India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Slumdog Millionaire: You can’t help rooting for it


Imagine falling off a running train and slithering down a rocky slope even as swirls of dust and grime envelop you. Most people would land up with a serious hospital bill or at least a broken bone or two. Jamal and Salim, two of the “three musketeers” in Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” just get up, shake off the dust and move on.

It might seem a little unbelievable or incredulous, but in the midst of watching “Slumdog Millionaire” (or ‘Slumdog Crorepati’ as the Hindi version is called), you shake off that nagging feeling and move on with Jamal and Salim, simply because you want to believe in their story. It’s not a believable story and yet the film makes you want to believe.

At least I wanted to.

Boyle’s film, which has wooed the West and is on its way to Oscar glory is this fast-paced, at times thrilling, at times chilling and at times poignant chronicle of one man’s journey.

Jamal Malik, who we first meet as an impish eight-year-old, steals your heart instantly and it is his story that sustains this film. Played in parts by Ayush Khedekar, Tanay Chedda and Dev Patel, Jamal’s journey takes you from the dirt and squalor of Mumbai‚Äôs slums to the Taj Mahal and then back again to the city of dreams.