Just finished watching Slumdog Millionaire and I now know why this movie is getting so much hype, even getting 10 Oscars nominations. It is really as good as it gets!
The protagonist of the story, 18-year old Jamal Malik, comes from the slums of Mumbai and is just 1 question away from winning 20million rupees on India's version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" Times up, the show breaks for the night and on his way out, Jamal is arrested (and tortured) on suspicion of cheating. Why so? Because no one believes that a kid from the slums with no education and who is working as a tea server in a call center can know so much!
To prove his innoncence, Jamal tells the story of his life; as a kid living in the slums with his brother Salim, of their adventures and encounters on the road, their brush with local gangsters using orphanage as a means of getting abandoned children to beg, and of the girl Latika whom he loved. She is the main reason he came on the show in the first place; it was never about the money. And interestingly, each chapter of his life justifies each correct answer.
The storyline is not just good, it also touched me. It really serves as a good reminder to all of us why we need to be thankful of how good our lives are. Imagine yourself living in a run-down, garbage strewn and densely populated slums where your (and everyone else's) big/small businesses just drop into the river knowing that that same river is also the source for your water and washing needs. Not to mention how Jamal had to jump into a pool of that same crap just so he could get Amitabh Bachan's autograph!
Also how lucky for us with parents to provide us with lots of TLC. There's no way I can forgive those ppl who make use of little kids to go begging and live on those free money. Not just that, they know very well how to pull the strings in good people's hearts. Little kids that can sing earns, BLIND kids that can sing earns double! And mind you, not necessarily from birth...
As the saying goes "Learning is a lifelong experience". Every success and failures, every sweet and bitter moments, every twists and turns in life are lessons waiting to be taught. And we can only come out stronger and wiser :)
So what else did I learn?
Don't drink mineral waters even from seemingly high-end restaurants! And always have a pair of the oldest, most worn-off shoes with you just in case you ever need to go to places of interest where you need to take off your shoes :P
P/S: On another note, being a film set in India, Slumdog Millionaire also ended with a scene typical in Indian movies - big group of crowds coming together to dance ala bollywood style lol.