Slumdog Millionaire has hogged too much of media headlights. There was a debate about west lapping up India’s slums and how the movie was so sentiment-evoking. I am disappointed on both the counts. Our own Indian movies have shown poverty/child prostitution/people on fringes in much more evocative manner: Do Bigha Zameen, Traffic Signal, Kalyug, Chandni Bar, Summer of 2007. And a substantial part of movie Slumdog Millionaire is similar to Traffic Signal. Though, latter takes it on a deeper level. Wait, I am not accusing Slumdog Millionaire of plagiarism. All I am saying that this movie that has been immensely moving to West, has been seen by us Indians several times before.
I have not read Vikas Swarup’s Q and A, but whatever things his story has weaved in: we have read often in magazines, watched in our movies, heard in news. It has every single thing we know: police mutely watching in case of communal riots, guides of Agra, begging business, child prostitution and last but the least our call centres. The entire story ahs been weaved in the background of Who wants to be millionaire?, which could be easily be replaced to winning a lottery to show a rags-to-riches story.
I am one person who cries a lot while watching movies. But there were few tears I could muster while watching Slumdog Millionaire. It’s a sad thing we are getting used to grimness around. However, to be fair to Danny Boyle, I do not think he has set out to exploit India’s slums. Though there is an opening sequence, where policeman chases slum kids, camera pans to show us glimpse-of-dirtiest-possible-place on the earth, something our movies have shied away even when capturing penury. But you can fairly say, story ki demand thi. 😛
Good things: Performances and cinematography. The young Jamal, Salim (especially Salim) and Latika played by slum kids were wonderful. Dev Patel is endearing. Anil was good as catty host. But disappointment Frieda Pinto, there wasn’t much for her to do, you see.
My rating: 3/5 (Edited to make it 3, but don’t rush up hard to catch it, you maybe disappointed.)
Luck by Chance
I will not say that Luck by Chance does not have any clichés. You will have known several parts of it. Yet you will enjoy. I had a good time watching it.
:spoiler: When the movie ends, there is a sense of déjà vu. As if you have seen this before. This déjà vu is also to do with Konkana Sen Sharma. You have seen her walk off with her independence before. I had another déjà vu, while watching the movie, and it is personal. Farhan Akhtar’ s forgiveness speech. Well, it’s inspired from real life. Ismein unki koi galti nahi, kuch log aise hi selfish hot hai. LOL 😛 :spoiler ends:
Hmm, back to movie, it’s the movie of two struggling actors, dreaming to make big. One makes it through sheer wit and bit of luck. Other one has to be content with bits and crumbs of piecemeal roles. This movie is story of relationships, friendships that see ups and down in a city, where life changes overnight. Zero becomes hero and hero becomes zero. It is story of an aged, ace producer (Rishi Kapoor) who is trying to survive the new age of cinema, with younger generation. Casting couch and exploitation have been subtly, sufficiently hinted and done away with.
Farhan looks incredibly handsome and fits well into his character’s shoes. He is not flawless yet. Dialogue delivery still needs to be perfected. (I will reiterate the flawed dialogues to anyone interested.) Konkana is ok as usual and only she could carry off her character with so much fat. 😛 Isha Shravani looks her part: delectable and silly. I love Gopuchi. 😛 Rishi Kapoor, in his roly-poly wig, is nice too. And I can’t sign off without writing about Hrithik. He has a special role. He is character is good at heart, insecure and wants to make it bigger. He was neither lead of the movie, nor a villain. His character is plain intriguing.
Music? Ahem what can I say. Ask Vimal. 😛 Though I must mention I like Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. There is a song with circus-like choreography. It looks silly, but was enjoyable enough to remain in my memory.
Other thing is that movie has many fitting cameos: SRK, KJ, Anurag Kashyap, Aamir, Raj Kumar Hirani and many more. Go watch the movie! It’s fun. Zoya Akhtar has made a debut that is worth a watch.
My rating: 3.5/5
P.S: I know now, after watching the movie, no matter what people say, everyone reads gossip magazines. Its really a BIG business. 😛