severe. But the young man refuses to admit any guilt.
The reality that we know is that Jamal grew up in the slums of Mumbai, India. He didn’t have much of an education and it just doesn’t make sense that he’d do so well on such a game of knowledge. And so a battle of wits begins. The lead inspector doggedly hammers away to find the truth about how this young man could possibly end up on the nation’s biggest gameshow with the prospect of winning 20 million rupees.
But that’s just the framework of the story. During the course of the questioning we learn a great deal about this young man and about the realities of life in modern India. We discover what his family’s life was like in one of the poorest places on Earth. We learn about the choices that separate his destiny from his older brother’s fate. And most importantly, we learn the unexpected ways that love can survive no matter where and how it is born.
All along, I was always left guessing. I just didn’t know where the story would go. But the one thing I did know is that I saw places and learned of people that I had never “met” before. And I began to care about Jamal and his trek as the film unfolded. My heart ached at how cruel life can be for so many. And my heart rejoiced at the victories, whether big or small, that he strived for.
I guess that’s why this film is generating such critical acclaim and was recently nominated for four Golden Globe Awards. And I have a feeling that it’s got a few Academy Award nominations in its future.
Slumdog Millionaire may not be playing at a theater near you yet. It’s still in relatively limited release. But if and when it stops by your city or town, I highly recommend that you pay a visit.
On a final note, I do want to let you know that this film is “Rated R”. The reason for the rating is mostly due to some violent situations. It portrays the harsh realities of life in the slums of Mumbai with unflinching detail. In that respect, it’s not always easy to watch and certainly not appropriate for young children.
If you see Slumdog Millionaire, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me a comment and share your review.
Posted in Movies