Monday, January 19, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

 Imagine you were an expensive French cheese enthusiast. Just bear with me.  Imagine that the one thing that took you away from your worries was expensive French cheese, and each chance you had to order some, read about some, taste some, even attempt to age your own, you took it.  As an expensive French cheese enthusiast, you may have tried once or twice to share your passion with your friends, but it made you seem uppity, and maybe a little weird, which was often disappointing to you, since sharing your passion was the one thing that you wanted to do.  And then -- one day -- one bright, shiny day, it happened:  an American company stumbled on an affordable fantastic French cheese that brought your hobby to the masses in the USA, and everyone loved it, and everyone suddenly wanted to talk fromage with you, and the sun came out, and you were deliriously happy. 

This is what happened to me in the theater this weekend. Well, so to speak.  Slumdog Millionaire brought India/Bollywood to America and I sat next to people who loved it as much as I did and I could have squeezed everyone as I exited the theatre (but I did not).  I could barely contain myself from sounding like Hermione Granger.  "Do you see that interviewer?" I wanted to yell; "That's  Anil Kapoor! He's in Tashan, which is awesome, and Welcome, which is hilarious, but he's always the bad guy. And the police inspector? That's Irrfan Khan. He's amazing -- watch the Namesake! You should see Aaja Nachle! Do you hear that song? That's my favorite song from Don -- you should SEE Don! It's 3 1/2 hours long but worth every second."  Again, by some miracle, I was able to avoid such an outburst.

What was amazing about the movie was that it was not a typical Oscar-worthy film. It didn't make me want to tear my own eyes out from sorrow. It didn't make me turn away from sticky, overdone gore.  It was a suspenseful, clever, poignant, brilliant love story. It's the story of a young guy from the slums -- which makes him a Slumdog -- who, when the film opens, is winning India's version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.  But the hero isn't interested in money; he wants to find a girl.  He and Latika were separated when they were children, and he's spent his life trying to find her again. He's hoping the sensation he creates on the show will draw her to him. 

The movie is about family, colonialism, caste, poverty, prejudice, and perseverance.  Well, WHAT are you doing still reading this blog? You should be seeing it right now, for heaven's sake. And be sure to stay for the credits. You wouldn't want to miss the dancing. 


A Cuban In London said...

Yes, I have heard it's a good mvoie, so i will have to check it out. I love Danny's work. 'Trainspotting' and 'Shallow Grave' are two of my favourite movies ever. Thanks for your post. And I love expensive French cheese, too :-).

Greetings from London.

richardkim03 said...

Of course you have to wait for the dancing... I've been told it isn't a Bollywood movie without dancing :-D