Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire is a must see

Looking for a way relieve your boredom during winter break? Street writer Zack Newick gives his take on the Golden Globe nominated Slumdog Millionaire:

I come out of the theater feeling slightly dazed and all together happy. It’s freezing and my breath is realized as white smoke in front of my face. I’ve just seen Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, a film that manages to make life beautiful. There, I said it. I had forgotten that the words could go together, but there is such a joy in the film, despite impossible hardship and cruelty that it is hard not to feel reassured that love always finds its way.

Danny Boyle, previously the director of Trainspotting, constructs and makes real an India that festers beneath trash and violence yet still shines gloriously through. With scenes of stray dogs and lost children wandering the bustling streets of Mumbai and images that seem to melt through the screen, so noxious are the smells and corrosive the colors, the setting seems something like a dystopian paradise. The story is a simple one: of love struck Jamal Malik, an orphan from Mumbai, and his quest to win the heart of the beautiful Latika, whom he met while at an orphan camp when he was seven. At the age of nineteen, he is a tea server at an Indian telemarketing company and an unlikely contestant on the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” in the hopes that Latika will be watching, somewhere.

Jamal doesn’t really expect to get very far on the program however, but it turns out that the tragedies he has endured and the small victories he has claimed have given him every answer to the questions on this fateful day. Seeing his mother bludgeoned to death by anti-Muslim marauders, stealing shoes at the Taj Mahal and diving into human excrement for the sake of an autograph end up giving Jamal the exact knowledge he needs for one magical night on television.

The film opens however with his torture and interrogation, as the show's host doubts that an orphan up from poverty could ever win such a prize. But in this fairytale of a story , the worst of India is still gorgeous, and the best of man is accentuated. With a breathless soundtrack and stunning cinematography, Slumdog Millionaire is must-see entertainment.