Slumdog Millionaire Reviews
Things I Liked:
Dev Patel. Patel is a fantastic actor and his performance in this is proof of that. He carries himself with all this loss and pain and weight of someone who has grown up in hardship and has constantly been forced to fight for everything in his life. He holds his own, especially for being 18 when the movie was made.
The Structure. The way they set up the story and move from moment to moment is very interesting and unique.The movie has a trivia question happen, and then shows how Jamal knows the answer through a flashback. It really makes the movie much more interesting and helps focus on specific moments in Jamal's life.
Things I Didn't Like:
The Plot. The movie's plot is structured in such a way that it doesn't really get to fruition for a majority of the movie and it really ends with some very generic and uninteresting moments. And it feels forgettable even during the process of watching the movie. It's a fine and simple story but nothing special.
Overall the movie is fine and interesting but it falls short of fantastic. It has a unique way of story telling and strong lead performance but it falls short of leaping off the screen and making a lasting impression. I found the movie good but not great and it is not one I am clamoring to go back and see again in the near future.
I loved the premise: the story of how a boy's difficult life provided him the knowledge he needed to answer the questions on a game show, and how no one could comprehend how an uneducated street kid could be so successful in such a game. In fact, the disbelief was so strong that the local police abduct and torture him to get him to confess and tell them how he "cheated". Instead they listen in amazement as he goes through each question telling them the events of his life that helped him come up with the correct answer. These stories detail the hardship and outright horror of being an orphan in the slums of India, or a slumdog as they're known locally. Most of them are heartbreaking, but all of them are interesting, and it is clever how they fall into place in the larger narrative of the game show questions.
However, it is not just the story of a kid who grew up with bad things happening to him and around him. It is also the story of real, hard-fought, time-tested love. How a young boy helped a young girl out of the rain, by letting her sleep in an outhouse with him and then loved her forever. It's a story of how a brother can save a life and ruin it at the same time. It is the story of failure and redemption, and a story of drive and purpose. It may be a bit melodramatic in places, and a bit too convenient in others, but it is definitely worth watching, and probably worthy of the Best Film Oscar it won.