Jane B (knally) wrote,
Jane B

Slumdog Millionaire

I went to see this yesterday with a couple of friends, and a warning from another friend that it had some violence. I was glad of the warning since the opening scenes were quite brutal, but although there were scenes of terrible cruelty, it was also an uplifting film.

It was totally involving to watch, with masses of visual and verbal information to take in, and even smell! I rarely remembered I was in a cinema since I was so caught up in the story. There are three main protagonists who are taken from childhood to early twenties, and three sets of actors playing them at different ages. The child, teenage and adult actors were all good, and even more amazing they were consistent so they really seemed to be showing the same characters at different ages. Supporting actors were all great with a very slimy piece of characterization by Anil Kapoor.

The story is set in the Indian equivalent of 'Who wants to be a Millionaire?' and tells a slumdog's life by showing how he knows the answers to such obscure questions. But it throws a couple of variations in by having one of his answers be reliant on his skill at reading people, and the answer to the last question being unimportant, so in the final act the audience doesn't know if he'll get the right answer or not. I was invested in the main protagonist, Jamal, and wanted him to succeed, but in some ways his eldest brother, Salim, was the most interesting role with a mixture of cruelty, affection and loyalty. Looking back on it now it strikes me as a Dickensian story with great colour, lots of small but telling scenes, larger than life drama, but still characters recognisable as real people.

A great, demanding experience, and one of the few films where everyone stayed to watch the end credits :-)

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