Thursday, February 26, 2009

Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire (2009) - English

Directors: Danny Boyle
Co-director – India: Loveleen Tandan
Writers: Simon Beaufoy (screenplay) and Vikas Swarup (novel)
Genre: Crime | Drama | Romance

Cast: Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Irfan Khan, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla, Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, Mahesh Manjarekar and others

Music Director: A. R. Rehman
Awards: Won 8 Oscars. Another 62 wins & 29 nominations

“Slumdog Millionaire” bagged 8 awards at Oscar night, 4 awards for Indians. So it was very proud moment for all Indians. There is big debate on if the movie was Indian or not. So I don’t know if we can say an Indian movie won an Oscar or not. But I still feel elated because a small budget movie which talks about kids in slum one so many awards not only at Oscar but all over the world. We always enjoy it more when underdogs go on to win something and that’s what “Slumdog Millionaire is all about.

Slumdog Millionaire is a story about a Mumbai teen Jamal played by Dev Patel, who born and brought up in Mumbai slums, works as Chiwalla, becomes a contestant in “Kaun Banega Karorpati” which is Indian version of “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” And he eventually wins the game show and become a Millionaire. So how he did that? How an uneducated Chiwalla wins such a big show? Does he cheat? Host of the show played by Anil Kapoor certainly thought so. He sends him to Police. Police Inspector played by Irfan Khan interrogates him. And while interrogation his story gets unwind, how he gets all the answers from the events from his life.

As movie goes into flashback of Jamal’s life, we enter into slums of Mumbai where Jamal grown up with his older brother Salim and love of his life Latika. Now we get to see the darker side of Mumbai, where riots happened in Mumbai. Where police men do nothing while Muslims were slaughtered, where orphan kids are trained to beg by goons, where eyes of these kids take out mercilessly so that they can earn more money, where these kids end up either being beggar, goons themselves or if they are girl kids they end up being prostitutes. This is the reason there was controversy over this movie in India. This is the reason why people like Amitabh Bachchan were critical about it. It isn’t like they wanted to cover up the darker side of India but they do have a problem when non Indians just wants to highlight only darker side of India and want to rate India as third world.

Thankfully movie is not only highlighting the poverty of Mumbai. It shows the optimism of these people living slums, how each and every human trying to improve his life by any available ways. Like Jamal, his brother Salim and Latika all started their journey at same point from but took different paths of life. Latika goes through brothel and end up being a mistress of a goon’s lord. Salim took path of theft, extortion and killing. Thankfully movie does not suggest that all of these kids end up being beggars, criminals or prostitutes. There are some like protagonist Jamal who could grew out of this dark world and in the end destiny give him a hand to win millions. As they say everyone chose their own Destiny.

The movie is adapted from the novel of Vikas Swarup “Q&A”. After the amount of hype movie got the book and author will certainly going to benefit from that. They also change the title of the novel on the Movie title.

This movie wouldn’t have been as good as it is now without the music of the film. A. R. Rahman did excellent job as usual. He deserved all the awards and accolades he is getting now and will be getting in future.

Director Danny did amazingly good job. Casting of movie was spot on, I think co-director Lovaleen Tandan played huge role in casting. The kids were simply outstanding. We must also value the efforts of producers for what they are doing for all these kids. Taking them to Oscar and then to Disneyland is commendable. Some of these kids are really from slum, if this move won’t had happened to them, then Disneyland or going abroad at their age was not possible for them. Dev Patel and Freida Pinto did their job very well. My favorite scene in the movie and which makes big impact is when the kid Jamal jumps in the load of shit just to get autograph from Amitabh Bachchan.

If I have to rate the movie I will give 9 out of 10.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Innovative Gadgets: Axe Guitar

A guitar that too in Axe shape is brilliant and innovative idea. A guitar in itself is ultimate cool gadget but if it comes with unique shape like of Axe then it becomes even cooler. The guitar has a bi-directional strum bar, ultra responsive fret buttons, and an analog whammy bar. What does that mean? I have no clue because I don’t know anything about playing guitar. Every year I make resolution to learn guitar but it never happens. I think my neighbors are somehow plotting against it. So this Axe shape Guitar is very good option for people like me. If anyone comes between me and my Guitar lesson I can chopped them.

Friday, February 13, 2009

"3 Wheeler Car"

Some creative designers across the world in Canada come out with Higgins-Aube ENERGYA. What is this? This is a three wheeler car. The purpose behind designing this concept car is quite different; since three wheelers are registered as motorcycles in many places, and motorcycles have fewer regulatory restrictions imposed on them, the ENERGYA is designed to bring racecar levels of ultra-low weight, big power and massive grip to the road that would be impossible if it was registered as a car. As such, it's got a much wider front wheelbase, enclosed seating, roll protection and amazingly good horse power.

It is in early design stages yet; if you visit their official website they are still looking for investors to finance the project in big way. But this is very interesting concept which never been tried in three wheelers.

I think this is only available in CAD design, prototype is also not built and considering recent financial crisis this car will take long time to hit the road. Let’s just hope they don’t just scrap it altogether.


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