I decided to go and see Slumdog Millionaire this afternoon. It was already on my 'To See' list and after winning four Golden Globes earlier this week (Including Best Picture and Best Director) I thought today was as good as any as I could go in the afternoon and avoid the crowds that will inevitably now fill the screenings in the evenings and weekends.
Well for starters, Danny Boyle is back on form. He's Directed some of my favourite films over the years (Trainspotting and 28 Days Later being the big two for me) but his last outting, Sunshine, I was really disappointed in. Slumdog Millionaire is a fantastic return to power and quite rightly deserves the praise and attention it's getting - be it in the form of reviews, awards or the fact that it's already #35 in IMDB's Top 250 Films!
The story is of Jamal Malik who is born into the poverty of the slums in Mumbai (Bombay) with his older brother (Salim) and mother. Eighteen years later he is a contestant on the Indian version of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' and the police and shows host suspect him of cheating his way to the top prize - the first time anyone on the show has won it, let alone an uneducated 'Slumdog'.
The film follows his life - which is seen through a series of short vignettes flashbacks - from a child to him becoming a contestant explaining how he came to know the answers of the various questions he has to answer on his way to becoming the shows possible first winner.
It tells a tale of poverty, gangland violence, betrayal, love and lost love.
I don't think many of the people who are seeing the film at the moment actually realise that it is kind of a very gritty, violent, gangster film in many places. It's certainly not all a safe, lighthearted romp through poverty and hardship to a happy ending. The trailer does alot to cover this up and I do think that some people maybe slightly surprised, or even shocked, at some of the scenes and footage in the film if they go in blind and expecting a different type of movie.
I won't go into detail of the film. That would spoil it for those of you who want to watch it at somepoint - and I would urge you to watch it at somepoint. Suffice to say that I loved this film. I thought it was really well done and am very pleased that it's getting a lot of recognition at present and will possibly be nominated for a number of Oscars on the 22nd when the shortlist is announced.
It is a shame, in some ways, that it takes a British Director to help break Indian cinema out of Bollywood and onto our mainstream Multiplexes. Hopefully it will help open that door, and keep it open a while longer.
See this film.
I'm now off to buy the soundtrack...
School Report: A (Danny Boyle back at his best; Fantastic piece of cinema)