Kid is on a game show being asked a series of questions to win 20 million rupees. How does he know all the answers? Is it luck? Fate? Or does each question somehow relate to an incredibly depressing detail of his life? Yes it’s that last one, because this is the most toilet-diving, poo-covered, mother-killing, tourist-swindling, prisoner-torturing, implicitly-sexually-violent movie to ever be marketed as the award-winning feel-good love story of the year.
Jamal, brother Salim, and hot girl Latika live in the Mumbai slums, parents are killed over religion so they hang out together. Join the local beggar group, but the beggarmaster is gonna blind them to rake in more sympathy cash, so the boys skip town and become Taj Mahal tour guides. Back into the city because Jamal is fixated on finding Latika, just in time to rescue her from being sold for sex by the beggar dude. Salim kills the king beggar and joins a gangster group, turns on Jamal and rapes Latika, eventually gives her up as live-in lover to the king gangster. Jamal, meanwhile, gets a straight job as intern at a call center, gets himself on the Millionaire show, wins 10m one day, gets arrested and tortured by police chief Irfan Khan (dad in The Namesake), tells Irfan (and us) his life story the whole next day, then back to the show and wins the other 10m on the final question. Salim shoots his boss, gets killed (having raped the heroine, he has to get killed), but releases Latika who has a happy ending (with train-station dance sequence) with our rich boy.
Boyle got the writer of The Full Monty and Mira Nair’s co-director, and used his 28 Days Later / Millions cinematographer (who also shoots Dogme stuff). The camerawork, along with a high-energy MIA and A.R. Rahman soundtrack and great editing (ooh it’s Edgar Wright’s regular guy) make for a rockin’ good time of a movie, despite the story. Maybe I’m missing something, because Katy loved it, story and all.
Loved this. The music was perfect. As things start to fall apart on the spaceship, the image gets more strange, with some almost avant-garde shots throughout the second half.
Spaceship behind giant solar shield is heading for dying sun to launch a bomb that may reignite it. On the way, they board the previous ship that was sent out on same mission, now inhabited by a dark force. Shades of Event Horizon follow, with a heaven thing going instead of Event‘s hell thing.
Each crew member gets enough personality to be easily distinguished a half hour in (and I was hardly trying to keep up), so that instead of wasting time in the second half trying to remember who’s who, we can focus on action blasting through space. Your standard kinda Aliens / The Abyss sci-fi action structure then, but with images that do not seem to belong in a big-budget movie. The camera can’t seem to SEE the Icarus 1 captain – he’s always out of focus or hidden by sunlight, even when another character should be able to see him clearly. I just enjoyed the hell out of that idea, and probably appreciate the movie more than I should because I’ve latched onto it. But there’s no shame in loving a particularly well-made sci-fi thriller. This one will be my War of the Worlds or Minority Report for 2007.
Who were those people: Cillian Murphy is in an upcoming film noir comedy. Michelle Yeoh was in Crouching Tiger. Rose Byrne was the girl in 28 Weeks Later and Kirsten’s friend in Marie Antoinette. The tan guy was in The Fountain and Die Hard 4. The captain played the lead in Twilight Samurai and was in The Promise and Ring. Suicide guy was in Code 46 and Tristram Shandy. The replacement captain was Human Torch in Fantastic Four. The guy who doesn’t make it back from Icarus 1 played Tom Hayden in Steal This Movie. And best of all, the captain from Icarus 1 (which lost contact seven years ago) was in 1999’s Sunshine (just over seven years ago) starring Ralph Fiennes in the Cillian Murphy role.