The Underdog Story

Under dog stories work almost every time. Why? Because that’s what most people think they are – ‘the under dogs’. I finally got to watch the ‘Slum dog Millionaire ‘, last night. I have been hearing all kinds of things about the movie; nominations, awards, allegations, controversies, debates and what not. And this is what I felt about the movie and about the things surrounding it.
The movie is a real good entertainer, which tells the rags-to-riches story of a ‘Slum dog’. It’s the journey of Jamaal, the under dog, from the slums of Mumbai to the Hot seat of a game show, where he ends up winning 20 million India Rupees. Something as in 'the Alchemist'.A journey in search of a treasure ,his lost love,Lathika.

As is expected of a Hollywood movie ,techically the 'Slumdog' doesn’t disappoint. The editing and cinematography are brilliant. The casting is appropriate and the performances commendable, especially the child artists. The narration is fast paced and holds your attentions till the credits roll. The scenes that made me pause, lean back and think were:
1. When Jamaal & Salim run away from the rioters and stop when they see a child made up as Lord Ram. Don’t know if it was something they imagined or they actually saw it.

2. When Salim pushes Jamaal out of the hotel room, at gun point, to make out with Lathika, Jamaal’s love interest.

3. Jamaal , years later, finds Salim at an under-construction building. Furious, for what his brother had done to him and Jamaal thinks pushing him off the building. But Jamaal end up only punching him and the next scene shows both of them sitting on the edge, with the slums and huge buildings in the background and Salim taking reminiscently.

4. The last scene when Jamaal kisses Lathika on her scar.Jai ho!

But considering the hoopla surrounding this movie, it doesn’t live up to the expectation the promotional exaggeration creates. It surly is not something that has never been seen before in Indian cinema. It is a good movie, but only as good as any of its contemporaries in commercial bollywood cinema.

Maybe it would have been path breaking for mainstream Indian cinema had it been made few years back, before the times of RGVs, Anurag Kashyaps, Madhur Bhandarkars, Srirams.The Wikipedia on the movie has it that the screenwriter has watched movies like the ‘Satya’,’Company’,’Black Friday’ and ‘Deewar’ to get a feel of Indian cinema. It even says it was to make the movie a kind of tribute to the Indian cinema. Probably it was, as most part of the movie was greatly influenced by these movies.

The movie is perfectly enjoyable and a good cinema, no denial. Maybe it’s the hype and more than due attention to the movie , what is bothering some people.


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