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Blog by Don Kennedy

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Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire concisely states the outcome of a deprived lifetime that painfully prepares a young man from Mumbai for one critical moment in his life. Jamal Malik (British newcomer Dev Patel) who grew up in a tin roof shanty town built on a garbage dump was orphaned at a tender age and his only family is his slightly older brother Salim and Latika a girl also orphaned at the same time. Though much of their lives (set against an infectious soundtrack of an indigenous music hybrid) is spent apart, Jamal’s passion for Latika is indestructible. However when he concludes that she is untraceable he applies to be a contestant on the hugely popular Indian version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire in hopes that Latika (stunning Freida Pinto) will see him. Despite his lack of education his life experiences with human traffickers, grifting tourists, sectarian violence and blood retribution coincidentally provide him with all of the right answers to the handful of questions that rapidly put him 10 million rupees to the good and make him a national star. The police however believe he is cheating and try to torture him into revealing his system. There’s plenty more tension added by the sleazy game show host, a local gangster and some pretty hostile sibling rivalry. Through all this Jamal never waivers in his belief that Latika is his destiny. My belief is that the destiny of Slumdog Millionaire is to turn up on the 2008 top 10 list of every film critic.