We know how gameshows can change someone's life...but have you ever imagined how someone's life can change a gameshow?
When Jamal (a super poor slumdog) got the final question in India's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire", I thought the movie will shoot forward to show his "rags to riches" story. But no. Instead of going forward, the film went backwards...showing how his life scars were converted into material and immaterial "fortunes".
His wounds were his clue to the million "rupee" question, and the million "rupee" question was his door to the love which he valued more.
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is all about survival. It is a film that teaches us how to live by the moment...one "gameshow question" at a time. It shows how mistakes from the past can be the "correct answer" in the future. It shares the idea of how life's "hard questions" can unfold into big rewards.
The film redefined what "street smart" means by literally putting a street beggar in the smartest gameshow ever conceived.
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is a very humbling film. It preaches a lot without posing like a teacher or a guru. It carries a message of hope. And most especially, it grounds our future dreams to our distant past.
This may be the reason why SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE stands out amongst this year's "best film" contenders. Of all the films I've watched, this is the only one that stirs not much of your intellect, but more of your emotions. Expect to be "transformed" after finishing the film.
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE showed the power of story telling. It is not so technically polished like FROST/NIXON or BENJAMIN BUTTON. But it was compensated by the excellent layered story of Jamal...which is thick and rich, yet easy to swallow and to comprehend.
To let you undestand how thick the plot is, take this example: In the film "Who Wants To Be A Millionare" was viewed in three perspectives at the same time: by Jamal during the show, by Jamal after the show and by whole of India through the television. Danny Boyle was able to orchestrate the film brilliantly, turning those thick layers into thin chapatis. :-)
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is a winner! This film can make you feel human again. One may just put SLUMDOG's technical execution on the side, but you will definitely not be able to put aside the message of the film: that life is a tough gameshow...and you will never win if you've never played it before.