A breathtaking celebration of romance, determination, destiny, and believe it or not, wit.
Jamal Malik is all intelligence and wit. The consistency of that character from being a mischievous kid in the slums of Bombay to the guide and pilferer at the Taj Mahal and till when he is on the hot seat in Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, is so beautifully showcased that you are caught spellbound everytime he is on screen.
The movie employs non-linear narration, showing Jamal’s growth in the slums to his entry into the game show and at the same time showing you his progress in the show, question by question. The game show is brilliantly woven into the narrative, never taking precedence over the more important aspect of the movie – Jamal’s journey to his answers. You wait for his confrontation with the answers, subtle or explicit, as much as you do for the next question.
Danny Boyle has captured Bombay the way Mira Nair did in Salaam Bombay. The raw and constant Bombay of slums, real estate, petty crimes and gangsters. You don’t see the cliched Marine Drive or the Gateway of India. This is the Bombay that doesn’t change much. And one of the many real ones. The brilliant scene where it is first shown, with the kid Jamal and his friends being chased by the cops, to the tune of ‘O Saya’ in the background has to be seen to be believed. Especially the parts that M.I.A sings.
Like every pundit has already pointed out, it deserves an Oscar nomination. At least. It already has four major Golden Globe nominations. Go watch it, and preferably, on the big screen.
If someone noticed, is the hill behind Jamal, when he is standing on a wall and asking for Latika, Gilbert Hill.?That is right behind my school!
Update: On which track plays when in the movie. If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t read the following for they could contain SPOILERS. If it bothers you, that is:
O Saya, as mentioned before, plays when the kids are caught playing cricket on the runway. It is one of those high points in the movie and is brilliantly shot.
Riots disappears before you could notice during the anti Muslim riots when Jamal’s mother is killed.
Mausam runs in the background at two or three places. First, when the kids escape from Mamman and gang and catch the train. And also when Latika is taken away from the CST station.
Paper planes comes along with a superb shot of India on trains. The lyrics suit the mood and feel of the scenes very well.
Ringa Ringa starts when Jamal comes in search of Latika at the brothels.
Gangsta Blues comes when Salim goes to find Javed and confesses to have killed Mamman.
Latika’s theme and Dreams on Fire are played more than once whenever Latika makes an appearance.
Millionaire features when the whole country is waiting for the episode where Jamal is only one question away from winning the game. Aaj Ki Raat comes a little before that. I am not sure when Liquid Dance is played.
Jai Ho, one of the best numbers, comes during the end credits and is awesomely picturized!