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SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE - Aka...Know it all Brown Trash Gets Lucky

By Visitor - Posted on 22 April 2009

I’ll admit it. I loved this film. I fell for the energy, the vibrancy, for the colorful saris and for director Danny Boyle’s ability to show me the dirty, putrid side of humanity without making me blow corn (from either end). Having said that, there is plenty to rag on as we follow India’s Oliver Twist on his journey to riches beyond his wildest dreams…

We first meet Jamal Malik as he is being tortured by the Indian police. He’s accused of being a cheater in India’s version of the “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” game show. How is it possible that this “slumdog” kid knows all the correct answers to the game show questions? He’s uneducated. He’s poor. He’s from the lowest of the lowest caste. Get out the nipple clamps! After the Police Inspector takes pity on him, Jamal is allowed to explain. The answers lie in his childhood experiences as the poor/orphan/little brother/Muslim/pick-pocket/beggar/Taj Mahal tour guide/long lost love- finder/end-credits Bollywood Dancer/Freddie Mercury protagonist. Goodness, Gracious, Me! (thanks, BBC America).

Cue flashbacks! Cue flash-forwards! Cue cheesy Game Host smile! All for 20 million rupeeeees!

I wanted to give a detailed run down of every flashback Jamal has, but I just don’t have the energy. This is a somewhat exhausting film. The colors, the lights, the violence and the scene changes are hard for those of us with ADD. Do take snacks and beverages with you when viewing this film (but don’t eat during the Outhouse scene, mmkay?). I did love how Jamal ends up working as a tea server, or chai walla, at an Indian call center, though. It’s good to know that my Dell Tech Support professional gets to whet his whistle between his incoherent explanations and my moments of confusion.

Apparently Indians (dot, not feather) didn’t much care for this film because it depicts slum kids running, playing, having hope and speaking in broken English instead of Hindi. Of course, not every evil Indian gangster is a big, fat, greasy, abusive asshole. Not all Indian women are suppressed, ignorant, neglected and subservient. (Ok, maybe they are.) And yes, the slum scenes and train scenes were sterilized. We all know that if the tuberculosis and e-coli didn’t kill off half of these slumdogs by the time they were eight, the national B.O. epidemic would.

Slumdog Millionaire is ultimately a love story and a tale of redemption and forgiveness. Life is not about The Money, it’s about The Love. Yes, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit for typing that, but it’s true.

I’m not sari I saw this film and you won’t be either. Check it out, kutiyas. You’ll be glad you did.

Now where’s my Chai!

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