Awesome! Excellent! Incredible! Unbelievable! Gem of a movie! … I had the privilege to watch Slumdog Millionaire a few days ago and I still do not know in what words should I describe this great movie. I have been talking about Ghajini and RNBDJ recently but after watching this movie I can surely say that the story of Slumdog Millionaire or Slumdog Crorepati as it is known in India is a thousand times more powerful and touching than any of these films. In spite of being a Hollywood movie directed by a British director Danny Boyle (co-director Loveleen Tandan is an Indian) the movie depicts the real situation in the Mumbai slums. The movie is based on the Vikas Swarup’s popular novel Q & A. The story of the movie revolves on how a boy from a Mumbai slum wins 20 million (2 crore rupees) at Indian version of game show “Who wants to be a Millionaire”. Even though it is a Hollywood movie still it is Indian in its entirety. I am not saying Indian only because it has a substantial Indian cast in Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Saurabh Shukla, Mahesh Manjekar and others but it is Indian because it touches every aspect of the poor people residing in the Indian slums. Anil Kapoor says “Who wants to a Millionaire” in the same way as Amitabh Bachchan used to say “Kaun Banega Crorepati”, the music of the game show is exactly the same background sound as we used to hear in KBC and prize money is 2 crore rupees as it used to be in KBC 2. Unlike any Hollywood movie, Slumdog Millionaire has got almost three or four songs in the movie and all of them are either in full Hindi or are multi-lingual. Half of the conversation in the movie are in Hindi with English subtitles. And surprisingly enough I am referring to the original Hollywood movie Slumdog Millionaire and not the Indian version Slumdog Crorepati which will be released in India on January 23.
The movie starts as the main protagonist in the movie Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is being interrogated by the police inspector (Irrfan Khan) and his constable (Saurabh Shukla) as they are pretty sure that he must have cheated in the game show. The host of the show (Anil Kapoor) and the police are not ready to accept that a poor guy from the slums could answer so many questions. Then Jamal reveals how he knew the answers from the adverse conditions he had faced throughout his life. He narrates about his life and his relationship with his brother Salim and his love interest Latika (Freida Pinto) which made him answer the questions in the game show. The movie has a lot more to offer even after this interrogation and you can watch the sequence of things that follow when it releases in India on January 23. The screenplay in the movie is excellent and it makes you get to the edge of your seat on many occasions to know what happens next. The movie touches many aspects of India including poverty, communal riots, child exploitation, prostitution, outsourcing and the Indian masses’ interest in cricket and Bollywood. The movie also shows the unending love of Jamal towards Latika for whom he makes a lot of sacrifices. Jamal in fact joins the game show because he believes she would be watching it. Danny Boyle’s art of storytelling is brilliant and many Hollywood and Bollywood directors have a lot to learn from him. The songs and music in the movie are mesmerizing which you can almost always expect from A R Rahman composition. Jai Ho is the most popular song in the movie and the lyrics have been penned by Gulzar. The song is sung by Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah & Mahalaxmi Iyer and the energy in the song is evident. The songs are versatile and O Saya is one of my other favorites. You can get the feeling of old Bollywood movie songs in some songs like Aaj Ki Raat and the raunchy Ringa Ringa.
Overall the movie is simply brilliant and I advise everybody to watch this movie when it releases on January 23. If Ghajini and RNBDJ has become success recently then I believe the Indian audience should give this movie its due too. It would release in Hindi as Slumdog Crorepati and it would also have its normal English release Slumdog Millionaire on the same day. I would advise everybody who knows even a bit of English to watch the original version Slumdog Millionaire. The movie has got a very simple accent which even a school going kid should be able to understand (50% of the movie is in Hindi anyways and the English part is also spoken by Indians mainly) and so it is advisable to watch the original version when it releases on January 23 all across India. And last but not the least I would like to say that I had watched this movie before it won the Golden Globe awards and so this review does not express my feelings only after it won the Oscars. Slumdog Millionaire is a gem of a movie and the Golden Globe win has only added a few feathers to its cap. I am quite sure that it might even sweep the Oscars next month. Great going Slumdog Millionaire and hope it would reaches many more heights.
Ghajini celebrated its second success party after crossing 200 crores worldwide gross. Aamir Khan came to the success party for a day though he was busy in the shooting of his next movie Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots. 3 Idiots would be a comedy and Aamir would be playing a college student in this movie directed by Hirani of Munnabhai fame. On the occassion, Ghajini heroines Asin Thottumkal and Jiah Khan were also present. The movie’s villain Pradeep Rawat who played the character of Ghajini in the movie and the director A R Murugadoss were also present at the party.
Although Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle, A R Rahman and the movie’s crew has been revolving in everybody’s mind after the exceptional performance of the Hollywood movie but Bollywood’s own King Khan has also made his presence felt at the function. Shahrukh Khan became the first Indian to present a Golden Globe award when he announced the nomination of Slumdog Millionaire for the Best Motion Picture – Drama. He was extremely confident throughout his speech as he congratulated Danny Boyle, A R Rahman and thanked Hollywood for appreciating India and Bollywood so much. Shahrukh was present at the award function with his wife Gauri Khan and friend and director Karan Johar. SRK looked cool in a black suit and it was indeed a proud moment for all Indians and the whole of Bollywood when he walked the Golden Globe stage with Freida Pinto (female lead in Slumdog Millionaire) to present the award. The whole crowd cheered Shahrukh as he walked on stage and Danny Boyle and the Slumdog Millionaire crew were especially excited with King Khan’s presence. The announcer at the Golden Globe awards presented King Khan as the King of Bollywood making Hollywood accept SRK even more graciously.
India and Bollywood was highly acknowledged at the award function. This is what Karan Johar had to say about the function
t was absolutely a fantastic experience being in a room full of such talented people. What dignity and grace they displayed. More than anything else, it was the mutual respect and admiration that they showed for each other’s work. There is so much to imbibe from them. We obviously felt great pride when AR Rahman’s name was announced. In fact, I got goosebumps when he went up to receive his award. What I noticed was that India and Indian movies are fast emerging as something that truly interests the western world. Every one present there, from Angelina Jolie to Steven Spielberg seemed to be curious about India. To think, a talent like Rahman might do well on a global platform but still comes back to the country and continues doing admirable work within the country. I think that is absolutely admirable. Shah Rukh and I felt great just being in a room full of people like Steven Spielberg. It was a privilege.
Great going Bollywood and great going India!
Amitabh Bachchan came as special guest on the London premiere of Akshay Kumar’s Chandni Chowk to China. After the three successful premiere of CC2C at Los Angeles, New York and Toronto the movie had its fourth premiere at the famous Empire theater in Leicester Square, London. The whole of UK is known as a very good market for Indian films and it is said that “there is something Indian in everything in UK”. Anyways UK and India has been associated with each other for hundreds of years and so it is evident that Indian culture and movies would attract them. The crowd at the London premire of Chandni Chowk to China was huge and it was even more special as Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan came to the premiere on Akshay’s request. However, I found Akshay and Deepika’s dressing sense in the London premiere quite funny more so with Akshay’s striped pants.. lol. But they rocked London too and the expectations from Warner Bros film Chandni Chowk to China is increasing manifold after the success of these premieres.
Slumdog Millionaire won all four awards where it was nominated bagging Best Original Score – Motion Picture – A R Rahman, Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director – Motion Picture – Danny Boyle and Best Screenplay – Simon Beaufoy. The whole crew was very excited at the Golden Globe wins and this wins also gave them hope that it might do well in the Oscars too. Among the Indian crew only A R Rahman who won a Golden Globe and Anil Kapoor were present. Irrfan Khan, Saurabh Shukla, Mahesh Manjekar and others however enjoyed the success in India itself. The main protagonists in the movie Dev Patel and Freida Pinto also have Indian connections. This is a great news for India and here are the pictures of the crew after they won the awards at the Golden Globe.
The whole Bachchan family has been very busy recently with movie shootings by Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya, Abhishek and Jaya Bachchan. The family had a small reunion during the launch of the book “Bachchanalia” by Aamir Khan. Now the family has announed that they would be reuniting during the February 4 premiere of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s movie Pink Panther 2. Pink Panther 2 would be Aishwarya’s first release of 2009 and it is the sequel to the successful Hollywood movie Pink Panther which was released in 2006. The movie would release on 6 february 2009 and the New York premiere of the movie would be held on February 4. The complete Bachchan family is expected to be present on the occasion and so the Bachchans are eagerly awaiting for this reunion in New York. Pink Panther 2 is expected to release in India on 20 February.
Diana Hayden was one of the judges at the Nivea Femina Miss India Wild Card held recently. Though she could not make big in Bollywood but the former Miss World has been appreciated for her beauty. She has some elegance and it also showed when she came for the Nivea Femina Miss India Wild Card. She has become more popular after her participation in last year’s most popular reality show Bigg Boss 2. Hope she improves her hindi and get some good roles in Bollywood.
Chandi Chowk to China had its third premiere at Toronto, Canada. Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone and director Nikhil Advani all wore black on the occassion. Akshay’s wife Twinkle accompanied him as she has been doing on all the previous premieres. This was the last premiere of the movie in North America. Chandni Chowk to China is going to become the first Bollywood movie with a huge release in US at par with any Hollywood movie. CC2C has been produced by Warner Bros which is one of the biggest production companies in Hollywood. The next premiere of the movie would be at London.
A R Rahman won the Best Original Score – Motion Picture, Slumdog Millionaire won the Best Motion Picture – Drama, Danny Boyle won Best Director – Motion Picture and Simon Beaufoy won Best Screenplay – Motion Picture as Slumdog Millionaire swept the Golden Globe awards with 4 awards. It was the highest number of awards won by any movie at the Golden Globe this year. It was incredible that it won all four awards for which it was nominated. It was great to see how the whole of Hollywood fraternity stood up in respect when Danny Boyle, A R Rahman or anybody of the Slumdog Millionaire crew went to accept the awards. The whole of Hollywood showed how much they respect this great movie.
For Indians who are not much aware, I would like to inform that Golden Globe awards is the next big awards to Oscars and regarded by many as a preview of the Oscars. The best picture winners of the Golden Globe has almost always managed to grab similar recognition at the Oscars too. So, this year Slumdog Millionaire might sweep the Oscars too. I sincerely believe that Slumdog Millionaire deserves every award that it has got and I wish that it would conquer new heights in Hollywood and world cinema. I have watch Slumdog Millionaire just yesterday and I will post the review very soon if possible today itself. I have cherished every minute of the movie and I am sure you will also cherish the great movie when it releases in India on Jaunary 23.
Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan was also invited on the occasion where he thanked Hollywood and praised Slumdog Millionaire. Bollywood and Hollywood has become closer day by day and it is great to see the largest film industries in the world coming so close to each other. Anil Kapoor, Dev Patel, Freida Pinto and the whole crew of Slumdog was present as the best motion picture drama award was given.
I would also like to mention that the director of the movie Danny Boyle thanked India, Mumbai, the Indian masses and all the whole Indian crew including Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan and other great actors. A R Rehman also said that his award for the best Best Original Score – Motion Picture was the win of a billion Indian people. I was really enriched by his as well as Danny Boyle’s humility. Great going Danny Boyle, A R Rehman and the whole crew of Slumdog Millionaire and hope that you rock the Oscars too.
The second international premiere of Chandni Chowk to China was held at AMC Empire Theater, 234 West 42nd Street, (Between seventh & eight Avenues), New York City, United States on January 8. Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, director Nikhil Advani as well as Akshay’s wife Twinkle were present on the occasion. Akshay’s best friend Toronto-based tycoon Ajay Virmani, lent his luxury 17-seater jet to his friend so that the cast and crew of Chandni Chowk to China can attend all the premieres in North America without any delay. Infact the cast of CC2C stayed for only 35 minutes at LA premiere because they had to move to this New York premiere. These premieres are quite significant too because it is an Warner Bros film and it will release at par with any Hollywood film with 50 prints in the US. The next premiere of the movie would be at AMC Yonge & Dundas Square, Toronto, Canada followed by the London premiere at the famous Empire Theater, Leicester Square, London. Akshay seems to be on a great high this year with his next movie Kambakkht Ishq also an international project with a lot of Hollywood stars.