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Feb 20, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire : A Review

Being a movie fanatic , from the first time I saw Slumdog Millionaire listed in the "Top 250 movies" of imdb.com, I was dying to watch this movie, and now I have watched this movie I am dying with rage.

After waiting for weeks (bloody load shedding!) and hearing rave reviews till I got tired , I watched this movie to find a terribly over hyped ridiculous fairy tale. Just a glorified fairy tale full of stereotypes and cliches but thanks to the marketing and western prejudice towards third world countries, it's getting rave reviews, has already won numerous awards, a 34th position on the imdb top 250 movies and is on its way to the Oscars.

I take movies as a form of art and also a medium of getting your ideas across the audience and it pains me to see such movies winning accolades. It saddens me to see people's ability to think logically subconsciously bullied by the media hype.

Let's play the Who wants to be a scumdog exploitaires? Quiz. Starting with a question for:

Rs. 1000: Does it take two hours to know the story of Slumdog Millionaire?
The film is very predictable,you can tell the whole story of the film in approximately 10 mins.All the characters are either black or white,excepting the hero's brother.The climax was a let down,typical of bollywood films(a frantic climax where somehow everything becomes right!)

Rs. 4000 : Is hindi for the villianious characters and low class characters whereas English is for any portagonist even if he is uneducated?
Language: The language in which the characters speak is the soul of a movie. Cidade de Deus, Shichinin no samurai, Ladri di biciclette were made in native language and so the originality of the movie was intact. Here kid learns to speak English so well when he lived in the slums of India and never learned to read. Okay, "whole movie can't be in subtitles" but then why do the prostitutes and the abusive husband of latika speaks in Hindi. Does it mean that hindi is spoken by the low class or villainous characters only. Why do the policemen speak English in Indian accent even when they are most probably more educated than Jamal.

Rs. 16000: Which is the most pathetic scene in the movie history?
A kid jumps into a pool of excreta to get an autograph of Amitabh Bachchan.And he gets the autograph!!!. What a pathetic scene!

Rs. 250,000: What is Real India and Real America?
The kid gets beated and tells the American , "This is real India" and the American lady handles him a $100 bill saying that's " real America"? WTF!!!! What do you mean?Since when do people tip with $100 bills, and this AFTER the people themselves have been robbed? Are Americans so foolish and so ego-trip centered?

Rs. 1 Million:Who wrote the history of Taj Mahal? And who can work as guides in Taj Mahal? How did Mumtaz die?
A lazy G***Fu**ing Indian wrote the history of Taj Mahal. Mumtaaz died in a road accident. AND tourists are so naive that they believe this!!

Rs. 2 Million:How did Amitabh Bachchan use to treat the participants of his show "Kaun Banega Crorepati?"
He makes such sarcastic comments like "chaiwala", "easier than making chai" and tries to humiliate his guest. Audience laugh at his sarcastic remarks and cheer. And he is very worried about someone winning so much money that he risks his image and feeds wrong answers. And it's a LIVE SHOW!

Rs. 5 Million: How does one know who invented revolver?
By looking his brother (who doesn't know himself) use a colt revolver to kill someone. What not many people (even who own a colt revolver) know someone knows by just seeing it being used.

Rs. 10 Million: How are the societies of the third world countries?
Morally Bankrupt. Not only there is poverty but there is misery everywhere.Nothing else!

And Finally the question of

Rs. 20 Million: Should Slumdog Millionaire win the Oscars or any more awards?
I will be Damned if it does. What wrong with Danny Boyle , I wonder. But still who knows, it the mass opinion that matters. Besides Oscar hasn't that good record of appreciating the good movies...take the example of "Shakespeare in Love" over "Saving Private Ryan". So the correct answer would be "ASK THE AUDIENCE".

Thanks for Reading patiently!


  1. excellent writing... i liked your review.

  2. i liked your review....i have also noticed some of the points u have listed about the movie but the way u have elaborate the points i am convinced!!!!and ur presentation style too..

  3. nice review dude.....

    presentation style is great...
    (Rs1000, Rs 4000.....)

    waiting for review of more films....

  4. I guess there wasn't enough dancing in the swiss wilderness, palatial homes and drama over the dad's multi-million dollar business for you. Because you know, that's the real south asia

  5. from nareshkc.blogspot.com

    Nice comments, good presentation and worthy post mortem.

    Want to know whether they are personnel or it’s a critic's vision. If it's personnel then good. Everyone has his/her right to express his/her personnel feelings towards anything. You can call a movie piece of shit though 10 million appreciated and liked it. It's extremely personnel, also called nature or prakriti of any human being which normally is congenital and depends on your up growing, culture, friend's circle, reading, writing and obviously film going habit which makes you YOU-different from others.

    Critically u r not to the core.
    You need to think about basic film criticism theory before you begin. Should start with positive points first. Personally I am also not a great fan of "slumdog…." but we need to appreciate some of its innovative film language and grammar and new meanings.

    Quality of a film depends not only on box office but more on….
    Production value
    Production limitations - time, location and budget, stars, makers, genre, third world story and many more.
    Genre and the filming style -Documented film or propaganda filming with tits and bits of satirical fiction.
    Highest high and lowest low theory/ comparison theory.
    Every film is a single piece of element not a compound. Incomparable and with its unique features, physical and chemical properties.

    Facts and satires on Indian realism.
    Theme of the film is "No Need to be Genius. Experience Teaches a Lot" and the point is how much you did justice to the theme through the art and science of the film - a unique blend of audio and video rather than single dimensional black texts on white paper.
    Great screenplay. One main plot, three subplots with unification of character but in different time and different location with different multicultural actions.
    Taut editing. The transitions are simply great. Montages are really cut very economically regarding time, frame and effect.
    Indian cinematic style and drama could be new to the world with musical sense.
    POV filmmaking.
    Involvement of questions that has cross cut over the world.

    Child jumps into excreta - tells the amitabh's position and craze in bollywood and more ever it’s the first question's answer that needs to be told in a very dramatic and craziest way so as to make the viewers feel it's really no need to be genius to know some answers. One who can jump into human excreta to have a glimpse of amitabh obviously knows the answer. Autograph and selling it to someone watching amitabh's films are subtexts and reading between the lines. HIGHEST HIGH AND LOWEST LOW THEORY.

    Compare between India and America is an irony. It has subtext of Indian poverty and American donors and INGOs. COMPARISION THEORY.
    There is nothing written but yet there is nothing that can't be written. The kid is misunderstood as a tourist guide as he was standing near the tourist guide board while trying to thief shoes. He can't refuse the money and get into a new business of tourist guide and start to tell false things about the Tajmahal-it is realism of India and huge satire as well. The main point of these scenes is time lapse to show the number of events that happened to the main character so that time is letting him chances to learn new things every next day. Personally, its one of my favorite scene, I have faced those street kids while I was there.
    Great montages.
    Amitabh's montages and clips add new horizon to the movie.
    A simple theme of love and tragedy of entirely Indian taste compelled American viewers. I can tell u more than million subtexts of the film if u r really interested.

    Performance is worthy. Esp of kids.

    Please do not compare with big production movies like "saving private ryan" or milk or Benjamin etc. they are great but with different story and limitations.
    In filmmaking and for academy award, what I know through my studies and teachers is "its not what, its how that matters" and more ever production limitations are there.
    Never start a films criticism with drawbacks- Sergie Einstein - one of the first film critics in world.

    Many scenes are shot in open form not in studios as Hollywood does. Shooting a film in realism and yet in third world is ….. I can't tell.
    I do have many answers for your every question but it's not that I m trying to prove you wrong and I am right but it's about taste and appreciating something that deserves.
    Any way I enjoyed your POV.

  6. @ Naresh Kumar KC

    ummm...I really couldn't understand what you meant to say by the question if they are my personal views or critic's vision....what i think is they are really my personal comments after viewing the movie critically...if people like my way of thinking then i think i am a good critic but basically they are personal views....

    "You can call a movie piece of shit though 10 million appreciated and liked it."

    of course...why should every one's ability to think logically subconsciously bullied by the media hype.

    "You need to think about basic film criticism theory before you begin. "

    Do you mean to say if i watched a movie and wanted to write what i thought about it , i have to know some film criticism theory? Do i have to know some jargons and things that i don't know about or i may not really care about before writing sth about a movie I watched?

    "Critically u r not to the core. "

    well, I have read some well known critic's review of many films in rottentomatoes.com. The critics are very very critical towards movies while writing reviews...take the example of Roger Ebert's review of Fight Club, reviews by various well known critics of the movie "Crash", reviews of the movie "Alone in the dark" ...they just criticize and criticize...

    what do you think???

    Child jumps into excreta...come on its such a cheesy and over used scene regardless of whatever the meaning they might intend to carry...

    If it's not the scenes that matter and you are supposed to assume the meanings of the scenes then why should plot matter at all??? If what you intend to show is all that important and how you show that doesn't have any significance then why should we say some films have good plot while some don;t have..we can just say "oh that movie has a very good meaning why bother with what it shows or how it shows sth"

    "Production limitations - time, location and budget, stars, makers, genre, third world story and many more."

    City of Gods ...time more limited, location and budget more limited, stars : doesn't have any, genre : same as SM, third world story: yes and moreover Danny Boyle who is a successful director of movies such as "Trainspotting" has limited budget, limited time??? At least SM has some stars names Dev Patel, Irfan Khan what do you think "City of Gods" had??? Yet city of gods was made a better movie....

    "Please do not compare with big production movies like "saving private ryan" or milk or Benjamin etc. they are great but with different story and limitations."

    I am NOT comparing Slundog and Saving private Ryan...what i am trying to say is that despite of Saving Private Ryan being a very critically acclaimed movie Shakespeare in Love was given the awards....In 1994 a movie like Shawshank Redemption couldn't win oscars........

    Never start a films criticism with drawbacks- Sergie Einstein - one of the first film critics in world.

    it's his view i guess or is it a rule????

    I do not deny that the performance of the kids was superb.

    Overall, Slumdog millionaire is not a movie that should have terrible ratings BUT it is also not a movie that should get EIGHT Oscars when there are better movies around!!! It's an injustice to good movies if mediocre movies win the awards!!!!

  7. @ anonymous

    you what I think, that's not real south asia that this movie shows...The Real South Asia is much more poverty ridden ,infested with diseases, with much more crimes...I have visited slums, i have watched movies like Vastav, Traffic Signal etc...but there is not misery everywhere....there is happiness in many parts....

    And I wonder what gave you the idea that i like movies with the swiss wilderness, palatial homes and drama over the dad's multi-million dollar business... Please have a kind look at my favorite movies:

    A river runs through it: It's about growing up. No dancing, no multi- million dollar business.

    Fight Club, Schilndler's List, Crash, Big Fish,Taxi Driver, Into the wild, Hotel Rwanda, Malena....

    Who are you kidding?

  8. Your writting is superb surat ji...and i also think the movie got hyped....

    ...The concept of this movie is good though some conflicts are in the way ....

    ...The slumdog Jamal is closely related with the questions but not with the answers....and u r right ...just only seeing the gun, can anyone know who is the inventor of it ???

    And i have linked you...hope the same from ur side ...

  9. I watched it waking up at 12:00 in midnight…may be due to the stressful environment of night…I didn’t found that kind of thing that i used to be listened abt it…..

    movie हेर्दा मैले महसुस गरेको एउटा कुरा के हो भने जमाल हरेक question सँग related छ तर answer सँग छैन ।

    Like he knows that “Darshan Do Bhagwan” song…but I haven’t get any line that one has said him the author of it….

    Arvind says him the answer Benjamin Franklin…have anyone said the Surdas while singing the song ???

  10. Thank you Ametya Ji!
    It's my pleasure to put your blog's link in mine!