PDA

View Full Version : Slumdog Millionaire... worth the Oscars?


Lara Croft!
26-02-09, 09:32
http://i532.photobucket.com/albums/ee326/xristosk1975/SlumdogMillionaire1-1.jpg



From IMDB Won 8 Oscars. Another 63 wins & 28 nominations

OSCARS Best Achievement in Cinematography
Anthony Dod Mantle

Best Achievement in Directing
Danny Boyle

Best Achievement in Editing
Chris Dickens

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
A.R. Rahman

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
A.R. Rahman (music)
Sampooran Singh Gulzar (lyrics)
For the song "Jai Ho".

Best Achievement in Sound
Ian Tapp
Richard Pryke
Resul Pookutty

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Christian Colson

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Simon Beaufoy

I watched the movie the day before yesterday and I say.... YES!!!! Worth of every Oscar! The movie was amazing, you don't get to watch movies like that every day. I liked the setting, the story, the photography and of course the music!

Anyone else that fell in love with the film? Or perhaps someone who thought it was lame?

disneyprincess20
26-02-09, 09:35
I thought it was a great film. It's not as "feel-good" as the marketing (in the UK anyway) makes it out to be but it's still brilliant.

There was a bloke behind me in the cinema when I saw it who drove me nuts. He was an utter know-it-all who kept on saying the answers to the questions when the boy was asked them, even the final question. I nearly had cinema rage at him!!

Lara Croft!
26-02-09, 09:39
Really??? I would have told him to stop or keep it lower!
The only one I knew was the final one. And about the "feel good" the end was so happy! Movies of that style usually have a bad or ambiguous ending. This one had a scent of Bollywood.

Hitokiri
26-02-09, 11:02
I definitely don't agree with the score (this is coming from me who's got over 600 video game soundtracks/rips and 35 movie soundstracks, only of games and movies that I enjoy too so I don't just collect everything in sight) but otherwise, sure, perhaps some other Oscars should've gone to some other movie(s) but it's no big deal.

disneyprincess20
26-02-09, 11:21
Really??? I would have told him to stop or keep it lower!

I was so close to throwing my cola at him....

Voni
26-02-09, 12:19
I was so close to throwing my cola at him....

You should have! The fool!

Jedd Fletcher
26-02-09, 12:24
I am behind Slumdog Millionaire all the way. The little film that could did us all so proud. On the music, I think that the Bollywood-style thumping beats is something very fresh and exciting to western audiences, and the music did help the action along in many parts. Below is my movie review of the film, written before the Oscars.

Movie Review 15/2/09

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
2008

Starring: Dev Patel, Frieda Pinto, Anil Kapoor
Directed by: Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan
Distributed by: Fox Searchlight Pictures and Pathé

How is it that a small, unassuming British film set in India with a cast where the only stars are unfamiliar to Western audiences and with no big studio backing is in the running for 10 Academy Awards, film’s highest accolades, including Best Picture?

A. The acting talent is unusually good
B. The creative and technical teams are geniuses
C. The Academy was feeling kinder than usual this year
D. It is written.

I’ll leave the answer to that question for the end of this review, you can take as long as you like, but you’ll have to decide on a final answer to lock in.

It is not everyday that a film with all the qualities listed above gets nominate for this many Oscars, let alone Best Picture. The film faces heady competition in the shape of films headlined by established Hollywood stars such as Brad Pitt and Mickey Rourke and British films do not usually receive consideration for the Best Picture. Therefore, there is something special about this gem of a film.

Jamal Malik (Patel) is a call center “chai-wallah”, or tea boy, who participates as a contestant in the game show Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? in order to find his lost childhood sweetheart Latika (Pinto). Inexplicably answering the questions posed to him correctly, the show’s smarmy host Prem Kumar (Bollywood star Kapoor) has him arrested on suspicion of cheating. Tortured and then interrogated by the Police Inspector (Irfan Khan) and his dim lackey Constable Srivinas (Saurabh Shukla), Jamal tells the story of incidences in his life that taught him the answer to each question.

The film comprises a series of flashbacks depicting how a young Jamal (Ayush Mahesh Khedekar) and his conniving and largely disloyal older brother Salim (Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail) eke out a living in the slums of Mumbai. They operate an outhouse latrine from which Jamal, desperate for the autograph of his hero Amitabh Bachchan, has to escape when his brother locks him in. One stormy evening, Jamal spots a girl standing in the rain and his older brother reluctantly lets her into their makeshift shelter, thus helping Jamal meet the love of his life Latika (Rubina Ali).

Their adventures take a less innocent turn when the three children are taken in by Maman (Ankur Vikal), the treacherous leader of a “begging syndicate” which uses children to bring in the money, mutilating them so they can bring in more. Discovering the ugly truth, Salim mounts a daring escape for the three children. Salim and Jamal manage to get onto a train, but Latika is left behind, spurring a lifelong desire in Jamal to find her.

Spanning the following years, the two brothers live atop and in-between rickety train cars, stealing food from the galley and hawking goods to travellers. They “graduate” to stealing tourists’ shoes and masquerading as tour guides at the Taj Mahal. In one particularly humourous sequence, Jamal describes the world heritage site as a “five star hotel” built by Emperor Shah Jahan for Queen Mumtaz Mahal and says the Queen died in a “traffic accident”.

After some years, Jamal ( Tannay Chheda) finally convinces Salim (Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala) to go with him back to Mumbai to find Latika (Tanvi Ganesh Lokar). They have a frightening encounter with Maman and experience the lethal power of firearms, which eventually helps Jamal answer a question regarding the inventor of the revolver. Reunited, the trio take up residence in an abandoned hotel. However, Salim kicks Jamal out in order to claim Latika as his own and ends up getting involved with mobster Javed (Mahesh Manjrekar), eventually becoming one of his high-ranking lieutenants.

Now their grown incarnations, the brothers have a bittersweet reunion and Salim (Madhhur Mittal) eventually facilitates the escape of Latika, sold as a wife to Javed. Jamal returns to the studio to answer the last question. A heart-stopping sequence has Jamal use his “phone-a-friend” option and has Latika rushing to the ringing cell phone given to her by Salim.

The film has so many good points it would be impossible to list them all in one review. While it is far from perfect, Slumdog Millionaire is emotionally affecting on so many levels; I have almost never found myself so drawn into the world of a film, and an exceptionally well-crafted world at that. Part of the reason is that I was a contestant on the Singaporean version of the gameshow as a nine-year-old. I took home S$1000 (which to a nine-year old was a very handsome, if not drop-dead gorgeous, sum), if you really must know, but that’s besides the point.

The film is based on the award-winning novel Q and A by Indian diplomat and novelist Vikas Swarup. The story takes all the classic elements movie audiences have grown to know and, in some cases, love, such as the victory of the underdog, the rise from rags to riches, the long-lost childhood sweetheart and sibling rivalry and tension. However, director Danny Boyle of such revolutionary British films as Trainspotting (1996), 28 Days Later (2002) and Sunshine (2007) and ever the visionary, turns these conventions on their heads. He is also helped by the cultural aptitude of co-director Loveleen Tandan who makes obscure elements of Indian culture and history accessible to western audiences. The very intelligent thing that the filmmakers do is to take a typical Bollywood formula and trim off the excess for western audiences. For example, while characters do not break into spontaneous song and dance amid intense scenes, there is still a big ole-fashioned dance sequence during the credits.

Ultimately, the story is very character-driven so the quality of the acting is crucial to the success of the film. Thankfully, nearly all the actors flesh out their characters with emotion and believability, not once are there exagerrated gestures or forced lines noticeable onscreen. I realized that the personality of each of the characters is conveyed in just the faces of the actors alone: Dev Patel’s constantly clueless look belying someone who happens to know all the answers, Anil Kapoor easily communicating the slyness and charm of Prem Kumar, Frieda Pinto’s constantly worried expression portraying Latika as a hapless damsel-in-distress and Ankur Vikal’s evil smile as Maman just…creepy.

Special credit has to be given to the child actors who, despite being completely untrained and literally plucked off the streets and out of the real slums by Loveleen Tandan (who was also the casting director), display natural skill far beyond their years. There is also a remarkable consistency in the characterization of Jamal, Salim and Latika, even though each character is portrayed by three different actors.

However, it is the only star Anil Kapoor who ultimately steals the show with his nuanced portrayal of gameshow host Prem Kumar. He is obviously not rooting for Jamal, no matter how likeable the seemingly clueless “chai-wallah” appears. This rift between the slimy host and the street-smart contestant eventually develops into a veritable game of wits, this conveyed during some of the very best moments of the film. Kapoor wisely avoids overplaying the stereotype even though his Prem is a stock character. Despite the controlled environment of the Millionaire studio, Kapoor plays Prem with such dangerous unpredictability you never know how he might strike at the “slumdog” contestant next.

The atmosphere of the film is extremely magnetic, the smoky, over-populated Mumbai slums in stark contrast to the slick Millionaire studio and the hectic, modern atmosphere of the call center. The film has been blamed for exoticising or glamourising or even commercialising life in the slums, but I whole-heartedly disagree. I think that the filmmakers have strived to bring out all the different facets of life in India and while I’ve never been there myself, have to say that I was convinced that the film’s portrayal was fairly close to the real India. The slums look repulsive yet strangely beautiful and the cinematography alone makes one unable to help feeling a tinge of guilt looking at the ghastly living conditions, especially considering the relatively priveleged Singaporean lifestyle. Director of Photography Anthony Dod Mantle certainly deserves his Academy Award nomination for the many artistically-framed yet unpretentious scenes, as well as kinetic shaky-camera moments which he wisely does not overuse.

Having a television gameshow as the main plot point, the film brilliantly splices the format TV audiences would see (with closeups of the host and cotestant and the questions at the bottom of the screen) with behind-the-scenes footage of the inner workings of the set, including scenes of the producers in the control room. One particularly ingenious sequence has the movie camera pan directly behind the TV camera on set, producing a tense and eerily hynotising effect.

The air of the film is helped by the score by renowned Indian composer A.R. Rahman, also nominated for an Oscar. The kinetic, thumping music propels the film during its most intense moments. Of course, the memorable music of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? composed by by Keith and Matthew Strachan provide the tension during the studio scenes as well.

However, I feel the biggest contributor to Slumdog Millionaire’s success is the writing of Simon Beaufoy, famous for penning The Full Monty (1997). The scribe manages to seamlessly weave (pun not intended) the separate narratives from Jamal’s life into one cohesive story. All the acting and technical flair of the cast and crew would come to nought had it not been for Beaufoy’s remarkable interpretation of the original novel. Having a specific story behind the answer for the seemingly unrelated quiz questions is an ingenious storytelling device and one that the film rides on for its entire length.

So, back to the question I asked at the start of this review. I feel the answer should be the non-existent “all of the above”, but should I have to choose strictly I would say D. It is Written…very well. The resounding applause in the packed movie theatre I saw the film in is testament to that.

4.5/5 STARS

Jedd Jong Yue

ShadyCroft
26-02-09, 13:21
I haven't watched this one yet, but its at the top of my list. I could tell from the trailer it may be a unique experience unlike other movies.

I especially love the line from the trailer that says something like "Every part of his life is a clue to every question" which kinda gives an idea of the photography and the direction of the movie.

Some people said (and I read bad reviews like this too) there was too much violence and it was a bad representation of Indian culture. I can't say they're totally wrong, especially with the presence of those who may take what's in the movie for granted, but I find it kind of stupid. It reminds me of The Da Vinci code and this whole hype about banning it. I find it ridiculous because I find the idea of considering a novel you read for the thrill of it in a few days as fact ridiculous..at least that's how I think

I for one don't mind it, and when I watch Slumdog I wont consider what I see as a 100% representation of Indian culture. You wanna know the factsm get to know the culture...don't watch a movie for it.

Anyway, I cant wait for it to get here. :jmp:

VonCroy360
27-02-09, 14:37
I wouldn't give it all eight it got, but it's definitely my favourite film of the year and I'm very happy it won BP. :tmb:

NympHadorA
27-02-09, 14:59
I havent seen it yet, but I am gonna comment after seeing it :)

Endow
27-02-09, 17:12
-

Larapink
27-02-09, 20:49
Yes it is worth all of the awards it has received. :)

But it isn't the best British film ever... :p

Agent 47
27-02-09, 20:52
Yes it is worth all of the awards it has received. :)

But it isn't the best British film ever... :p

that'd be

Get Carter, Zulu, The Italian Job.........notice the connection? :vlol:

laralover_07
27-02-09, 20:52
Yes it was worth it. I loved every second, and I'm definately buying it when it gets released. And that dance scene... :vlol:

Larapink
27-02-09, 20:54
that'd be

Get Carter, Zulu, The Italian Job.........notice the connection? :vlol:
Exactly! :vlol:

I notice the connection.:vlol:

Agent 47
27-02-09, 20:59
Exactly! :vlol:

I notice the connection.:vlol:

awesome actor, one of our finest and still active, will be a sad day for the industry when his time is up, and Peter O'Toole, Christopher Lee :(

Sir Micheal Caine = legend :jmp:

Goose
28-02-09, 07:36
that'd be

Get Carter, Zulu, The Italian Job.........notice the connection? :vlol:

Depends what you consider a British film, made by a brit or just the company that put the money into it?

I mean American Beauty is British through its director, Psycho, Ghandi, Doctor Zhivago, Straw Dogs, The wickerman, A clockwork Orange are all british films....we've got loads.

I dont think films like Zulu will ever be touched on again, colonial history is never taught, unless taken in college or studied specially in High School. There are some good films to be made about it, as zulu proved, especially with todays money and technology. Im surprised no-ones even touched on the Battle of Waterloo since the late 60's and 70's, and they were soviets:

7vlcuvrM1po&feature=related

I remember watching films like this on the weekend, i think when they disappeared, so did part of our national pride, without them, kids don't even know it happened.

Agent 47
28-02-09, 12:58
how do i define a Brit flick?

predominantly British cast, British studio, British financing, it's about money :D fot example the Bond films are what you'd call Anglo American, predominantly British but with US and UK funding :D i recall a debate about it in Parliment, some MP's thought the UK was being abused, as such they changed the policy to what i said above.

most of the people involved in the newest Batman films are Brits even used Shepperton Studio's to create Gotham :vlol: but they were made with US money and are American movies.

and i agree, they don't make films like Zulu or Waterloo anymore and it's a damn shame :(

digitizedboy
28-02-09, 13:11
^ You all forgot Lawrence of Arabia and also maybe not in the production but the majority of the cast in Empire of the Sun are British too plus some of its filming locations. :)

Goose
28-02-09, 13:12
how do i define a Brit flick?

predominantly British cast, British studio, British financing, it's about money :D fot example the Bond films are what you'd call Anglo American, predominantly British but with US and UK funding :D i recall a debate about it in Parliment, some MP's thought the UK was being abused, as such they changed the policy to what i said above.

most of the people involved in the newest Batman films are Brits even used Shepperton Studio's to create Gotham :vlol: but they were made with US money and are American movies.

and i agree, they don't make films like Zulu or Waterloo anymore and it's a damn shame :(

Yes but money is about distribution, it has nothing todo with the concept of the film, like Casino royale was totally British in concept and design, as was quantum of solace. It was realized with an American budget, its british in my opinion. Plus the Pinewood is British.

^ You all forgot Lawrence of Arabia

But they were made with american money, which is what were on about.

rowanlim
28-02-09, 13:16
I want to see this film, all the Indians in my uni are going crazy about it :tmb: :D

Agent 47
28-02-09, 13:18
^ You all forgot Lawrence of Arabia and also maybe not in the production but the majority of the cast in Empire of the Sun are British too plus some of its filming locations. :)

i didn't forget, just omitted it :D

Ice Cold in Alex
Where Eagles Dare
The Eagle Has Landed

too many to mention of those decades

@Goose, i'm not talking about distribution, i'm talking about the actual budget. where the money comes from to actually make the film.

Lara Croft!
01-03-09, 15:22
Looks like many others enjoyed the film as much as I did.... What a great movie!!!!!!

Larapink
01-03-09, 15:39
all the Indians in my uni are going crazy about it :tmb: :D
Haha, I am not so crazy about it. It was an okay film, not the best British film out like I said before. :p

a_pok
01-03-09, 16:13
simply yes!!!

Lew
01-03-09, 16:26
NO..... so overrated.

digitizedboy
01-03-09, 16:30
But they were made with american money, which is what were on about.

actually you're wrong.. Lawrence of Arabia was a British production out and out and was produced by a company called Horizon.

Well.. I guess the most recent British production that I like is "Trainspotting". And was also nominated for an oscar, pity it didn't get it really because that movie is phenomonal even by the naughties and the youngsters today. Love that movie. :D

Jedd Fletcher
02-03-09, 05:03
I think the debate isn't really "is this a British film?" I think it's deserving no matter what nationality the film it. Plus, Asians haven't gotten that much representation at the Oscars. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Lagaan and Hero are the few I can name. Slumdog Millionaire is basically a fine little collaboration across countries and cultures, which I think made for a stunning end result. Danny Boyle is a storyteller, and Simon Beaufoy's script seamlessly weaved-together separate narratives using the ingenious device of having a story behind each question. Of course, some credit has to go to Vikas Swarup who wrote the original novel Q and A.

EmeraldFields
02-03-09, 05:09
Maybe not all of the awards but it was a very good movie. A little overrated but well worth the $8 it cost to get in.

rowanlim
09-03-09, 13:40
I just watched the film & I think it's awesome. The story was really meaningful & it was sad because many parts of it actually happen in India. A very moving film, it really deserved the awards it garnered ;)

Nausinous
09-03-09, 13:43
Amazing film :tmb:

tranniversary119
09-03-09, 13:48
I think I'll go see it tonight :)

ShadyCroft
09-03-09, 14:05
I'm getting excited all over again to go and watch it when it hits theaters here. :D