Slumdog Millionaire won basically every award in sight during all the ceremonies leading up to the Academy Awards and so it was no surprise when it took home an astonishing 8 Oscars. And it’s not hard to see why this movie became such a phenomenon – it’s a moving story told in a very unique style and mixes heartwarming moments with shocking images.
In the middle of the movie is a young man named Jamal who is a contestant in the Indian version of Who wants to be a Millionaire? – and seems to know too many answers considering that he is a poor, uneducated man from the slums. Step by step it is revealed via flashbacks that he knows the answers because of certain events in his past and that he isn’t in the show to win any money – instead, he hopes that by appearing on TV, he will be able to reunite with Latika, the love of his life. Sounds all like a fairy tale and Slumdog Millionaire certainly is – it mixes the brutal realities of life in the Indian slums with the make-believe story of a poor man who, just by luck, is able to win a lot of money and the heart of the woman of his dreams.
What probably is the highlight of Slumdog Millionare are the last twenty minutes which are truly movie magic at its best. The call on the phone, the answering of the final question, the scene at the train station are touching beyond words. But even before that, Slumdog Millionaire is a memorable and unique experience. The whole concept of the TV show, the flashbacks, the love story may sometimes be overdone but it all fits together beautifully. It’s a movie that shouldn’t be taken too seriously as a portrayal of modern India but it succeeds as a modern fairytale (okay, enough with this word!). There is something irresistible about the way Danny Boyle combines all the times and places of the story while keeping the central plot intact. It’s not a flawless movie but it achieves the illusion of being so. Maybe that’s the best way to describe it – a piece of magic that inweaves with reality in front of our eyes and for a moment we can forget that it’s just a trick before some of the flaws become invisible. It’s a movie that is easy to enjoy and easy to be impressed by since the plot, the technical values, the score, the heart-warming qualities all come together so easily.